It’s a tale as old as time. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy prowls Shanghai in a tuxedo while exchanging photos with girl who is herself drifting around an active movie lot with her Huawei P9. The kind of narrative that really tugs at the heartstrings.
The stylishly shot commercial aims to showcase the Huawei P9’s much lauded camera by having the couple playfully compete with photos. However, as is often the case with these ads, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for our lead roles to be Scarlett Johansson and Henry Cavill beyond name recognition. There’s no dialogue, little acting… what gives? Why fork over the cash for these A-list stars when you could play out the entire concept with some cheaper bit players.
Bit player is kind of key word here, because that’s what Huawei currently is in the American market. The Chinese company is making a hard push to becoming a household name in the USA, and it’s doing so by hitching its wagon to the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Henry Cavill. It’s no accident that the action in the commercial takes place both in China and the US, perhaps the most archetypical set pieces for the two respective countries. After all, what’s more American than a cowboy on a film set or Superman in a tux?
It’s a clever bit of work that crams a lot of ideas into the span of thirty seconds, and reading just a bit beneath the surface reveals Huawei’s motives immediately. However, whether or not this ad campaign will make an American case for the company remains to be seen. It certainly lacks the panache and humor of Samsung’s recent Lil Wayne commercials for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but we look forward to seeing where they take it.