Archive

Shop

Vivian Yong and Jody Xiong

Wondering in other worlds: Vivian Yong and Jody Xiong

Interview

For an insider’s track on Shanghai, we asked Vivian Yong, executive creative director of W+K Shanghai, to discuss with Jody Xiong, founder/director at The Nine Shanghai, how they think and thrive in mainland China’s biggest and most international of cities.

Vivian was born and raised in Hong Kong, which helps explain why she speaks three languages fluently. Her career began in 1999 at M&C Saatchi, Ogilvy and then McCann Erickson.

Her desire to experience cultural difference took her to London for postgraduate studies and then she became a writer on UK art and culture. She joined W+K Shanghai in 2012 and stepped up to ECD in 2017. She has created influential integrated brand ideas for major international brands such as Nike, Ikea, BMW, P&G, Corona & HP Omen, and has also created impactful China-based campaigns for Tiffany, Levi’s & Oppo, which were adapted for global markets. Vivian was honored in Adweek’s Creative 100 in 2021, Women to Watch by Campaign Asia in 2021 and was the Greater China Jury Chair of the Andy Awards in 2022.

Jody was born in Hunan Province. He graduated from Hunan University of Technology Business and the Central Academy of Arts & Design, and the New York Film Academy director class in China. He was digital director and visual artist for the Opening Ceremony of both the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. He worked as a creative director in leading advertising agencies for 18 years before founding his ‘creative lab’, The Nine Shanghai. He was named Top 12 Asia’s Most Awarded Creative Leaders in CampaignBrief Asia Creative Rankings in 2021, and is the recipient of over 500 creative awards and recognitions, including China’s first Gold Lions in Design. He was named one of the top designers by Forbes China and his works have featured in NY MoMA, TIME, Wired, Huffington Post, CANAL+, and many other media outlets.

Lurzer’s Archive

Log In

©2024 Lürzer's Archive. All Rights Reserved.

Newsletter

By signing up to the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

More Info

1/0

Images

Prev Next

Wondering in other worlds: Vivian Yong and Jody Xiong

Your cart is empty

Your Bag

Bag Total

Subtotal Cart empty

Shipping Calculated at Checkout

Checkout

For an insider’s track on Shanghai, we asked Vivian Yong, executive creative director of W+K Shanghai, to discuss with Jody Xiong, founder/director at The Nine Shanghai, how they think and thrive in mainland China’s biggest and most international of cities.

Vivian was born and raised in Hong Kong, which helps explain why she speaks three languages fluently. Her career began in 1999 at M&C Saatchi, Ogilvy and then McCann Erickson.

Her desire to experience cultural difference took her to London for postgraduate studies and then she became a writer on UK art and culture. She joined W+K Shanghai in 2012 and stepped up to ECD in 2017. She has created influential integrated brand ideas for major international brands such as Nike, Ikea, BMW, P&G, Corona & HP Omen, and has also created impactful China-based campaigns for Tiffany, Levi’s & Oppo, which were adapted for global markets. Vivian was honored in Adweek’s Creative 100 in 2021, Women to Watch by Campaign Asia in 2021 and was the Greater China Jury Chair of the Andy Awards in 2022.

Jody was born in Hunan Province. He graduated from Hunan University of Technology Business and the Central Academy of Arts & Design, and the New York Film Academy director class in China. He was digital director and visual artist for the Opening Ceremony of both the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. He worked as a creative director in leading advertising agencies for 18 years before founding his ‘creative lab’, The Nine Shanghai. He was named Top 12 Asia’s Most Awarded Creative Leaders in CampaignBrief Asia Creative Rankings in 2021, and is the recipient of over 500 creative awards and recognitions, including China’s first Gold Lions in Design. He was named one of the top designers by Forbes China and his works have featured in NY MoMA, TIME, Wired, Huffington Post, CANAL+, and many other media outlets.

VY Jody, your presence in the advertising industry is truly one-of-a-kind. Your works have a strong personal style and include almost no copy. Often you turn the brand message or the product benefit into an art installation, using visuals to guide the audiences through to a deeper meaning beneath the surface. In China, where copy and taglines are overemphasized, nobody does ads your way.

