Yao Ming made a surprise appearance at the 14th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition yesterday, to shill BMW’s new models. Pictures and a brief account of Yao’s appearance can be found in this Detroit Free Press blog post by Chrissie Thompson. Thompson, a Free Press business reporter and apparently a frequent visitor to auto shows, has an interesting perspective on one difference between shows in China and elsewhere in the world—a strong preference for hoopla in the form of celebrities, dancing girls and pop music:
Western reporters often view too much hoopla or production during auto show reveals as distraction from good product. Just let us see the car, maybe after unveiling it in a short, dramatic fashion. Don’t put a rock star in front of it. One set of dancers might be acceptable. More than one dance? We might start wondering whether the automaker is compensating for a lack of product.
Not in China. Here, automakers say, reporters and bystanders alike expect a show – and the bigger, the better.”
Read the rest of Thompson’s post and see her photos here.
Tags: cars, Shanghai, sports marketing, Yao Ming