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Slow Chinese 每周漫闻 is an entertaining weekly dose of interesting words, phrases and idioms from the week’s news for learners of Chinese who want to take their language skills to the next level.
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How to say “epic proportions” in Chinese – 史诗级 (Shǐshī jí)2 min read

29 March 2021 2 min read

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How to say “epic proportions” in Chinese – 史诗级 (Shǐshī jí)2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This tongue-twister is how Intel’s self-inflicted brand ambassador disaster was described following a backlash from male followers, and then female followers, and then everyone, earlier in the week.

It was a:

史诗级营销灾难 (Shǐshī jí yíngxiāo zāinàn) – marketing disaster of epic proportions

This is one of a number of recent ‘car crash’ events of brand ambassadors in China:

品牌代言人翻车事件 (Pǐnpái dàiyánrén fānchē shìjiàn) – brand ambassador car crash events

Stand-up comedian Yang Li (杨笠) was hired by Intel for a campaign that started last Friday, using a play on words of her ‘average but confident’ (普确信) sketch criticising men, to highlight the high standards of its new laptop:

英特尔的眼光太高了,比我挑对象的眼光都高 – Intels standards are so high; even higher than my own in choosing a partner

Intel was hit by a wave of male criticism, alleging that Intel customers, who apparently are mostly men, were offended by Yang Li. Intel quickly and inelegantly took the ad down, leading to an opposing wave of female criticism:

女的只要张口说一句话就会被认为是女权,男的怎么骂都没有关系 – so women are accused of being feminists on simply opening their mouths; and men can say what they want!

Another recent car crash, not quite as epic, but similar for other reasons, was male comedian Li Dan (李诞) being hired as brand ambassador by Chinese female underwear brand Ubras, whose words understandably infuriated women:

 一个让女性轻松躺赢的职场装备 – “make it easy for women to win in the workplace lying down”

It doesn’t take a marketing genius to realise that’s not going to wash.

Yang Li, on the other hand, seemed to cause offence simply because of what she represents to some men, who apparently lack a sense of humour – proving her point made in this brilliant sketch.

Both Yang Li and Li Dan caused offence by wading into an emotive topic in China: antagonising the opposite sex.

性别对立 (Xìngbié duìlì) – antagonising the opposite sex; also 男女对立

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