Becoham – David Beckham Inspired Chinese Condoms

Thu, Feb 26, 2009

Chinese Culture, World Culture


So the story supposedly goes like this.  A Chinese condom manufacturing company was suffering lackluster sales in the marketplace.  In effort to boost sales the company tried one last tactic by changing the brand name to “Becoham” which in Chinese sounds exactly like Beckham, as in David Beckham, the celebrity soccer player.  Thanks to this change now Becoham is the most popular brand of condom in China. Here is the yahoo news blurb that reported this.

This was naturally intriguing to me and curiosity got the best of me.  I had to see what a box of Becoham’s looked like. I searched around and thought I had found what I was searching for thanks to the guys at galleryoftheabsurd, a picture of an actual box of these condoms

artist-rendering-of-becoham-condomsHowever, if you can read Chinese or if you just loo at this image long enough, you’ll realize that no company would actually approve such a box.  It is hilarious, though.  My search continued.  Then through sheer luck I hit upon a Chinese article from talking about the story (in Chinese) and there right at the top of the page was what I was looking for.  The actual box of Becoham (not to be confused with Beckham) condoms:


My Chinese skills are way too rudimentary to get all the details from the news story, but in it they interview a representative of the company and he had this to say:

薛先生说,“贝壳汉母”配套注册的英文标签是“BECOHAM”,由英文“be a coham”缩写而来,意思是要做“安全套中的可汗”,即套中之王,“可汗”的英文为“coham”或“kan”。作为商标标签,在注册时将“be a coham”缩写为“becoham”,音译则为“贝壳汉母”,并非球星David·beckham——大卫·贝克汉姆。

People who have much better Chinese skills than me can help me with the exact translation, but the gist of the quote says that he wasn’t trying to name it after David Beckham which in Chinese is 贝克汉姆, but instead he was trying to say the English phrase “Be a coham” which he then translated directly to 贝克汉姆 which are the exact same characters as Beckham.  If it sounds confusing and fishy, it’s because it is.  Is it as bad as the other unauthorized Viagra ads which also feature Beckham?  Probably not, but still questionable.

If you would like to learn more feel free to check out the official Becoham website and Becoham gallery (warning both links lead to Chinese websites).  They do have a cute little mascot where they proclaim “Safety is number 1!”


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Noah James Says:

    David Beckham is my idol and i wish that i was as good as him in the game of football..:-

  2. Thomas Williams Says:

    you can always say that david beckham is a living legend when it comes to football,,”

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