Last class we watched news clips of the Chinese ad promoting the Chinese president's visit to the United States. With an apparent "go big or go home" mentality, the the ad was put in Times Square, NYC, and slated to run some 300 times a day for three days straight. Seems pretty impressive....until you see the video. The video shows what China believed to be international celebrities (who?) standing still while their names were superimposed on the screen (Good, because I sure didn't know who the heck they were).
This ad seems to be a failed attempt of China to use soft power. The term soft power, coined by Joseph Nye in the early 1990's, is basically the ability to make others want what you want, achieved by using intangible resources like culture, ideologies and institutions (Zahran and Ramos). China tried to identify with the American public by showing figures they thought held some relevance and credibility for Americans. This seemed to fail as I'm pretty sure not many Americans could name some of the people depicted if you paid them. What the ad DID show was sticky power, meaning economic power. The ad showed that China can afford to obnoxiously stream a bunch of jumbo-trons in Times Square 24/7, and by that I am impressed.