China's Year of the Monkey is coming, and there are sure to be countless primate-themed campaigns. The holiday isn't until Feb. 8, but Pepsi got a head start with a six-minute viral video that's had over 15 million views in a week. It's not about a monkey exactly; it's about a performer who played a monkey in a 1980s TV show. If you're not Chinese, the whole concept requires a bit of explanation.
The retro TV show was based on "Journey to the West," a classic Chinese tale about a clever, mischievous monkey king with magical powers. The monkey king has been China's national superhero since the 16th century.
"The Monkey King to us is like 'Star Wars,'" said Danielle Jin, PepsiCo's VP for beverages in greater China. "The story itself is sort of like Batman or Spiderman meets 'Lord of the Rings.'"