Chapter 582 The Darling of the Advertising World!
In his room.
Afternoon, just past 1 PM.
After checking on Weibo for a while more, Zhang Ye covered himself with his blanket in satisfaction and fell asleep. Snoring, he felt safe and stable as he dreamed a wonderful dream. However, for the outside world and the internet, his legend was still spreading at this moment. Public service announcements-a genre that wasn't usually considered eye-catching, a simple quit smoking PSA that wouldn't have captured the attention of people in normal times-had today created quite a stir throughout the country. This was not a scene that was usually witnessed in the history of China. It created heated debates and shock as it wrote itself into the annals of the advertising world!
His mother was in the living room making some calls.
"You saw it?" His mother was grinning from ear to ear.
On the other end was a neighbor who said: "I watched it. Little Ye has really brought glory to your family. When the old man in my house saw this PSA, his usual habit of smoking 3-4 cigs in an hour was reduced to none in the past hour. Little Cao, if my partner manages to quit smoking, then I really will have your son to thank for it."
His mother laughed. "What are you being so courteous for, Grandma Cui?"
Grandma Cui said: "Let me bring some braised pork with pine nuts over to you tonight."
"No need for that, I still have a lot of food at home," his mother politely rejected.
Grandma Cui did not let her explain and just said: "I bought too much ingredients yesterday, so I insist on bringing some over to you later. When Little Ye was young, he loved eating braised pork. Hur hur, my grandson has just entered university and is majoring in advertising. Who knows? After his graduation, I might still need to trouble your Little Ye to help him find a job. It's really difficult to get a job these days. With Little Ye's reputation in the advertising field now, maybe when he is free, he could teach and advise my grandson a little. Even if a small part of your son's teachings rub off him, I'm sure it will be enough to let him have a chance in this industry."
His mother was enjoying the praises, but said: "Hai, my kid has no talents to speak off. Grandma Cui, if you're coming over, just come. There's no need to bring anything. We've been neighbors for so many years now. There's no need to stand on ceremony. In the future, when Little Yan has graduated from college, just let me know and I will get my son to help him find a job."
Grandma Cui quickly said: "Then I will thank you in advance, Little Cao. It won't trouble you, right?"
His mother said: "Why would that be troublesome? My son might not have a good relationship with many people, but he still commands some respect in the industry. Don't worry about it, leave it to me."
Soon after, Zhang Ye's first uncle also called.
First uncle: "Big Sis, where's Little Ye?"
"He's sleeping. What's the matter?" his mother asked.
First uncle was a little lost for words: "I need to tell him off! He made such an utterly disgusting PSA! It made me lose my appetite during lunch. I didn't even eat more than a few mouthfuls. Make him find another job quickly, so that he doesn't have to advance any further in the field of public service announcements. Smoking is the only thing that I enjoy, and it was nearly taken away from me by him!"
His mother was already laughing about this: "Hur hur, stop it then. Smoking less is good for you. This PSA of Little Ye's was made exactly to help smokers like you kick the habit."
First uncle replied in annoyance: "Feels more like causing trouble for us."
Online, there were also praises and curses.
"Teacher Zhang, I hate you!"
"I thought that after the mass criticism over the Peking University incident, there would be quite some peace and quiet. But who could have expected that just after a few days, Teacher Zhang has already sprung out again and is back to 'doing evil'. Last time, he declared war on Japan, but this time, Zhang Ye has pointed the guns at a bunch of pitiable smokers like us! I'm tearing up! Flipping tables! Do you think it's easy for us!? I am going to boycott Zhang Ye this time! And boycott the quit smoking PSA!"
"Boycotting as well!"
"Quickly take down the PSA! @BeijingTelevisionStation!"
"Yeah, I will thank you all if the PSA gets taken down quickly. Compared to this PSA, I prefer the PSA that featured blood and gore with the blackened lungs! This new policy is also too disruptive. Why do they want to take down the PSAs that had blood and gore in them! Why? Are the people who approved this public service announcement blind too? Don't you all think that this PSA by Zhang Ye is even bloodier and gorier than the previous blackened lungs PSA!?"
"Watching this Zhang Ye PSA on BTV once is enough. I never want to watch it a second time!"
"Zhang Ye has even created something new again in the production of this PSA!"
Although there were scoldings online, these "scoldings" had to be put into quotes since they weren't really scolding at all. It was closer to banter. You could even say that it was in response to the quality of Zhang Ye's PSA production. If it were any other normal quit smoking PSA, these smokers would have just watched and forgotten about it. Even if they didn't like it, they would have just chosen to ignore it after watching. Earning a collective response of protest from a bunch of smokers ensured it was definitely not a normal PSA. It clearly showed that everyone were unable to ignore this ad and just how scary it was. It was so scary that it had planted itself deep into their consciousnesses! If it were other types of advertisements, being scolded might present a problem to the advertisers. But a public service announcement getting scolded in this way highlighted just how much of a breakthrough this PSA was!
It was effective!
This was the ultimate objective of a public service announcement!
During the evening news, quite a number of newspapers across the country reported on Beijing Television Station's PSA that had shocked many and set a new precedent for quit smoking public service announcements.
"A New Age for Public Service Announcements?"
"Shock! The Most Frightening 'Quit Smoking' Commercial in History!"
"Beijing Television Station Joins Forces with Zhang Ye Once More!"
"An Ambiguous Cooperation Between Ex-Employee and Employer!"
