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It’s Not Entirely Clear if CGTN’s New Branding Campaign is Promoting a Country or a TV Channel

If you didn’t know anything about CGTN, China’s state-run international television network, it’d be easy to mistake their new promotional spot as a slickly-produced commercial for the Chinese government’s engagement in Africa.

Images of Chinese contractors dancing with locals, doctors working in African clinics, and blue-helmeted soldiers operating under UN command in South Sudan all flash quickly across the screen in what looks like a dizzying summary of China’s development priorities on the continent.

Only in the last 5 seconds does any reference to CGTN appear, clarifying that the ad is actually promoting a TV channel. 

That said, given that CGTN largely operates as an extension of the Chinese state, there’s really no distinction between the two entities — so if the viewer is confused about what its promoting, well, maybe that’s the point.

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