JX Thank you VY for the kind words. I was a CD in agencies for 18 years. Everything followed an established path and it felt like a production line in a factory. I had little room for my ambition or for errors. I wanted to push the boundary of advertising and do stuff that had never been done before. For many agencies that would be too risky and frowned upon. It became clear to me that I needed my own stage. So I founded The Nine (pronounced ‘Jiu Yao’ in Chinese). The Nine is not just an ad agency or a design studio but more like a creative, or commercial art, lab. The character ‘Yao’ in ancient Chinese means ‘energy’. In the ever-changing market today, clients’ expectations are getting higher. They don’t just need a print or TV commercial. Instead, they seek more unique approaches to creative communication… perhaps a play, a performance art, a song… At The Nine, we distill human insight and integrate technology, art, design, aesthetics, entertainment and events together in our aim to connect brands and their audiences. This is why I started The Nine.

Our clients are diverse, and they come with various requests, from brand upgrade, package design, art installation to spatial design, toy design and films. My role keeps changing and it allows me to get a taste of different lives. Why not! At The Nine, we only have nine full-time employees. We always strive to stay sharp and be at the forefront of things. We have done many different projects but they are far from enough.

Every creator, more or less, brings their own experience and life stories into their works. What I do involves multiple disciplines and it’s really hard to define. In the music video What We Wish that we did for Times China, a real estate company, I was a creative; in Customized Love Company, where we created a 12-meter tall Coca-Cola bottle split in half, I was an artist; in Safely Feel The Real World, a brand film for Durex x Volvo, I was a film director; in Guess Which Book Is It, designed for Zhihu and Yan Ji You Bookstore, I was a sculptor; in Handheld Concert, a project we did for Rokid, a portable speaker brand, I was a stage designer; in the Experience Museum of Miaojiang Patterns displayed at the Export Expo for Guiyang Government, I was a space designer; in Twelve Maids, the cultural and creative product designed for Daming Palace in Xi’an, I was a product designer; in Intelligent Head, an 15-ton installation I did for Vatti during the Appliance and Electronics Expo, I was an architect…

VY The Nine means you are juggling nine roles! Indeed, it is important to be versatile and take an interest in a range of things, tech, art, social affairs and pop culture… At W+K, we also endeavor to recruit talent like this. We aren’t interested in conventional advertising people; instead, we want to bring together weirdos who can create works that completely stand out in the market. In our office, we have an art director who used to be a football coach in the UK; he went on to make Dare To Become during the 2018 World Cup for Nike, a film that hypothesizes a world where China’s football team dominates the world. It is the most watched Nike film of all time.

We have a copywriter who is a poet/claymaker/artist, an account person who plays chess professionally, a planner who was an actor in Taiwan. This mix of different people allows us to create culture.

JX W+K is a world-leading creative hub. The Shanghai office has masterminded so many exceptional works. It represents the highest standard of the advertising industry in China and yet at the same time it keeps a very low profile. Your office is really special. Instead of being decorated with prizes and trophies, your staircase wall is decked with quirky portraits of your employees. How did this idea come about?

VY We believe ‘Work Comes First’ but without our people we wouldn’t be able to do any of it. So across the W+K network, we have a proud tradition of hanging portraits of employees at the entrance, created in the style of each local office. For example, portraits in our Tokyo office are in the style of 80s pop idols and our New Delhi office incorporates religious symbols in their portraits.

In China, since food plays such an important role, we came up with an idea titled Home Town Food Face where each employee selects a food from their hometown to showcase our cultural diversity.

We have a colleague, Yuting, from Beijing, whose favorite dish is Beijing hotpot. So we created an ornate crown using a copper hotpot, filled with Beijing local delicacies such as mutton slices and an assortment of vegetables. We also designed a necklace, earrings and a headband with herbs often used for the hotpot soup base, like longan, Lotus seeds, star anise, and goji berries.

And for Ian, from Cincinnati, his favorite hometown food is from a restaurant called Skyline Chili. So we created a spaghetti hat with cheese shreds, a classic dish from Skyline Chili, and a necklace with hexagonal biscuits.

