Ad Nut
Nov 29, 2018

New Nescafé coffee campaign copies a 1980s hair-colour TVC

But it's OK, because the new video from McCann Worldgroup is an homage to an oddly beloved old commercial starring actor Kenneth Tsang.

The video above is a new ad for a new black variety of canned Nescafé. If the ad seems underwhelming or strange to you, then you did not grow up in Hong Kong in the 1980s. If you had, you'd probably know the ad below, from 1986, for Bigen hair colour. Like the Nescafé work above, it stars well-known local actor Kenneth Tsang.

The old commercial for Bigen, as objectively bad as it is, is nonetheless fondly remembered, or at least remembered, by Hong Kong folk—probably because the brand ran it (mercilessly, some might say) across parts of three decades. That makes the new work for Nescafé an homage, an attention hack and a shortcut to nostalgic local hearts. Smart.

The campaign includes online video, Facebook and Instagram posts, online banners, MTR 4-sheet posters and bus wraps.


Managing Partner: Jaslin Goh, Florence Kong
Creative Team: Michael Li, Annie Loo, Eunice Liu, Louis Kwan, Cherry Wu, Wendy Ho
Account Team: Kenneth Chan, Ruby Chau, Elaine Yeung

Bonus info: This is not even the first time Tsang has gotten more work based on his appearance in a 32-year-old commercial. In 2013, Salon de Pro (arch-nemesis of Bigen), employed him for the spot below, in which he explained that he'd moved on to a better brand of hair dye.

Frankly, Ad Nut thinks Tsang looks better in grey.

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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