The mythical power of the pink dollar has ironically always been as hard to quantify as it is to escape the nowadays almost ubiquitous attempts by the commercial world in Hong Kong to take advantage of it. Sky-high black bodies wearing Calvin Klein underwear gaze down from Central’s high-rise buildings or from the massive billboards that help while away the time for those stuck in the Cross Harbour Tunnel jam. The approach is now so common that when metrosexuality in magazine and TV ads slides over into homoeroticism scarcely anyone notices.
Yet until now, the minority of retailers who have aimed at the pink dollar have maintained a wall of silence about what is clearly one of the major features of their campaigns. So much so, that when Erman Akinoi, a young American documentary film maker with GS Productions, came up from KL at the end of 2008 to make a film about the commercial search for the pink dollar in Asia, he was stonewalled and eventually had to give up the project. The shyness, presumably, is for fear of what a firm’s other customers will think if brought face to face with marketing reality. The lack of openness, though, has till now prevented advertising agencies from being able openly to focus their clients’ campaigns on the lucrative segment of the market. It makes, in short, no commercial sense.
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