"Just How Many Years Ahead Is Zhang Ye's Advertisement Production Standard?"
"A Historical Breakthrough in Quit Smoking PSAs!"
"Zhang Ye: The Darling of the Advertising World!"
Because public service announcements were not a mainstream source of news, the number of reports on it were not that many either. However, this limited coverage had also attracted the attention of society at large, especially since it was on the day of the World No Tobacco Day. Some newspapers had given this news a very good place on their publications.
At 8 PM in the evening, an internet news article about plagiarism appeared online suddenly!
A large web portal was the first to report this on the homepage of its news section. In the article, there was an image that was impressively similar looking to BTV-1's public service announcement, but instead of a pair of lungs made out of cigarettes, it was a stomach. It was a stomach which was burning. It wasn't a video PSA but a still image PSA. The news pointed out that this image was put up on a Dutch television station's website for the World No Tobacco Day. Other than the difference of the prop, the core of the PSA had copied China's BTV-1's Quit Smoking PSA!
The netizens were not having any of it.
"That is obvious plagiarism!"
"Those people from the Dutch television station must have seen Zhang Ye's work!"
"I believe it counts as a reference."
"Reference my ass! This is as good as plagiarizing!"
"@BeijingTelevisionStation the foreigners are copying our ideas!"
"This is a first. It's the first time I've seen any foreigners copying our public service announcements. In the past, it has always been our Chinese advertising world learning from their advanced advertising knowledge!"
"Although I'm not too happy about that plagiarism, I have to say that Zhang Ye has really given our countrymen something to be proud of. Even the foreigners are copying us now, attracted by our work. This goes to show that our Chinese advertising standards are no longer behind the world's standards anymore!"
"However we say it, it is still Zhang Ye who is great."
"Yeah, there are always people scolding Zhang Ye this and Zhang Ye that, but take a look. It's still Teacher Zhang who can save the situation even at the critical moment, so it's still because of Teacher Zhang that our country can rise with such posterity! Although I know that Teacher Zhang has some shortcomings, like his character or his temper, but so what? No one is perfect! A genius is called a genius precisely because he is different from all other people!"
"Forever supporting Teacher Zhang Ye!"
"Right, no matter how others see you or criticize you, in my eyes, you're always the pride of China!"
At this moment, a Weibo verified professional sociology academic came forward to say something. He posted on Weibo: "A few days ago, I had criticized Zhang Ye after the Peking University incident as I felt that he had some problems. However, I must admit that after watching this quit smoking PSA, I now have a greater admiration for Zhang Ye. I am no advertising professional, but even so, I can still see just how much value and excellence this PSA brings to the table. I have always looked and judged matters on their own, not on who does it, so with regards to this PSA, I must definitely give Zhang Ye a Like!"
This time, Zhang Ye's work was no longer attracting mass controversy like his previous ones anymore. Everyone seemed to agree on it and mainly only had positive things to say about it as it was a public service announcement. Besides, this PSA that Zhang Ye had picked from his previous world really did not have many shortfalls and was close to perfect. Just as a netizen had mentioned, even if it were not done for the sake of its quit smoking message, this PSA was still very artistic. It was a very high level piece of art that could be appreciated from many perspectives!
On this night.
Many of the advertising companies or related television station's advertising departments were working overtime.
Everyone sat in their meetings, as instructed by their leaders, to go through the details of BTV-1's Quit Smoking PSA. 10 times, 15 times, 20 times. Everyone patiently watched!
"How great is this!"
"This music is totally well-suited for it!"
"The finishing touch should be the breathing track. I really don't understand how Zhang Ye thinks. If we remove the breathing track from it, then this ad would definitely not have that much of an impact!"
"Right. When I watched it for the first time, I only thought that it was scary, that this ad had been so good because of the pair of lungs made out of cigarettes. However, after watching it more than 10 times, I find that it's not that simple anymore. From the start, that few seconds of 'meaningless' introduction that feel excessive, to the music and the breathing tracks, and to the lighting, it is too uncompromising and is an advertising artform that had every step planned out! This Zhang Ye...is truly formidable! Are you all sure that he was just a broadcasting major?"
"Hai, we're really incomparable."
"A Dutch television station even copied Zhang Ye's PSA. That incident alone is already a wonder. I don't think there is another case like this in the history of our advertising industry? Those Dutch people are really quick to react!"
"They know a good thing when they see one. Just based on the value of this ad, it was worth it."
Some of these advertising agencies who did not dabble in public service announcements were also holding meetings to discuss and study all the details and core of the PSA, not because they were planning to go into this area of advertisements, but because all ads were the same. Just like how they used to study Zhang Ye's Brain Gold advertisement, it was not so they could follow its style but because they had to know why it was as successful as it was. They needed to understand why it managed to attract people, so that they could absorb and learn from it, to raise their own level in the field to break through the bottleneck of the advertising industry! If they did not improve, they would be eliminated!
The past few advertisements that Zhang Ye produced had no doubt helped to open up a new door for the Chinese advertising industry!
Translator's note: Some news update for everyone, I've started my Patreon, so you can check it out here
For every $50 increment in total pledges, there will be 1 chapter accumulated for release in the following month. Thank you for your support!
On top of this, until the end of April, for every increase of 10 patrons, up to 80 patrons, regardless of amount pledged, 1 chapter will be released within the day of hitting the milestones. This will run concurrent to item 1. (The next is the 20 patrons milestone/4 more to go!)
There are plans for advanced chapters sometime next month, so watch out for the announcement!