The video smartly examines the state of the “idol culture” that’s currently sweeping through China. The story is set in a so-called “Post-Anthropocene” era in the future where Kun, a visitor, sets foot in a “Museum of Mankind” and is puzzled by a man-made man that looks exactly like himself. It’s meant to provoke viewers into wondering ‘who is the real or original Kun?’ “In the future, this is an ethical question regarding the idea of man-made humans,” said Fei in the statement. “Like clones, it will result in a conflict between the species.” The video also seems to also hint at Kun’s dual identity — the idol Kun from the point of view of his fans versus the regular human Kun — demanding viewers to consider what version of their idol they’re getting. The campaign itself doesn’t bashing — or praise — idol culture, because either would risk turning off Chinese consumers.
So far, fans’ online comments are overwhelmingly positive, and the campaign, which debuted on Weibo, has been forwarded by more than 1 million people, many of who even shared a picture of their purchase receipt as a show of support. Even some of the toughest fashion critics in China liked the Prada campaign, with most referring to Kun as the latest Prada spokesperson. Among the posts that generated more than 10K pageviews on WeChat, Chrison作势 recognized Prada’s effort to stay relevant with the current generation by including more diverse male stars in China (and around the world) like Kun. Another critic named Byfresh loved Prada’s philosophical approach towards the appointment of Kun and its campaign, and his perspective seemed to reach readers. One reacted positively, saying, “I want to become an Intellectual wearing Prada.”
“It used to be this one-way relationship between fans and idol, you can only write to them, or attend meet-ups,” the artist Fei added about fan culture in China, “but the internet really makes it a two-way street…an important part of idol’s success has to do with their fans.” This is something that brands — even ones with reputations like Prada’s — now understand, and it’s why these idols are clearly the best way to market to their legions of fans.