Having lived in Hong Kong for four and a half years, I had plenty of encounters with all methods of information distribution that this city has to offer. And seeing as I am observing this from a perspective of a small-town European, I can see Hong Kong certainly has quite a knack for bombarding its citizens and visitors with information on every step. Granted, it is a metropolitan jungle so this observation shouldn’t strike me as something unusual seeing as I have visited other major cities like New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Dubai; but each of them with their own unique style of drowning us in visual and auditory commercial content.
” Commuters on the subway or double-decker buses sit with their screens lit and faces tilted downwards. Young people walk the streets with earphones plugged into their iPhones or Androids, pausing always to snap an Instagram picture or a Snapchat of their ‘food porn’. ” (Davis 2018)
I visited Tai Po Mega Mall to gain a broader perspective on both private and public media practices of Hong Kongers. Having that in mind, I was initially reluctant to take photos of people even in a public setting, feeling it might be perceived as somewhat invasive but eventually decided to subtly pursue my photographic documenting after witnessing hundreds of people taking videos and photos of their surrounding and uploading them to their social media. This young couple, for instance, spent a considerable amount of time watching a local romance drama that was conveniently placed right under what appears to be screen showing related ads – from wedding venues to couple activities.
Considering Hong Kong’s dual nature where English and Cantonese peacefully coexist, I decided to see for myself whether distributed information offers an optimal output to both worlds equally. Naturally, MTR is Hong Kong’s timeless trademark and carrying millions of passengers every day, it is bound to be an information hub of sorts and since most stations are normally attached to a mall, an influx of people is expected to be massive. From my observations, these malls are venues that serve a purpose other than just a place to shop or eat at; thanks to this overwhelming media outpour, these malls also take upon roles of social hubs where both people and the advertising companies gain a momentum in their ‘online’ presence.
” As the trend toward unbundling apps and developing niche communities continues, targeting these smaller audiences with more targeted messages may become the more intelligent strategy for many companies rather than going after the larger, more general market. ” (Steimle, 2014)
Public media practices as well as private media practices are also a form of excellent stimulant for the marketing strategies of various companies found across Hong Kong as well as global companies looking to spread their influence among local population. Steimle’s perspective on the marketing aspect is interesting, he claims that app usage is one of the most common form of merging public with private media practices and it seems to be an ever growing trend among Hong Kongers.
1. Davis, H. (2018). What social media platforms run Hong Kong and what are the implications? South China Morning Post. Retrieved from: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2142652/what-social-media-platforms-run-hong-kong-and-what-are
2. Steimle, J. (2014). An Introduction to Social Media in Hong Kong. ClickZ. Retrieved from: https://www.clickz.com/an-introduction-to-social-media-in-hong-kong/28743/