“The Mole” in Hong Kong
Despite competition from the Internet and smart devices for people’s leisure time, TV remains an influential media, and reality shows continue to be a popular form of mass entertainment.
In the Netherlands, the game show Wie is de Mol, meaning Who is the Mole, has a rating second only to that of the country’s national news programme, with each episode watched by over two million viewers. In each season, the contestants go to one or several cities to take up challenges where the cities’ local cultures and landscapes are smoothly woven in.
For season 14, the crew, including 10 Dutch celebrities, filmed five episodes in Hong Kong. Many of the challenges were adrenaline-boosting – dangling from the dam in Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, for example – while others involved the local culture – spotting fellow contestants in a traditional Cantonese opera performance in a bamboo theatre, and asking for directions in Cantonese. Hong Kong’s extraordinary skyline and iconic Victoria Harbour took centre stage in one challenge, in which teams had to send messages across the harbour to other teams with laser beams and torches during the Symphony of Lights.
The five episodes vividly brought to the eyes of the Dutch audience Hong Kong’s dynamic city life and buzzing energy. On average, the Hong Kong segment of the show had 2.7 million viewers, not to mention many more who watched the show on YouTube.
In the Netherlands, one of Hong Kong’s new markets, the HKTB’s strategy is to raise destination awareness through PR initiatives and building relationships with the Dutch travel trade.