Chapter 177 – Celebrities endorsements Part 1
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Among the male celebrities at that time, the celebrity that fits the requirement of Feng Yu and Li Mingde was Zhu Simao. He had handsome features and his movies, dramas, skits were well received by the whole of China. By the standards of the future, Zhu Simao was China’s top male celebrity. He was on par with Hong Kong’s Chow Yun-fat status.
Hong Kong’s celebrities’ charges at least 10 times more than China’s celebrities. But the effect was not as effective. The people that watched Hong Kong movies were much lesser than the ones who had watched Zhu Simao’s movies and skits.
Feng Yu believed that if he could get Zhu Simao to endorse his motorcycles, Songjiang Motor brand and sales would be significantly increased due to his great popularity and his fans. But Zhu Simao and his partner seldom do commercials and product endorsements. He did not even perform at nightclubs even when he was offered a high offer by the nightclub bosses.
His bald partner was interviewed in the mid-90s and mentioned something that shocked the whole nation.
The host had asked him if the rumors of his endorsement fees being the highest in China and there was someone who offered him over 10 million RMB for him to star in a commercial was true.
Baldy Chen replied that it depends on his mood whether if he accepts to act in any commercials. He does not lack money. If he were in a bad mood, he would not consider even if the deal was in the millions and when he was in a good mood, he would be the spokesperson for as low as 100,000 to 200,000 RMB.
Although the rates if Zhu Simao now was not so high, but it should be above 100,000 RMB. This rate was acceptable to Feng Yu. He could even accept rates of 1 million RMB. If Zhu Simao was able to rope in his partner, Baldy Chen, Feng Yu was willing to pay even more
This Zhu Simao was also interesting. He must try out the product of the commercial first, and if he felt that the product was as good as it claimed and did not deceive the audience, then he would accept to act in the commercial! This was nothing to Feng Yu. It’s only a motorcycle. He could just give it to him for free!
Feng Yu was now thinking of the story for the commercial. How can he portray the features of Songjiang motorcycle within 15 seconds and at the same time not make Zhu Simao felt contempt?
Songjiang motorcycles come along with 2 helmets to increase the safety f the rider and pillion, and let people think that they had gotten a good deal.
The motorcycle helmet was first created by the Soviets and was given free with any purchase of Ural and Sunrise motorcycles. Later, Japanese motorcycles also started to give out free helmets for their bikes. But no matter which country, only one helmet was given as a free gift. Only Songjiang motorcycles were giving out two helmets!
Feng Yu suddenly thought of the primary purpose of motorcycles at that time. You believe that it was for convenience?
The primary function of a motorcycle at that time was to woo girls!
Riding a motorcycle out now was the same as riding a bicycle a few years ago and the same as driving a sports car in the future years. Chances of asking a girl out and the affection from the girl would increase.
The demographics of the consumers buying motorcycles at that time was between 18 to 30, and all are male. There were almost no girls riding motorcycles even for the 50 cc bikes.
Many young adults ride bikes were not for the convenience but to attract attention. It was just a tool used for flaunting. Feng Yu thought of an idea which was to give the audience a subtle hint, a celebrity’s influence.
Feng Yu must also get an actress too, and she must be well-known to achieve the best results.
The most active actress at that time was Liu Daqing!
She was named the most controversial actress by the viewers in future and was one of the highest paid actresses in China. She had gotten lots of acting awards but was also jailed before. Her acting skills were still considered one of the best.
In the future years, her acting career might not be doing that well, but now, everyone was praising her. In 1991, she went into business and set up many companies in different industries. She made a lot of money in the 90s.
If Zhu Simao and Liu Daqing team up, this commercial would be starring the most popular commercial stars at that time. Unless someone could invite senior celebrities like Zhao Zhongxiang and Li Gu to act in an ad, no one could beat this Zhu Simao and Liu Daqing team!
The image of Zhao Zhongxiang and the rest were not suitable for motorcycles.
After Feng Yu finished with the storyline, script and the actions of the commercial, he applied for leave from his school again and traveled to Beijing with Wu Zhigang.
These 2 celebrities did not have any agents as they were considered "state-owned workers”. Zhu Simao was an actor with August First Film Studio, and Liu Daqing was with Beijing Film Studio. They can be found at their respective units.
Feng Yu went to August First Film Studio first. Zhu Simao was rehearsing for a play, and the performance was on the day after tomorrow. Feng Yu was sitting in the stands watching Zhu Simao’s performance. What a good actor!
This was much better than those idols in the future years. Excellent acting skills, stage performance and the most important of all was the exaggerated expression shown, even this was a rehearsal. This was what Feng Yu was looking for.
After the rehearsal, the actors and actresses went to the backstage to changes and Zhu Simao was called over to Feng Yu.
“Xiao Zhu, this is Manager Feng Yu and Manager Wu Zhigang from Bing City. They wanted to discuss something with you.”
Zhu Simao curiously looked at Feng Yu and Wu Zhigang. He did not know these 2 people, and they are so young, yet they are managers?
“Why are you looking for me? Which company are you from?” Zhu Simao thought that they were here to invite him to perform at some company functions. He had rejected a lot of these offers even though the rates were good. He felt that his performance would be too monetarized and this was not in-line with his character.
His unit had provided him with an apartment, and his salary was enough to take care of his family. What’s the point of earning more? He doesn’t even have the time to polish his acting skills.
Feng Yu took out his name card and gave it to Zhu Simao: “Mr. Zhu, we are here to invite you to star in our commercial. It’s a motorcycle commercial. The actress will be Liu Daqing!”
“Who? Liu Daqing? Motorcycle Commercial? Tai Hua Trading? You are importing motorcycles?”
Feng Yu does not blame Zhu Simao for making this assumption. Almost 80% of the motorcycles at that time were imported. Although there were domestic motorcycles, the production was low, and the performance was not good. The marketing was also poorly done.
“No, our motorcycles are locally manufactured. The factory that manufactures the motorcycles is Bing City’s Machinery Company. This is the picture of our motorcycle. You can take a look.”
Domestic brand? Bing City? What sort of good products can be produced from that rural area? If it was 10 years ago, when Bing City was still one of the leading industrial cities in China, it might be possible. But now, it’s quite impossible.
Zhu Simao took the photograph from Feng Yu. Eh, this motorcycle is beautiful!
Was this really locally produced?
This Machinery Company from Bing City could really produce such quality motorcycles?
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