Since I am from Hong Kong, my food-face consists of iconic elements from Hong Kong greasy spoon cafés, such as milk tea, pineapple buns, and a gingham tablecloth. For every portrait we hand-picked the food, consulted our designers and crafted our look and props. Everything was shot in a makeshift studio in our office gym. The images are permeated with our colleagues’ unique personalities and stories. With just a glance, you can feel the vibe of W+K Shanghai.

This reminds me of The Bloom, your Beijing Winter Paralympics project that serves to demonstrate the willpower of physically challenged individuals. You brought together people with disabilities who selected their favorite color of paint and used a brain- wave-capturing device to create a vibrant artwork. It’s a powerful piece that resonated with so many people and caused a huge emotional wave. What was the inspiration?

JX To my surprise, last year, Zhang Yimou happened to be looking for creative talents around China. Wang Zhiou, the head of visual effect for the Winter Olympics and founder of Blackbow, a digital technology company, referred me to Zhang, and luckily I was invited to join his team as the visual effects director and visual artist for the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Zhang Yimou is an internationally-acclaimed movie maker and the first person to have directed the opening ceremony for both summer and winter Olympics. We had countless rounds of brainstorming sessions, discussions, presentations, revisions and representations with him. He kept stressing the importance of using China’s creative power to tell a ‘romantic Chinese story’ that combines digital, design, tech, performance and art. It needed to feel ethereal, aesthetically pleasing and romantic in its tone, and take advantage of the horizontal and vertical screens available at the Bird’s Nest stadium. It was a difficult and lengthy process, full of uncertainties, surprises and excitement. The creative team led by Zhang rejected idea after idea, paving the way for ideas to become better and better. In the final plan for the opening ceremony, I was one of the visual effects directors and worked with Blackbow for two segments of the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony: Rites of Spring and Tribute to the People.

The Winter Paralympics kicked off at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing on March 4 2022. Zhang also invited me to be the director and visual artist for a short film there to be featured in the opening ceremony. So I created a tech art installation named The Bloom. This was an art piece working with a group of disabled individuals dedicated to the Paralympics. The participants each picked their favorite colors of paint and we placed them in balloons with detonators. The brainwave-capturing device they wore sent their brain signals to trigger the balloons to detonate, causing the paints to be splashed onto a blank canvas. The mixture of vivid colors come together to form an abstract smiley face, indicating the way we welcome people from around the world. It is a tech and art experiment, an expression of the strength of the disabled.

The Bloom drew inspiration from something I did back in 2014 called Mind Art. Zhang really enjoyed it, so he asked me to bring the same concept to life in the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Mind Art was more like a magical surrealist experiment that came from a thought I often had about the connection between the infinite universe and us tiny individuals, and my attempts to visualize the power of minds. Mind Art itself is based on two theories: the widely accepted Big Bang theory and the ancient wisdom about the interactions between the universe and mankind. I believe everything that happens around us, everything we do, every choice we make, though they seem random on the surface, in fact contain all the information there is in the universe.

In The Bloom, each participant is asked to pick their favorite color of paint and use a brainwave-capturing device to trigger the detonation. To me, this is a subtle interaction between mankind and the universe. When the paints are splashed onto the canvas, it is a visualization of every participant’s inner cosmos.

To me, this is a subtle interaction between mankind and the universe. When the paints are splashed onto the canvas, it is a visualization of every participant’s inner cosmos.

Jody Xiong

To me, this is a subtle interaction between mankind and the universe. When the paints are splashed onto the canvas, it is a visualization of every participant’s inner cosmos

fred

The process reflects the choice each individual makes. The final product contains all the interactive information between the individual and the universe. The theoretical basis of the Big Bang is also the visual device in this experiment. Zhang also invited Cai Guo-Qiang, a globally renowned artist, for brainstorming sessions with the team in order to calibrate this project to be more in line with the theme of the Winter Olympics. This turned our original plan upside down, and revamped The Bloom: 12 individuals with disabilities, creating a colorful smiley face around a circular canvas 8m in diameter, a symbol of friendship, peace, happiness, and togetherness. This smiley face went on to become one of the most important visual symbols during the opening ceremony.

