A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon something really exciting in 7-Eleven — a peppermint oil and menthol snort stick! The tube has two openings so you can either shake drops of oil out or sniff its aroma. According to the packaging, users can “freshen to relax, massage to relieve or pocket to travel.”
Just as intriguing as the snort stick was the guy on the packaging. At first glance, he appeared to be Golden Melody Award (金曲獎, Jīnqǔ Jiǎng) winning Taiwanese singer Crowd Lu (盧廣仲, Lú Guǎngzhòng). But I couldn’t figure out why a big star like Lu would be advertising a snort stick — or why he was using the name 陳漢典 (Chén Hàndiǎn), which was printed in tiny letters on the right-hand side of the packaging.
Then I found this Apple Daily (蘋果日報) news article about Chen’s endorsement deal with mark II. Chen is a “B-list” (or B咖, B-kā) actor who is known for his celebrity impersonations and “face made of rubber.”
I just love this — a semi-celebrity impersonating a bona fide celebrity to sell what basically amounts to nasal spray. I was so excited by my new purchase that I rubbed a liberal amount of mark II on my shoulders and spent an evening alternating between working on an article and waving the wand underneath my nostrils. And then I got a really horrible migraine. The moral of the story is: being easily amused makes you sick.
Another new thing I learned: Lu’s distinctive bowl cut is called a “toilet lid” (馬桶蓋, mǎtǒng gài) in the Apple Daily article. I imagine there are some nicer sounding names out there, however, especially since I’ve seen more than one guy with the Lu cut. I can’t imagine anyone walking into a salon and asking for the “toilet lid.”
Anyway, speaking of intriguing celebrity endorsements, here is another one that I am not going to write about because I don’t want all sorts of weird searches ending up at this blog: