If you ever wanted to see Shaquille O’Neal drinking beer with Chinese guys and doing a funny dance, you just got your chance.
Shaq has been starring in Harbin’s ads throughout the year. During the NBA finals broadcast on CCTV, he was shown delivering a bucket of Harbin beers to someone’s table. Here’s Shaq celebrating the year of the lamb in a Chinese New Year advertisement poster (via my Instagram):
In the newest ads, Harbin uses the tagline 一起哈啤 (“yi-qi ha-pi”). This is a funny play on words that means both “Harbin together” and “Happy together.” 一起 means “together”, 哈 is the first character in Harbin (哈尔滨, which is the capital of China’s northernmost province, Heilongjiang), and 啤 is the character for beer (啤酒). Put 哈 (“ha”) and 啤 (“pi”) together, and it sounds like “ha-pi” or “happy.”
In related videos, here is Shaq apparently writing Chinese characters:
And here’s another Shaq ad for Harbin beer from a few years ago:
Mitchell Blatt is a travel writer, editor, and columnist who has lived and worked in China for six years. He is an author of two guidebooks, Panda Guides Hong Kong and Panda Guides China. He has been published in National Interest.org, The Korea Times, The Shanghai Daily, Roads & Kingdoms, Vagabond Journey, City Weekend, Silkwinds and The World of Chinese, among other outlets. See examples of his published articles.