Mind control is already quite well-established technology. We also hired Li Daquan, a tech engineer and CUSOFT, a brainwave tech company, to support the team. With their help we were able to bring the brainwave-controlled paint explosion to life. The participants may be physically challenged, but their minds are not.

By the way, I was impressed by Beijing99 that you did for Nike. The market was buzzing for it and it earned a Clio Sport Award in 2020. 99 originally-designed jerseys, really stunning. What was the story behind the campaign?

VY It was to celebrate streetball culture in Beijing. To a lot of non-Beijingers, Beijingers have a reputation of talking big and that they like to brag. We wanted to challenge streetballers in Beijing to back up their talk with concrete actions and to show that Beijingers don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk too. As such, we launched a basketball tournament named ‘Beijing99’ inspired by the ancient military and civilian rank system in China, with each rank corresponding to a different mythical beast embroidered on the robe courtiers wear. Our art directors worked with five illustrators and designed 99 one-of-a-kind basketball jerseys based on that system. Ten mythical beasts, including dragon, kirin, lion, leopard, and tiger, indicate 10 different ranks, with 99 jerseys to rank players’ performance on the court. The only way to get their hands on these jerseys is to fight and use their game to win one, and prove that they are one of the top 99 basketball players in Beijing.

The idea blends culture from imperial times in Beijing with Beijingers’ vibe and the competitiveness of streetballers. The three worlds collide to create the 99 unique designs. We also created a film to tease out the details of the jerseys, and placed posters designed with elements from ancient China all over famed architecture in Beijing. The entire city was lit. It was the talk of the town at the time. Thousands of players signed up to the tournament. And that was not all. As these jerseys can only be won and are not for sale in Nike stores, they began to crop up on the black market with a five-figure resell price. Unintentionally, it triggered a second-wave of discussions online.

I remember The Nine also did something similar, using a cultural symbol to create something really special, and it was the sculpture installation you built for Yan Ji You Bookstore right? Called Guess Which Book Is It? It picked up an ADC award in New York and became a Cannes finalist. The most fascinating thing about this idea, to me, is how much it resembles lantern riddles in ancient China. They drew people in to guess what the answer
is. However your riddles are not articulated through words but visually as sculptures that recreate scenes in a 3D version of classic literature. It got every bookworm intrigued to guess which book the sculptures are based on. What was the creative process like?

JX Yan Ji You is a famous chain bookstore in China. The name is a little like a riddle. In the Chinese language, the three characters ‘yan’, ‘ji’ and ‘you’ compose the character of ‘she’as in ‘sheji’ which means ‘to design’. The store is very artistic, from the decoration to the selection of products, as it stresses the aesthetics of reading and calls for the ‘unique concept of reading’. I believe people visualize things in their heads when they read as if they are wandering in another world. So I thought I could visualize each book and the unique universe it represents through the approach of famous plots.

We chose eight bestsellers from different categories including children, finance management, literature, sci-fi, psychology, art, design and life aesthetics, etc. Then, we brought the classic plots in these books to life through sculptures and made a series of showcase designs. For example, we made a beetle lying on a bed from Kafka’s Metamorphosis; a ferocious wolf sneaking into the chimney from the famous British fairy tale The Three Little Pigs; Houdini’s escaping arts, pregnant robot, one-legged bride and the woman with beard from Shuji Terayama’s Fantasy Library, etc. In order to make it more interesting and interactive, the consumers were given chances to guess what the book is according to the sculptures and those who guessed right would be offered a discount. This idea is, for sure, simple. But to me, only simple ideas are good ideas. Of course, the difficulty of executing it is another story.

This idea is, for sure, simple. But to me, only simple ideas are good ideas. Of course, the difficulty of executing it is another story.

Jody Xiong

VY Engaging the readers in interaction without saying anything is really interesting.

JX In 2006, I was a CD in DDB Shanghai. I could see through the big window from the office the huge glass sphere of the famous Metro-City shopping mall. That was when an idea flashed through my mind: what if we do something with this construction? And in 2018, you did it! You cleverly combined this sphere to the image of Earth and created Run the World for Nike by using LED digital image devices. It was a hit. How did you sell this simple yet powerful idea to the client?

