The truth about Bruce Lee playing ping pong with nunchucks

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Use of the nunchaku was popularized by Bruce Lee in several of his movies, most notably Enter the Dragon. Game of Death was released posthumously in 1978, and also featured extensive use of the nunchaku.

Then in 2008, footage appeared that appeared to show Lee playing ping pong with nunchuks.

Questions were raised about the veracity of the clip, and eventually the truth came out. It was a video created to go viral to market the Nokia N96 Limited Edition Bruce Lee cell phone. It worked – the YouTube video has nearly 20,000,000 views.

It was the creation of Polly Chu, the Chief Creative Officer for the Beijing office of J. Walter Thompson, the fourth-largest ad agenct network in the world. An actor pretended to play ping-pong, matching the sounds of an actual ping pong match. The ball was added digitally afterwards.


Effective viral relies on an idea that is ‘very’ – very amazing, very funny, very disgusting, or very rude etc,” explained Chu to Agency.Asia. “Only when people find it interesting enough, they will spend time with it and share it to others. That makes it ‘viral’.

“Bruce Lee had ‘very’ amazing skills and we knew we had to be true to the legend. Thankfully, we also have a ‘very’ open-minded client who champions and knows the value of great creative.

“We’ve done an estimate on how much it would have cost for paid placements on links like YouTube, Youku, etc. The figures came up to millions of dollars.

“A little harder to measure, but equally valuable, is the ‘cool factor’ it has given the Nokia brand globally. The inspiration behind the idea comes from the teams’ love for Bruce Lee personally.”