The Rise of Consumer Culture in a Chinese Society: A Reading of Banking Television Commercials in the 1970s of Hong Kong
Wong, Wendy Siuyi
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In this article, I analyze 2 case studies of television advertising campaigns for banking services during the 1970s and early 1980s in Hong Kong, those of Hang Seng Bank and HongkongBank. Advertising from this period saw consumer society emerge as traditional values and themes were adjusted to fit the imperatives of capitalism. The earlier Hang Seng Bank campaign focused on the traditional banking practice of saving, encouraging customers to work hard and gradually accumulate wealth. The later HongkongBank campaign encouraged spending, immediate gratification of material desires, and symbolic status achieved through acquisition of goods. As the case studies show, this process entailed the reconfiguration of traditional Chinese values to accommodate the arrival of consumerism in Hong Kong, a Chinese society.