Bruce Lee, the name alone sparks an instant jovial wave around the world. It doesn’t matter which decade you mainly grew up in; the shadows of Bruce Lee’s great martial art moves have always found their way into your TV and mobile screens.
You might know him from his fantastic kung fu movies, rigorous martial arts training, or his thoughtworthy East meets West philosophy.
A few years back, the technology introduced and reintroduced many social media users and old fans to a breathtakingly fascinating clip of Bruce Lee playing Ping Pong with a Nunchaku, an ancient and traditional martial arts weapon.
People were thoroughly impressed that the star used a Nunchaku instead of a paddle.
The video showcases Bruce Lee playing Ping Pong (Table Tennis) in an empty plot with nothing but a Ping Pong table. The video starts with him playing with one person and servicing the ball with his impressive skills of Nunchaku.
Soon a second person joins the team and plays against Bruce Lee, but he still manages to tackle both of them with his exceptional skills. The video looks like this film was shot in the mid- practice of some practice session.
People forwarded this clip on many Facebook groups claiming that the video is a raw clip during his practice sessions shot in 1970. The footage had now reached various forums talking about the video’s origins.
Many hardcore believers did not budge from their opinion that the video was 100% real and just been found by the media.
We are very sorry to burst your bubble. The video is fake and is not a practice video of Bruce Lee.
Whether you believe it or not, this video was certainly very well received by the Netizens.
You can refer to this chart showing how much popularity this video has received from the launch date.
This video was again resurfaced, which went more viral during November 2012 and July 2013, years after the launch happened in 2008.
Did Bruce Lee play table tennis with nunchucks?
We are sad to announce that Bruce Lee did not play table tennis with nunchucks.
A Bruce Lee look-a-like was used to make people believe that the real Bruce Lee performed the video. The look-a-like was carefully selected by the video makers who took many efforts into finding this guy.
Their primary requirement wasn’t just the face as most look-alikes but the skills and ability to move his body with ease. As Bruce Lee was such a competent player, it would take an outstanding actor to finesse the moves and ultimately fool the audience.
As this video fooled even the most hardcore fans of Bruce Lee, it is safe to say that the makers did an excellent job finding the actor, and the actor himself did the role with superb detailing.
Why was the video made?
We are not new to the wave of catchy advertisements that all agencies try to pull off nearly every time. In the same way, The agency solely created this video for advertisement purposes.
Advertisers didn’t think that the video could get this viral for years, even after airing the ad. This award-winning clip was proudly made by an international advertising agency called the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, specifically the Beijing branch. The main aim was to create an out-of-the-box advertisement to launch the Nokia N96 Limited Edition Bruce Lee mobile phone.
The agency produced this advertisement in 2008 to pay a tribute on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s death. The agency shot and aired the ad just before this Limited Edition Bruce Lee cell phone hit the market.
The Nokia N96 was the latest launch feature of Nokia Flagship, which came with a laser engraved back cover featuring the legendary Bruce Lee, a nunchaku dongle, unique embedded content like images, ringtones, etc., and a Bruce Lee Game of Death collectible figurine.
The advertisement agency created this video to look as if someone shot the video back in the 1960s and early 1970s. The agency hired a very talented film director who has worked with Bruce Lee and knew all the extra detailing.
The video was supposed to look crude, and the angles and sudden cuts ultimately make it look like so. This Beijing-based agency did a fantastic job creating a clip that could fool even the most cynical viewer.
Originally a mere 10-second mini teaser video was released. But the popularity of Bruce Lee with the bizarre and unique visual inculcated an interest within people, making it reach 700,000 views in only the first 24 hours.
As soon as the full version of the video was released, it became apparent that this was an advertisement for the Limited Edition Bruce Lee Phone.
How was the video made?
The creators very smartly made this video with the help of imagination, creativity, and editing software. The team directed the three men on the screen to carry out a routine earlier taught to them.
The practice session did not have any ball but the mere mimicking of a ball. The final shot was filmed as their routine without the ball, and the ping pong ball was later added while editing the film.
Shooting with a ball would have made this 10x harder and impossible, but this way was easy and doable. The extra layer of the old screen made the animation of the ball look natural even when streamed in HD. The actions and different angles look very real irrespective of the shots.
The agency then smartly made it a point to avoid any logo, watermark, or information during the Bruce Lee scenes, so the audience feels that it is a practice shot.
This content piece did not start as a traditional TVC idea; when the agency put forward the concept of this shoot at the initial talking stage, it was considered an idea for an Internet audience and specifically for this medium.
The ad, therefore, does not showcase the general and typical TVC structure. The entire ad is focused on creating a viral “pull” communication channel rather than the usual “push” communication like the TVCs.
Their goal and aim of making the video were to get people excited enough to visit the campaign’s micro-site to learn about the cell phone details. They did not want the video to look like it was bombarding its users with the product information, as it would have taken away the novelty of the video and its idea.
That is how the ideation and execution of the video took place to create such a hyper viral ad.
Why do people still believe it?
There are various reasons compelling reasons behind this, and one such reason is the adept and precision that the agency has in creating the video. People still believe it because the agency did such an excellent job making the video with many details.
The old film instantly feels very raw and unedited, which makes people think it is genuine.
The other significant factor that dictates the entire ping pong video was the personality they chose. If it were some other actor, character, or even ordinary people instead of Bruce Lee, the video would have fall flat.
His immense skills sell the whole idea that someone playing table tennis with nunchucks is possible. It is indeed not something everyone can do but certainly something that Bruce Lee can do.
As we discussed earlier, one more reason for people who believe the video is because the footage has no signs, symbols, and logos of Nokia, so when the teaser was circulated as an actual practice video, many people instantly believed it.
Since the campaign was only designed to carry out through China and no other countries, many people still have no clue about the original phone behind this video, making them believe that the ad was authentic.
The most common reason is the fast-paced lifestyle of the Internet. People constantly consume media shared via thousands of digital channels, apps, and forums. People seldom have the time to find the original video or find a source that states whether it is accurate or not.
Since you have decided to read this article, we know that you are always searching for some real news. To honor that, we have linked an article wherein the Chief Creative Officer Polly Chu has discussed this ad via an interview conducted by the agency. Asia. You can read the article here to understand what the company was thinking in their own words here.
While this hugely popular ad created a considerable buzz, the main motive of the director of the agency was a success. Many Bruce Lee fans feel a little cheated and wished the clip was real but given his mind-boggling records, who are we to say that he couldn’t have done it in real life.