After the end of days, development had been the first priority. With the technological levels back then, development of the industry needed unavoidable sacrifices of certain things, such as the environment. Other than Muzhou, the other eleven continents all experienced a severe stifling period, so much so that the people then wondered whether they had made the right choice and if the world would just go to ruin. Should they halt the development at hand and create spaceships to visit other planets in search of a new place to survive?
After all this had boiled over, new energy sources had already surpassed the original sources. Construction was faster and technology invalidated a lot of toxic emissions. The twelve continents in the New Era had really stabilized. But aside from Muzhou, the other continents did not have much suitable land for growing crops, so a lot of the materials for producing food stuff were cultivated without soil and other different methods.
After 500 years passed, Muzhou's status as one of the four special continents continued to exist peacefully. This was also a rule set by everybody, not to interfere with Muzhou's development. Even if there were people who wanted to transform Muzhou and the people there did not oppose, the other continents would not allow it.
There were people that once said, Muzhou was the last clean soil. Hence, in this world, when it came to food, Muzhou had a special place. Families with good conditions would choose to get their food from Muzhou and were more inclined toward the so-called "natural" foodstuffs.
Generally speaking, Muzhou's well-known companies did not need an ambassador to boost their popularity. Among the public, their influence was very hard to displace. As Su Feng's Four Elephants company was a very young brand, when given the choice of a product of a similar type and price between two companies, people would definitely choose the more familiar brand. Su Feng had sought out celebrities in other continents to endorse his products, and there had been results. They just were not as good as he had expected. Many other companies also looked for celebrities to endorse their products as well.
Su Feng had decided to try it out at Yanzhou, but this time, instead of finding a real-life celebrity, he chose to find a virtual idol whose image was close to "natural," Polar Light. And it just so happened that Polar Light was popular at the moment.
"Polar Light?" Hearing Su Feng, Fang Zhao understood what he meant. "It is indeed a good opinion, however..."
Fang Zhao looked Su Feng in the eye and said seriously, "The endorsement fees for Polar Light won't be cheap."
Su Feng laughed as if he had just heard a joke. "Don't worry, even though our company just started out, when it comes funding, paying for an endorsement ambassador is not a problem."
Su Feng thought to himself that Fang Zhao did not understand the market for endorsements. Polar Light was indeed on the uprise in Yanzhou and was quite popular, but he still could not really compare with those really big name superstars whose endorsement fees could be considered to be sky high. Polar Light's would only cost a few millions.
As he was about to explain to Fang Zhao, Fang Zhao received a notification on his communications device.
"Sorry, I need a moment." Fang Zhao walked out of the room to answer the call.
Su Feng indicated he understood and sat in the room, thinking about whether or not he should explain to Fang Zhao about the market for endorsements.
Outside, Fang Zhao had received a voice call from Duan Qianji.
"Fang Zhao, are you still in Muzhou?" Duan Qianji's tone sounded like she was in a good mood. Something good must have happened.
"I still have some matters over here," Fang Zhao replied.
"If the matters are not important, leave it first and return to the company for a bit to sign a contract with Fiery Bird. They have selected Polar Light to be the spokesperson for 'Battle of the Century'!" Duan Qianji could not help laughing as she spoke. After waiting for so long, they'd finally gotten the result they wanted.
"Apparently it seems like you are not surprised?" Duan Qianji's acute senses could guess as much. Although there was no video projection, she could sense that Fang Zhao did not have much of a reaction. This was one of the reasons many employees in Silver Wing feared Duan Qianji; even without using her eyes, she could tell what one was up to and whether they were lying.
"Early in the morning, Hua Li had sent me a message that just said 'congratulations.' Looking at the timing, I guessed that it probably had to do with the endorsement deal," Fang Zhao replied.
As Hua Li was the head of Fiery Bird's sound effects department, he would have received the news earlier. Duan Qianji understood this and did not ask any more, instead urging once more, "So you need to hurry back. As the person in charge of the virtual projects department, the contract has to be signed personally by you."
"Wait a bit, I still have a matter here." Fang Zhao then told her the situation regarding Su Feng and Polar Light's endorsement.
"Got it. Go and pack your stuff and prepare to leave. I will arrange for someone to discuss terms with Su Feng."
Curly Hair's hair endorsement deal could be decided by Fang Zhao, as Curly Hair was his personal property. However, for Polar Light's deal, it had to go through Silver Wing's personnel, as Polar Light was a company asset.
Su Feng had never expected to be able to discuss with Duan Qianji directly. At first, he was calmly discussing, but once Duan Qianji informed him of the price, Su Feng nearly dropped his communications device.
Su Feng was shocked by the figure. "One hundred million? And only for one year? Boss Duan, since when did Yanzhou's endorsement fee get raised that much?"
