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Producer tells story behind ambitious promotional video
Published on: 2011-01-24
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Three years ago when Jason Shen stood in Times Square for the first time, he did not expect that a video clip he produced could be shown at the "Crossroads of the World."

"In the eyes of an advertisement specialist, Times Square is a dream, where the biggest screen is as tall as a four-story building and every day about 70,000 passengers could see the ads," said the chief executive officer of Shanghai Lowe & Partners advertising company, which won the bidding of producing China's national image video.

"Our biggest challenge was how to show a real China within just 60 seconds," he recalled.

He believed that the main theme should be human beings. "The persons appearing in the video clip were like messengers to convey China's friendliness to the world."

The video was a step China takes in its foreign relations efforts.

John Woo was excited to hear about the plan to make such a publicity video, according to Shen.

Deng Yaping, the Olympic table tennis champion, was not sure how to pose in front of the camera. All celebrities appeared in the video free-of-charge.

The smiling faces at the end of the 60-second video were gathered at the Shanghai World Expo, when it was hot and the temperature reached 40 C.

But Shen and his team were left with some pity. "It was not easy to have six astronauts including Yang Liwei in the filming. But we could have made the video more lively by asking them to change more poses."

Shen was questioned if the 59 people in the video could fully represent China.

"A good advertisement should give audiences strong visual impact and be enlightening," he said. "I believe that the celebrities and ordinary people from all walks of life could represent a mild and elegant image of China."

The 60-second video is being shown 15 times every hour in Times Square from January 17 to February 14. It is expected to be aired on CNN from January 17 to February 13.

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