Hawker Resorts to Bizarre Marketing Strategy in Guangzhou

Michael Taylor, publisher of the Accidental Travel Writer,  is spending a week in Guangzhou, China, exploring story ideas, and sometimes he stumbles across something unexpected.

Take, for example, the rather bizarre marketing strategy of a street hawker in the city’s Dongshan District, who was attempting to sell some contraption for ladies’ hair. It caused Michael to do a double take. But passing ladies seemed less than impressed.

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Exploring the streets of Guangzhou, China, this afternoon (31 July 2011), I saw this bizarre spectacle which – from a distance – looked a bit weird. And the closer I got, the weirder it got.

Something that looked like a woman’s severed head appeared to be rotating – first from left to right, then from right to left.

As I walked closer, I discovered that a street side hawker had put a mannequin’s head on top of a camera tripod, and he was spinning it to demonstrate his product, which was some type of device that women could use to arrange their hair into a bun or a flip or a ponytail (see picture, above – and note the impassive expression on the face of two female passers-by).

Cheap and Easy to Use

“It is easy to cheap and easy to use,” he intoned in Mandarin. “It will make you both glamorous and stylish.”

Noticing that he had attracted the attention of a couple of male passers-by, the hawker made eye contact with us and shouted, “Buy one for your mother and another for your auntie!”

It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. I took this shot with my mobile phone and only regretted that I couldn’t have recorded this scenario on video.

And in retrospect, I thought, maybe I should have offered to buy his tripod!

Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: two women, obviously unimpressed, walk by impassively as a street side hawker in Guangzhou, China, attempts to convince them that they would be much more elegant with one of his wares Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer

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