China’s OPPO teases upcoming smartphone with sexism and lame laddishness

Steven Millward
4:15 pm on Aug 28, 2013

Chinese smartphone maker OPPO will launch a new flagship phone soon that’ll have some kind of touch-enabled rear. This feature has turned the OPPO marketing team into a bunch of wit-less, sniggering schoolboys making nudge-nudge insinuations that are plain sexist as well as lame and unfunny.

Two images posted by OPPO to its official Twitter account (see here and here) seem to have sunk to new depths in a desperate attempt to be noticed and drum up any kind of enthusiasm for its next phone. In case OPPO deletes the tweets, we’ll use screenshots instead of Twitter embeds:

OPPO lame and sexist Twitter ads

OPPO lame and sexist Twitter ads

Those images might be worthy of some pfnar-pfnar chuckling at the back of a grade eight geography class, but are not at all suited to a supposedly global company. There’s a place for wit and humor, but it’s neither of those things when it’s childish – or, worse, sexist.

As pointed out by Liz Quilty – a Linux sysadmin and female of the species – in one of the meager five comments that OPPO’s sexist image (top) elicited:

Preferably use words instead of resorting to cheap nude shots of women – maybe you forget we buy phones too?

(Hat-tip to GizChina for spotting OPPO’s ads)

(Editing by Anh-Minh Do)

  • Anas

    I donot see anything sexist in this.. a touch of sensuality maybe.. alll i can say is that you are conservative and old fashioned

    • Steven Millward

      @Anas & co.: if you think the OPPO ad with the female model is fine, you might want to check out an interesting and influential essay called “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” that shows how the scopophilic “male gaze” tends to objectify women, and is therefore a powerful tool of control by the male hierarchy against women. fascinating stuff – it relates to both cinema and advertising, as well as numerous other realms.

  • yash3339

    The fact that it comes from a relatively new company plus the fact that the company has managed to kick some ass makes this look worse. On second thoughts, I believe this is just innocent advertising from OPPO. A few years into the international scene and they’ll know how to advertise better.

  • Mike

    Sexism? Grow up old fashioned boy…

  • Nils Pihl

    The two pictures should switch captions.

  • abc

    @Nils Pihl hahhahahah

  • kko

    The toilet paper, you have to admit, while childish it still expresses pretty damn well what it’s supposed to and I think in most European countries it would be considered a funny and clever ad amongst hundreds of boring phone adverts with smiling young people having fun or fathers talking with their babies over 3G video.
    The female ad is nowhere near sexist. If you think that a nude back as a symbol of sensitivity is demeaning to women, you are either a feminist douchebag or a woman angry that she hasn’t been touched in a while. I would say that this too is a welcome change from advertising with boobs and asses which are sexual, compared to this which is at most sensual and again spot on in showing a feature.
    With or without sexy adverts men will look at women and will be attracted by looks, it’s human nature, simple as that. If you start objectifying and belittling women that is not because you see nudity, that is because you are an asshole, plain and simple.

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