For most westerners the name Edison Chen wouldn’t mean a lot. Some of you may know that he is the founder of streetwear brand CLOT, or that he appeared briefly in The Dark Knight and had appeared in the Hong Kong breakout film Infernal Affairs.
Canadian-born Chen is a singer, actor and product brand ambassador; who became infamous in the Chinese community due to a couple of incidents that involved violence and a scandal caused by cloned laptop drive full of amateur porn photos involving Chen and a bevvy of Hong Kong starlets – which kicked up a storm in the socially conservative, but gossip-loving Hong Kong society.
(This picture was taken at Hong Kong’s Grand Millenium Plaza in February 2008, when the press conference where Chen admitted that the pictures were his was broadcast live on TV, look at the way the bystanders are watching with rapt attention).
Think of him being analogous to a young Chinese version of Charlie Sheen and you have a rough idea of impact he made.
Chen’s infamy is used to its advantage with an advertisement for Lynx, where he portrays a laboratory researcher extolling the virtues of Lynx, but warning mean that excessive application may make things too hot. (Please be patient with the time it takes the video to load, YouKu can sometimes take a while to cope with non-China traffic).
Of course, how this all sits with the women-positive messages that Unilever pushes out around Dove is another matter and something that would provide feminists a mountain of material to blog on.