VY This project is based on Nike’s repositioning of its React collections. The sneakers are seen as so comfortable and light that people from around the world couldn’t help themselves but keep running. And the power they then generate from their run must be so big that it could even make the earth go round. The client wanted us to create a stunt based on this positioning. Our creatives thought of the famous landmark of Metro-City, which happens to be a huge LED ball, and with projection it looks like the earth. If we could add a screen on top of the ball, it would seem like whoever runs there, that they are moving the Earth with their own feet.

It was a great idea and an easy sell. What was difficult was the execution. It took a lot of effort for us to persuade Metro-City to put up a screen on the sphere and build the treadmill on the ground, projecting images of celebrities and athletes onto the screen while they run. On the day of the event we almost got kicked out because too many people came. Luckily the team and the client worked together and finished the event despite all the obstacles. It was shocking to see that on the spot. It actually looked like Su Bingtian and Edison Chen and others made the glowing Earth go round. The event drew attention from the press and triggered wide discussions on the Internet. Our hard work paid off.

Now I’d like to talk about hongbaos (red envelopes) since we both happened to have an idea relating to it. We adopted very different approaches. May I ask first. I know about you because I saw the hongbaos with Chairman Mao that you designed during the 2017 Spring Festival. The design was so simple, it was just cutting out a piece of the cover so that it reveals the head of Chairman Mao on the bill. In recent years, a lot of Chinese designers are design- ing hongbaos but none of them have done anything this bold and unexpected – that hongbaos triggered sales as well as discussions. How did you come up with something so clever?

JX In traditional Chinese cultures, hongbao refers to a red paper packet with money inside. It is not only a carrier of gift money during celebrations, but also carries the blessings and wishes of the giver. However, the appearance of the red pocket has not changed fundamentally since their birth. The design of Chairman Mao’s red packet originated from a project initiated by Yiku (a design website) called Hongbao from Home. At that time, they invited designers from 32 provinces and cities in China to design Spring Festival hongbaos that incorporated elements from their hometown, hoping to breathe new life into the traditional hongbao design. I guess I’m lucky because I’m from Hunan. The key words most people can think of for Hunan are: chili and Chairman Mao.

Although China’s advertising law prohibits the use of the image of national leaders for business purposes, it is known that every RMB note has the head of Chairman Mao on it. It was just such a coincidence. So I cut out a circle on the hongbao, and when the RMB is slid into the envelop, it just reveals the head of Chairman Mao, and the back of the red envelope is printed with Chairman Mao’s slogan ‘The Chinese people have become rich’, which also happens to be a good New Year’s wish to the whole nation. The design is simple and effective, overturning the previous uniform design of red envelopes. The sizes of different notes are different. The cutting board I made was the size of 100 yuan since 100 yuan is red, looks festive and a natural fit with the color of the hongbao.

At that time, this hongbao design was reposted by loads`of people in China, because everyone likes to see the portrait of Chairman Mao (as it denotes money). It was especially interesting that my elementary school classmate, who had not been in touch for decades, reached out to me when he saw this design. I was also invited by Hunan TV, the most popular Chinese TV station, onto its variety show Happy Camp with this design. I met movie stars, and had the chance to be seen by hundreds of millions of Chinese viewers. Unfortunately, the design copyright cannot be registered because of the portrait of Chairman Mao. Every Spring Festival, tens of thousands of pirated Chairman Mao red packets go into the market. That makes my heart ache!

VY I think the most interesting part of this idea is that usually, the hongbao covers up the bill, so that the recipient will not immediately know the value of the bills placed inside. But in fact, whoever receives and gives it knows all too well that any amount less than 100 yuan is considered stingy. But now, the hole on the envelope immediately makes the giver look good and the receiver happy. What it reveals is not just a portrait on the bill, but also the hidden human feelings in the tradition, which is a very clever move!

JX Personally, I really like the film that you guys created for Nike for the Spring Festival, The Great Chase. It perfectly shows how the Chinese people half-decline-and-accept when receiving a hongbao. It is so true and so humorous. The sneakers are featured seamlessly as well. It’s hard to imagine that this film was produced by an international creative agency and directed by a foreign director, Steve Ayson. And your partner is Ian Toombs from the US. It’s shocking that you can capture the authenticity of Chinese culture. How do you do that?

