Date
19 November 2018
Hong Kong fire department’s  ‘Anyone’ character has set off a flurry of memes and inspired various private and government entities to leverage the blue theme. Photo: FSD/Facebook video grab
Hong Kong fire department’s ‘Anyone’ character has set off a flurry of memes and inspired various private and government entities to leverage the blue theme. Photo: FSD/Facebook video grab

‘Anyone’ is everyone’s favorite

One can’t recall any government blitz in the recent past that has managed to create so much buzz among the public as the Fire Services Department’s new “Anyone” campaign.

In the past 48 hours, consumer brands, NGOs as well as several government departments have latched on to the FSD’s freshly-created promotional character, offering gleefully on social media their own takes or parodies of the blue creature.

Dressed in blue spandex bodysuit from head to toe, and looking somewhat like Deadpool meets Spider Man, “Yam Hor Yahn” — which literally means “anyone” in Cantonese — was introduced by the FSD at a press conference on Monday.

In a campaign aimed at educating the public on dealing with fire-related emergencies, the FSD went into creative overdrive and came up with a blue-suited character to deliver its message.

And what was the message? Well, it’s that “anyone” – with proper training of course — can help in an emergency situation, including performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a person who is in cardiac arrest.

At the presser, the FSD deployed not one, but two, “anyone”, to offer fire-handling tips and demonstrate things such as using a fire extinguisher and giving emergency aid. 

But more than the message itself, it was the blue-suited characters that became the talking point. 

“Anyone” won applause from the reporters at the event and also became an instant hit on social media.

On Facebook, there were a plethora of comments on the FSD’s new promotional character, with the reactions ranging from appreciation to mirth and some put-downs.

Some netizens wondered why “anyone” was wearing his shorts outside his dress, while some noted with amusement that the character looked anything but belonging to the firefighting force, being rather scrawny and with a little belly showing up beneath his tight suit.

However, the comments only managed to stir even more publicity for the character, prompting various organizations to seize the opportunity to make their own marketing pitches using blue-colored themes.  

Meanwhile, phone calls went around in the ad fraternity – including an agency I am associated with – as people wanted to find out who was the creative mind behind the interesting FSD campaign.

It turns out that the whole thing was an in-house idea of the department.

The campaign was denounced by some as being unpolished and amateurish, but the FSD may be having the last laugh as “anyone” has set the social media alight.

Consumer brands such as Carlsberg, San Miguel and Sony immediately borrowed “anyone” to promote their products, as did the Hong Kong Red Cross, which hopes the new hero can draw more blood to its inventory.

Also, it was no surprise that the Observatory, known as the most creative government department with its always funny campaigns, offered its own salute and adopted the blue theme itself.

Thank you “Anyone” for bringing us so much fun in late autumn.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

EJ Insight writer

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