Ad Nut
Sep 6, 2021

Chinese mobile brand Realme targets unconventional youth in global campaign

MediaMonks campaign celebrates a generation that dares to be genuine even if they make others uncomfortable. Unlike the ad.

Chinese mobile device maker Realme has partnered with Media.Monks China to pay tribute to its newly-hit milestone of 100 million users with a global youth-targeted campaign. Aiming to "celebrate the defiant spirit of today's youth," the ‘How dare you’ campaign claims to be an anthem that "takes back power from the negative external noise." 

The campaign's centrepiece is a hero film that tells multiple stories of several youth with scenes across Asia and beyond who dare to be themselves, even if they are different. The film portrays unconventional hair styles and clothing, and scenes that subvert gender and body stereotypes.

It also includes the all-girl rock band Voice of Baceprot from conservative West Java. "As young Muslim women who play metal, they’ve gained a passionate local following and a growing global fanbase despite opposition and judgement. They truly epitomise the spirit of the campaign," explains Darren Crawforth, group creative director of Media.Monks. 

Ad Nut fully endorses all these aspects of individuality and agrees wholeheartedly with Media.Monks strategy director Nina Kong that "it’s encouraging to see an inclusivity-minded campaign originating from mainland China make an impact in multiple markets across the world."

That impact would be a TVC viewership of 130 million in a matter of days, up 117% from Realme's last global fan festival and total exposure of #HowDareYou up 303% from the last campaign. 

What a positive response. Too bad that in order to get there, it relies on perpetuating a negative trope.

Ad Nut wonders if the 'How dare you' tagline really matches the message. The film uses the phrase a lot. How dare you..."be disruptive", "raise your voice", "talk like that", "be different", "wear pink", "be quiet", "be defiant" get the picture.

Ad Nut praises ads that seek to tackle important societal issues, but this one feels like a case of purpose-washing. Are older generations really telling youth 'how dare you be quiet'? Or is this an attitude that's being stretched in a piece of marketing to get the youth vote? 

In attempting to reach out to unconventional youth, the mobile brand is leaning on a conventional stereotype—that the younger generation feel misunderstood. But instead of meaningfully investigating this, it relies on vague generalisations in order to position itself as a brand that really “gets” young people.

Well, Realme, if you really get the youth, perhaps you could address some of the issues they really care about, like the environment, rather than succumbing to the 'everyone's out to get us' stereotype. Action speaks louder than vague terms.


Brand: realme
Agency: Media.Monks Shanghai

Darren Crawforth - Group Creative Director
Nina Kong - Strategy Director
Andria Wu - Senior Strategist
David Tse - Creative Director
Neil Lee - Copywriter
Yi Shi - Designer
James Zhang - Business Director
Kelly Belchere - Executive Producer
Crystal Wu - Producer
Shahida Dzulkeply - Producer
Video Editors - Ilona Szentivanyi / Lucas Fossati
Color Grade - Marina Frigerio
Designer - Eric Goldenberg
Sound Designer - Paula García
VFX Compositor - Emilio Aranguren
Post Producer - Federico Casaburi
Sound Production Manager - Sofía Scarpatti
Film line production house - Amok
Film Director: Sean Ng
Executive Producer: Nick Guan
Producer: Joanna Ng

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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