VY Since Ian and I started working together, we both shared the vision to make W+K Shanghai a cultural hotpot. The team shouldn’t be entirely local or entirely foreign. Everyone will pour their cultural backgrounds and creative inspirations into the hotpot, so that the ideas cooked are both culturally rich and original.

Everyone will pour their cultural backgrounds and creative inspirations into the hotpot, so that the ideas cooked are both culturally rich and original.

Vivian Yong

The hongbao film is the product of such a hotpot team. This film came from a challenging brief. Nike wanted to make their first-ever Chinese New Year film. The reason Nike hadn’t done a Spring Festival ad for many years was because traditionally we don’t have the habit of exercising during the holiday. On the contrary, Spring Festival is the laziest day of the year for us. We sleep, we eat and repeat at home, and keep eating when we go out for a visit, so the nature of Spring Festival and the spirit of Nike are exactly the opposite! So how can a foreign sports brand tell a story that is true to the occasion and does not contradict the brand’s beliefs during one of the most traditional cultural moments in China? Our creative team came up with the Chinese custom of handing out hongbaos during the Spring Festival and turned it into an annual running race between an aunt and her niece spanning over a decade.

The copywriter in charge is a native of Yangzhou, China; the art director is a native of Hubei who studied in Singapore; the CD is from the US; the director is from New Zealand, and the clients are from all over the world. One of the characteristics of such a team is that they will try to dig deep into the authentic details of the Hong- bao cultural scene, while at the same time they hope to tell a story that can move all people with universal human truths. I think the reason that this is a powerful film is precisely because the people in the team are not from the same province or country, so as we crafted the story we had to keep discussing because you had to explain to people from different backgrounds every detail: that meant every element was well thought out and interesting to the viewer.

JX I also saw the case you did for HP Omen, which is very creative and quirky. Is this so Hong Kong and magical because you are from Hong Kong? How do you balance your personal style with the brand’s ethos in your work?

VY Just like The Great Chase, the creative team for Omen is from all over the world! The CD is from Taiwan, the director from England, and one copywriter from Vancouver, Canada and another Guangzhou. So instead of saying it’s a Hong Kong style, it’s a creative explosion of various cultures colliding. This combination is also in line with the modern game culture.

Because many game players love to watch dramas from Europe, America, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, and they love the video platform Bilibili, which is also a melting pot of global cultures. Therefore, it’s not that we are building the brand’s ethos but more that our creative world is as diverse as the target audience.

The background of this idea comes from a pain point of gamers, which is that society holds prejudices against them, thinking that they are addicted to the virtual world and neglect their studies and regular jobs. However, when we took over the Omen project, we did research and found that there are scientific studies that prove games can train the brain’s ability of planning, organizing and coordinating. Therefore, we came up with the brand positioning of ‘Achieve Gamefulness’, hoping to defend gamers: games are not drugs, but brain vitamins! We made three films to create a virtual world like the training ground, with characters’ brains visible through glass skulls.

Then we designed a brainwave scanning device for Omen at China Joy, the largest game expo in China, to transform the brain waves generated by gamers during fierce battles into colorful animations, so that the world can see how brains are activated and tested in game-play.

The response later proved that the line ‘Achieve Gamefulness’ really speaks to the hearts of players. This hashtag has been viewed more than 260 million times on Weibo and became a catchphrase among players.

Let’s talk about Kung Fu Water. When I saw this film, I was amazed. In addition to being unexpected and whimsical, it takes a fresh approach to present a feature of Chinese food culture: Chinese people really eat everything! If this film were launched in Europe and the United States, the food chain would probably be cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, fish and some seafood, and it would soon be over. But because this is for the Chinese audience to see, the food chain can be very long. There are a lot of strange creatures we eat! Why do you call this film Kung Fu Water? What is its relationship with Kung Fu?

