Shirtless in Hong Kong: the giant bodies of outdoor advertising

Killing time in Tsim Sha Tsui, I leaned on the rail near the Star Ferry Pier and gazed at the sunset. It was only after standing there awhile that I noticed the giant Canon advertisement. And only after awhile longer that I wondered why the man holding the camera was shirtless:
Hong Kong outdoor camera ad

At Christmas time, I ducked into someplace in Causeway Bay for coffee and was greeted with this view of an enormous crotch and pair of breasts:

Hong Kong outdoor underwear ad

And last autumn, these giant photoshopped waifs — almost appearing to be made of elastic — appeared on Queen’s Road, Central:

Hong Kong outdoor slimming ad

I suppose the only thing that makes these advertisements odd, is that most people in Hong Kong are not very flashy and don’t actively display their sexuality. Young men and women wear jeans and sneakers like a uniform and a typical middle-age couple looks like this:

Hongkongers on the MTR

But I suppose they wouldn’t sell much.

(With thanks to my mom, Linda Brown, for snapping the last two photos.)

16 responses to “Shirtless in Hong Kong: the giant bodies of outdoor advertising

  1. You’re train shot looks just like what happens in Singapore. An entire tube filled with people looking at their mobile devices. In Singapore, I find women’s fashions quite girly, and maybe even child like.

    • The way lots of people dress in Hong Kong actually reminds me a bit of Seattle: pretended nonchalance. Both Seattle and HK also dress pretty androgynously. Hadn’t really thought about that until this post!

  2. I love looking at the billboards and ads in foreign countries. My most favorite one in the world was one in Ghana, a huge billboard, with a truck driver waving a condom out of the driver’s window and the slogan reading: If it’s not on, it’s not in!

  3. Hahahaha! LOVED this one, especially the awesome contrasting pictures (ad world vs. the real world.) Your photos of gigantic billboards made me miss HK (are there still little green POAD signs throughout the city?)

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