“Shengdiyage” (pronouced “Shung Dee Yah Guh”) is a Chinese fertilizer company that has achieved notoriety through their television marketing campaign, which relies on the use of low-grade foreign actors (ESL teachers perhaps?) to back up outlandish claims. Outlandish claims like linking the company to agricultural revolutions around the globe, several U.S. ex-Presidents, and the entire American aristocracy.
Shengdiyage seems to be the pinyin for San Diego, but other than the pronunciation there is no clear connection between the city and the company. China’s online Baidu Encyclopedia, however, does have a listing for the company and describes their main product, Jin Ke La (“Golden Clumps”), as “non-polluting, non-harmful, long-lasting, seedling-strengthening and disease resistant while improving soil, increasing crop-yields, quality and more. It was countries and regions like China, Japan and Africa that started the agro-craze. Agriculturally advanced countries including America, England and France are now in fierce competition for Jin Ke La.”
The use of foreign influence to peddle a domestic brand is not uncommon in China: there are countless examples of a Chinese company using a “white face” to add a bit of prestige to their product, but no one comes close to Shengdiyage’s brazen genius in this regard.
In video linked on the right, an African of unknown origin and a Japanese man struggle to gain control of a truck load of Jin Ke La (notice the distinguished old white man on the side of the truck). They scream Jin Ke La repeatedly in clumsy, retarded Chinese. The African eventually punches the Japanese and an American comes in to stop the fight, telling them to come up with the best reason why one should buy Jin Ke La. Whomsoever comes up with the better reason, gets the truckload. An English translation of the exchange:
Japanese, African: Jinkela! Jinkela! It’s ours! Ours!
American: What are you doing??
Japanese, African: Jinkela! Jinkela! It’s ours! Ours!
African: I want Jinkela! African agriculture is undeveloped. We need Jinkela!
Japanese: I want Jinkela! Japan lacks natural resources. We need to use Jinkela!
Japanese, African: Jinkela! Mine! Mine!
African: Mine, dammit!
American: No fighting! No fighting! Whoever better states the benefits of Jinkela will be awarded with the product.
African: Africa needs Jinkela, our agricultural infrastructure is undeveloped. Jinkela doesn’t run-off or evaporate!!
Japanese: Japan lacks natural resources, we need it. Jinkela nourishes roots two meters deep!!
African: World fertilizer prices are going up. Use Jinkela! Twice the potency, half the cost!
Japanese: Use Jinkela for millet and get 1,800 jin per mu. Japan no longer needs to rely on American imports for its grain! Hahaha!
American: (to self) Clever devil! If I give him the Jinkela, it’s a threat to American agriculture. I won’t do that.
American: African agriculture is underdeveloped. We need to aid them. Don’t even think about getting the Jinkela, Japan.
Japanese: Sneaky! What will happen to our crops without Jinkela? Jinkela!!!
The commercial demonstrates the power of the fertilizer in Third World countries as well as developed countries, but assures the background dominance of the Chinese product overall. Shengdiyage’s crude racism might work in backward parts of China, but for the educated web-savvy populace of this nation, the commercials are just pure entertainment.
Ever since the tainted milk scandal, Chinese food inspectors have been strict in enforcing safety standards, while advertising remains largely unregulated. A general argument goes “While it is a shame, it’s will remain uncontrollable due to our oversized population and poverty.”
Now that video looks pretty poor and might not qualify as best in show, but things get better for the Shengdiyago Co. In this next commercial linked on the right, they really up the ante, featuring Presidents Clinton and Bush, actors in white capes and flashing lights. They claim that every US President visits the Shengdiyago headquarters before stepping into the White House, to consult with company officials about the right path for America’s agricultural development.
They also claim to have a special fertilizer from America with twice the potency of ordinary fertilizer. The very same stuff that helped America rise to the top of the world and will help China do the same. They sell all over the world and are engaged in discussions with G8 leaders on on a weekly basis. The daring of it all is really admirable.
Some of the claims made in the video linked above:
“Jin Ke La props up America’s agriculture…. It has become self-evident that Jin Ke La is the nuclear weapon that has changed national agricultural.”
“Large scale computer positioning refines this product from 80 kinds of scarce minerals at precisely 30,000 degrees Celsius!”
“One kilogram of Jin Ke La can be valued at up to 5 million dollars!”
“Jin Ke La has helped over 68 countries realize agricultural modernization (more so in Africa!)”
“Over 3000 freight trains, 1000 cargo ships and 500 planes carry Jin Ke La to over 129 countries around the world, daily!”
“Jin Ke La came to China in 2007, at the turning point when Sino-US relations had proven an honest 30 years, helping Chinese agriculture to soar!”
“Jin Ke La was named “Greatest Discovery in the Promotion of Agricultural Development in the 21st Century” by the United Nation’s Agricultural Cooperatives Organization.”
“Experiments conducted in 129 countries have proven: Using Jin Ke La is a small investment with huge gains!”
“NASA has proven through research that Jin Ke La is an effective component in terra-forming Mars, substantially increasing the survival rate of plants and driving forward the program for human migration.”
“Believe in Jin Ke La and you can be the president of America!”
For more, you can check out more Jinkela videos on Tudou and take a look at their company site. Perhaps one of these days we’ll actually start switching our ordinary fertilizer with the doubly-potent Presidential-grade Jin Ke La.
Notice: Reed assisted in research and translation of this article. Thanks!