From Zombie Bruce Lee To Keanu Reeves: China’s Top 5 Luxury Ads Of 2013

Social media and video sharing sites mean that the typical commercial isn’t so typical anymore. In 2013, luxury video ads in China took on a variety of formats, ranging from small feature films to informal interviews with famous figures. Look below for our list of the year, and click here for more year-end coverage.

1. Johnnie Walker’s CGI Bruce Lee video

While many Westerners were creeped out when the Scotch brand brought the martial arts star back from the dead, the ad—or “inspirational video,” in the words of the director—received pretty positive attention in China (although Bruce Lee fans weren’t as impressed). The video was just one installation of the company’s “Game Changer” campaign, which also featured still-living figures including director Jia Zhangke and architect Ma Yansong.

2. Volkswagen’s Keanu Reeves mini-movie

High-speed car chase scenes can make cars look awesome, which is why rather than waiting around for its models to be featured in films, Volkswagen decided to make its own. The German brand enlisted Matrix star Keanu Reeves for its high-octane mini-movie, which focused on Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini models zooming down China’s roads as much as it did on the actors themselves.


3. Porsche’s 50th anniversary video

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its 911 model, the luxury automaker went all out with a spectacular animated show at Beijing’s Imperial Ancestral Temple. To build up hype for the anniversary, the brand also released a musical video tailored for the China market featuring its cars through the years.


4. Cartier’s Tank MC ad starring Andy Lau

To celebrate the launch of its new Tank MC watch unveiled during Watches & Wonders in Hong Kong, Cartier created a short film featuring Hong Kong actor Andy Lau rushing through Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district on his way to a performance, while the watch helps him stay both punctual and stylish.

5. IWC’s “Globetrotter” video series

Embracing the time-honored luxury brand tradition of teaming up with artists to promote a sophisticated image, the watchmaker profiled artist Wang Luyan for its “Globetrotter” campaign. In the video, Wang discusses his recommendations for the top places to visit in Beijing, as well as his use of watches in his own artwork.