Chapter 573 The most frightening 'Quit Smoking' advertisement in history?
At the television station.
Fifth floor, Public Service Announcement Department.
Sun Han pushed open the door to the office and proclaimed, "Alright everyone, please stop what you are doing for now. I have invited someone with authority in the industry to assist us on the project for the quit smoking public service ad." Saying that, he gestured to the person beside him. "I don't suppose Teacher Zhang needs any introduction, right? You all should know him. Before we get started, I need to inform everyone that Teacher Zhang is here to help out in a private capacity and will not receive any compensation. This ad's planning will entirely be handled by Teacher Zhang. Before tomorrow's ad approval deadline, every one of us in the Ad Department will follow Teacher Zhang's instructions! Any questions?"
"Teacher Zhang's ads are well-known throughout the country!"
Other than Sun Han, who was the manager, the department had four other people. An old man in his late fifties sat to the left, while a girl who looked to be around 18 or 19 years old sat on the right. It was hard to tell whether she was an employee of the television station or just an intern since she looked so young. In addition, there was a youth wearing a face mask sitting down and coughing intermittently, probably because of the flu. Finally, the remaining member of the team had a cast around his arm. He looked he had suffered a fracture.
When Zhang Ye saw this lineup, he suddenly felt like he had been thrown into the situation without knowing anything beforehand.
What an awesome quartet!
Zhang Ye asked, "It's just the few of us?"
Sun Han felt a bit embarrassed and said, "Our department's setup is just this, but I've already applied for additional manpower from management. There will be others from the advertising department coming over later to help out."
Zhang Ye, left with no choice, said, "Time and tide wait for no man. Let's get started."
Sun Han said, "Right, let's show Teacher Zhang our previous ads first."
"It's right here." The intern girl brought over the files and said, "These are the ads that got axed."
Zhang Ye scanned through the footage and said, "I already know the standards that we have to adhere to. Basically, we cannot show real organs or overly frightening illustrations. What about the duration required for the ad?"
The old man replied, "The required duration is fifteen seconds."
Zhang Ye asked again, "What is the desired effect it must achieve?"
Sun Han hesitated. "Since it is a quit smoking PSA, it should certainly make people feel scared. It can only achieve its objectives as a quit smoking PSA if people are truly scared from the bottoms of their hearts. However, the problem we have now is that the new policies do not allow for those traditional ideas that everyone had always been using. The even older ways, such as showing statistics of death rates due to smoking, won't be effective in spreading the message at all if they're not supported by images. Besides, that method is also outdated, so that's why we're having a difficult time handling this quit smoking PSA. On top of that, we even have only one day left to complete it. We..."
Zhang Ye said, "Scaring people? We do not necessarily have to resort to blood and gore or use real imagery or blackened lungs. Those visual tricks are the lowest form of scare tactics."
When Sun Han noticed that Zhang Ye seemed to be forming some ideas, he hurriedly said, "Teacher Zhang, I am not a professional in this field, so everything will be done according to your ideas. Just tell us what you need and we'll do it."
The awesome quartet also nodded.
At this moment, someone knocked on the door and came in.
"Little Sun, we're here to help out."
"Manager Sun, the head instructed me to come over."
"Manager Little Sun, you needed help? I can help out until 3 PM. Oh, Teacher Zhang? Why is Teacher Zhang here as well? Are you handing this advertisement now?"
"Yo, Teacher Little Zhang?"
Gradually, the colleagues from the other departments started to arrive. Approximately 11 people had come, clearly mobilized from their department's work groups. The head of Beijing Television Station was probably quite worried as well. Otherwise, there wouldn't have been so many staff members sent over to try to help save the situation! When they saw that Zhang Ye was here too, everyone was surprised for a moment and then had a clear understanding about the current situation. They found out that Beijing Television Station had turned to Zhang Ye for help to try to overcome the problem that they were currently facing. But those who had worked at the station last year all knew about the disagreements between these two parties, so they were still surprised that the station had actually invited Zhang Ye to help them out. Also, Zhang Ye had agreed to help them!
However, Zhang Ye did not have the time to explain anything. He was here with only one purpose in mind. As he had promised his friend he would help out, he only wanted to make sure he could complete the task. He thought of nothing else!
There was only a day's time!
Without much funding!
He couldn't go with traditional concepts!
It couldn't have blood and gore!
It must not scare the non-smokers.
Yet, the key was that it still had to be frightening??
In Zhang Ye's mind, he was racing through ideas as he filtered them with the conditions required. Very quickly, a classic 'quit smoking' public service announcement from his previous world presented itself to him-it was ad shown on Central TV from his previous world. At that time, compared to many other outstanding and creative quit smoking ads both locally and abroad, it was not the most humorous, nor was it the most interesting, and it did not even have a singular emphasis on creativeness or topic of interest about it. By analyzing the ad's structure, it did not even seem to fall under the creative advertisement category. Overall, it was very dry and boring ad! But precisely because it was so simple, this quit smoking announcement that lasted for about a dozen seconds without even having a line of narration in it was regarded by most smokers in that previous world of his as the most frightening quit smoking PSA in history. Countless smokers were so scared by that advertisement that, ever since they had watched it, they never took another puff again. This advertisement had at that time caused countless discussions!
This would be the one!
It did not even need an outdoor shoot, it had low production fees, did not require much manpower, and was simple to produce!
After comparing the dozens of quit smoking PSAs in his mind, Zhang Ye picked this advertisement without any hesitation. He stood up and quickly assigned tasks. "I need two people! Get me at least a thousand cigarettes. Most of the cigarettes can just be the ordinary yellow filter-type cigarette. But I need a hundred that don't have any clear markings on the filter and should be a solid yellow!"
"Ah? Solid color filter?"
"So you mean cigarettes without words and branding on the filter?"
"What did you mean by that?"
The first instruction had already left everyone unable to make heads or tails of it.
Sun Han immediately said, "Old Xu, Brother Hu, may I trouble the two of you in getting what Teacher Zhang needs?"
Two staff members from another department said, "Sure, since the head told us to come over to help out, we will follow your arrangements accordingly. It's best if the thousand cigarettes have no markings on the filters? Alright, leave it to us!" The two of them went off to get it done. Since they were both hardcore smokers, they knew exactly which brand of cigarettes to look for.
Zhang Ye continued, "Next, I need royalty-free background music so that I can use it as I please. The required music must sound gloomy, be slow, and feel sorrowful."
A youth raised a hand and said, "Let me handle that. It's my specialty."
Zhang Ye added, "I will need at least twenty samples of background music. After you have gathered them all, come to me so that I can decide which to use!"
A middle-aged woman from the advertising department said, "I'll help with that as well."
As the office could not accommodate so many people, the two of them went off to do their task after getting it.
Zhang Ye said hastily, "Reserve a recording location for me. As for the computer animation, design, and post-production equipment, get the preparations for those done as well. Everyone get back to their own respective working positions and make sure the tools are accessible at any time. Finally, the most important thing. I need a few of you who know 3D modeling, at least five of you, to help arrange these hundreds of cigarettes into the most realistic 3D model of the lung!"