Many A-lister celebrities' fees for this sort of endorsement deal could be signed for less than 50 million for two years, and there were many choices. At present, Mi Yu, who was termed as Yanzhou's number one virtual idol, had an endorsement fee of about 150 million, but that was for two years. Andy Leo, who had a similar reputation, garnered a fee of 120 million for two years as well. To think that Silver Wing's virtual idol—who'd only risen to prominence less than a year ago and was not as popular as Mi Yu and Andy Leo—would demand a fear of 100 million for one year?! Did they think that Muzhou people had no brains?!
Duan Qianji took no offense to Su Feng's tone and just told him the matter of Fiery Bird coming to the decision of having Polar Light endorse "Battle of the Century."
Su Feng was fuming. He obviously knew what this meant. Stifling back his words for a bit, he then said, "Even if he was chosen by Fiery Bird, your price is too high!"
Su Hou had gone out for a run, and when he returned, he saw his cousin standing there, his face distorting nonstop as if he was discussing something of great importance.
When Su Feng looked up and saw that Su Hou had returned, he took a deep breath, got up, and left.
The next day, Four Elephants and Silver Wing's Polar Light came to an official decision for cooperation.
Su Feng had not only taken into account Polar Light's appearance and his influence in Yanzhou, he'd also taken into consideration Fang Zhao, who was the person standing behind Polar Light. Su Feng believed that, as long as Fang Zhao was there, Polar Light would only continue to rise.
When he thought about what he understood from Fang Zhao's information, all Su Feng could think about was how frightening Fang Zhao was. In just a little more than a year, he had risen from being an obscure intern to a reputable hotshot in the music circles. He had completed a global lecture tour, supported Silver Wing's entire virtual projects department, and even attracted the colossal Fiery Bird's attention. He had even made his dog's value soar to 50 million.
Could this be a flash in the pan?
Su Feng was not one to concede or listen to what others said. Instead, he believed that, in the near future, this young person would become even hotter. Although he could not guess how, that was what his intuition told him.
Su Feng knew he was taking a risk. If the market proved that he was wrong, he would be ridiculed by those in the industry. This he did not mind, but what he cared about was the few Su elders living on Qingtai Mountain. He had wanted to earn more benefits and resources from the elders after producing results and showing them. However, if he failed, he did not even need to think about it.
As Su Feng and the person Duan Qianji had sent were discussing the concrete details of the contract, Fang Zhao had already boarded the flying transport headed back to Yanzhou. Curly Hair stayed behind in Muzhou once more, continuing to train with the other shepherd dogs as they prepared for the finals.
Once more returning to Yanzhou, the moment Fang Zhao stepped into the department, all eyes were on him.
"Boss! You're back!" After Zu Wen and the others had finished shouting, they looked behind Fang Zhao then beside his leg, finding nothing. "Curly Hair did not come back?"
"He is staying in Muzhou to train. He still has to train for the finals," Fang Zhao said.
Zu Wen and the others gathered around Fang Zhao and asked him about the happenings over in Muzhou and inquired as to Fang Zhao's thoughts on having a dog with a $50 million value that would continue to rise.
When they had seen the news, the entire virtual projects department had been full of shrieks and had scared Du Ang, who, when he'd to visit the 50th floor, had thought an accident had happened.
Back then, before he left, Fang Zhao had said that he was heading out to expand his professional services, but who knew that it would really happen. The department members had already received news of the endorsement collaboration with Muzhou's side. As for the concrete details, it would be arranged before they were informed.
As they thought about Polar Light's endorsement fee, and then Curly Hair's value, Zu Wen and the others could not help but think that this department was becoming rich and powerful.
"Tsk, boss when you were abroad, you could still stir up the news." Zu Wen shook his head and sighed ruefully. "Muzhou is really a crazy place. Oh, right, can we go over and watch Curly Hair's final live?"
"We shall see the situation when the time comes. If there are no assignments at the company, we can organize a trip to Muzhou," Fang Zhao replied.
"On company expenses?" Zu Wen asked.
"If the company does not approve, I will sponsor it myself."
Fang Zhao's answer drew cheers from everyone in the department.
"But for now, we have to prepare for the signing ceremony with Fiery Bird."
The next day, Fang Zhao brought a few key members of the virtual projects team over to Fiery Bird's Yanzhou branch. There, a signing ceremony would be held.
Many people had not expected that, in the end, Fiery Bird would pick Polar Light, who had only appeared less than a year ago, as Yanzhou's spokesperson. Even though Polar Light had only come in third place in the online popularity poll, it had not affected Fiery Bird's final decision.
Photos and videos of the signing ceremony were spread quickly. Fiery Bird's choice of Polar Light as the spokesperson of "Battle of the Century" spread widely across Yanzhou's gaming circles.
Five days later, Fiery Bird had a public post on its website. It was a picture of twelve warriors. On it were the virtual idols that were the twelve representatives of the respective twelve continents. Polar Light was the only non-human virtual idol, and his image on that picture was from his "100-Year Period of Destruction" music video, where his branches were muscled and he took on a human-like form for battle.
"On October 1, 'Battle of the Century' will be officially released."