JX Vivian, you mentioned that Chinese people love to eat everything, and they do! Every meal is rich and diverse, chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, bullfrog, blowfish… The pots and pans are sticky with all kinds of greasy stains, which are especially difficult to wash. The most powerful function of the Vatti dishwasher, our client’s product, is that it uses different angles of water to rinse away the dirt and bacteria layer by layer. Bruce Lee once used water to describe the essence of Kung Fu, saying ‘be like water’ . He explained: ‘Kung Fu – the best example would be a glass of water. Why? Because water is the softest substance in the world, but yet it can penetrate the hardest rock or anything – granite, you name it. Water also is insubstantial; by that I mean you cannot grasp hold of it, you cannot punch it and hurt it. So every Kung Fu man is trying to do that; to be soft like water, and flexible and adapt to the opponent.’

So, we personified the water in the dishwasher as the water man who practiced Kung Fu and took actions to rinse off stains that have also come alive. The rinsed fish spits out the chicken, the chicken spits out the bullfrog, the bullfrog spits out the pig, the pig spits out the octopus, the octopus spits out the goose, the goose spits out the cow… Finally, under the whirlwind power of the water man, the eel spits out a clean white plate. Through the form of humor and exaggeration, it reflects the powerful intelligent function of Vatti’s Trinity Health Dishwasher, which ‘washes away layers of stain’. This dishwasher is so powerful that ordinary water will become a martial arts master who can easily eliminate all the residues and grease of stains.

We Chinese are good at developing new recipes, so there are many interesting inspirations we can use. After the film was released, some people on the Internet criticized us for ‘mistreating animals for the sake of making a commercial film’. In fact, these are all 3D animations, which in a way also reflects that our art director is quite good. For the first time, I felt happy to be dissed.

NFT has been taking the world by storm. As a leading creative agency in China, are you ready?

Jody Xiong

NFT has been taking the world by storm. As a leading creative agency in China, are you ready?

VY We did an NFT project for HP Omen. Like all our works, we want to make it collectible, but more importantly it needed to deliver a message. In 2021, a new law was enacted in China, limiting people under 18 to two hours of gaming per week. As a player-centric brand, Omen asked us to think about what we could do for players.

We couldn’t oppose it, so we found roundabouts and celebrated the birthdays of adult gamers who turned 18, after which point they were finally able to play as much as they wanted. Because of this law, a gamer’s 18th birthday becomes more meaningful.

We came up with the idea of using an NFT as a birthday gift.

We collaborated with a 3D animator in the UK to create an animated short film, and then turned 575 frames of the film into 575 NFTs for the 575 gamers who would turn 18 in 2021, giving them a surprise and also feeling that Omen really understands their hearts and pain points.

You also created a series of NFT collections. They’re very stylish and personal. Fans snatched them up the moment they were launched. What was the concept behind the creation?

JX On April 22, World Environment Day, I released a set of NFT collections called Waste-Sorting Blind Box under the name of my personal studio, with the theme of Waste Separation. In Shanghai now, one has to sort personal waste based on a set of newly introduced regulations, which can seem puzzling to some. Against this backdrop, I designed 30 adorable licensed figurines using recycled trash, turning waste into objects of desire: glass bottles, banana peels, cigarette butts, expired pills, broken bulbs and used face masks etc.

A series of metro posters were created for people to scan with mobile phones and participate in the Guess What Kind of Waste I Am? quiz. Winners would then have a chance to win a Blind Box. Bin-shaped vending machines were also set up in the metro stations where people can purchase Waste-Sorting Blind Boxes via their mobile phone payment system. A graphic description of fun facts about the waste classification system is attached, raising awareness of waste separation.The difference this time is that we gave the NFT collections a more complex and grand narrative. Among them is also a hidden-gem collection, which centers around the pandemic in Shanghai. Over 6000 NFTs were sold out overnight, totalling 300k RMB in sales. It was a boost of confidence for me as it was my first attempt into the NFT world.

As a creative, I am always happy to interpret and execute the brief in the most creative and precise way to bring freshness and beauty to the client and the market. But at the same time, as creatives, we must never lose the ability to create freely. No matter what I do, I will never stop creating. For me that is one of the greatest joys in life.

You are approaching your free content limit

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

You have reached your free content limit… Become a member for unlimited access to luerzersarchive.com