Weibo adopts quirky trilingual ad campaign in Hong Kong

Weibo the Chinese Twitter have launched an ad campaign on buses in Hong Kong with the creative use of Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Even though this is nothing new amongst the British Chinese/ East Asian communities in the UK (as it’s very common for bilingual people to use both languages at the same time in a conversation), it’s very interesting how the advertising agencies are recognising this. 

Pictures Ogilvy & Mather

As you can see on the bus it has ‘Wei’ written in large letters which represents the first part of Weibo’s name. ‘Wei’ is the Mandarin Pinyin meaning ‘Micro’. However ‘Wei’ is also the informal Cantonese spelling of ‘Hello’ usually in text messages. Then to top it off, the advertisers mix in an English word ‘Fun’ beneath the large letters to represent the Chinese expression for ‘Share’ as phonetically they sound the same.

This all adds up to the creative use of 3 languages.

Ogilvy & Mather

Here’s a little about Pinyin and how we came up with the Nee Hao name too.

What does Nee Hao mean?

Nee Hao literally means, “You Good’ in English, and is equivalent to saying ‘Hello’.

The Pinyin spelling is Ni Hao.

Nee Hao magazine is spelt slightly differently (but phonetically sounding the same) because we want our readers to differentiate between the official Pinyin phrase and our brand which is a company for people who are interested in the relationship between British and Chinese culture, and our mission is to provide a platform where they meet in an artistic, cultural, informative and fun environment.

What is Pinyin?

Pinyin is the romanisation system of Chinese characters so that Chinese words can be spelt using letters from the Alphabet. Like other languages which use romanisation, it has to follow certain rules to make it consistent. Pinyin is particularly useful for learning the Chinese language. Pinyin is officially recognised by the government of China and other countries and this system has been used since the late fifties.


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