Last week we took the trip East for the Advertising Producers Association (APA)'s Shanghai London Advertising Forum. It was our first company visit to China, and the incredible, bustling and gigantic-crazy-normous city of Shanghai.
Shanghai is so big, in fact, that the population of this one city is five times that of the entire population of Scotland. To quote Graham Fink, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy China in his opening speech: “It’s f*****g big.” It is also, by his assertion, the new New York.
So what did we get up to while we were out in the Big Apple of the East? Meriel, our Creative Development Guru who lives and works for LS Productions in London-town, was our woman on the ground. She spent two full days at the forum, seeing guest speakers and attending events, as well as presenting her own talk on the second day.
The fantastic speeches she saw included Andy Orrick, Chief of Stuff at Rattling Stick on ‘The Power of Storytelling’, ‘Good Things About London’ by Steve Davies, Chief Executive of the APA, 'Saving Ideas with a Small Budget' by Kevin Lee, Executive Creative Director of Leagas Delaney Shanghai, 'Transforming BBH Shanghai and How UK Production Companies Can be Great Partners-in-Crime' by Johnny Tan, Chief Creative Officer of BBH Shanghai and a talk on Virtual Reality by the CEO of Happy Finish, Simon Gosling.
Each was interesting and enlightening in its own way, giving advice on how best to approach business in China (“There’s a move right now for clients to move outside their comfort zone and take risks”, Nils Andersson, President and Chief Creative Officer, TBWA), how to overcome budgetary issues (“When you cannot afford a big campaign with a soccer star, create a small campaign with a tofu star”, Kevin Lee), partnerships with fellow production companies (“Commit to pioneering together”, Johnny Tan) and generally great life advice (“Be careful of what you put into your mouth”, Andy Chan Executive Creative Director, FCB Shanghai).
“This is a unique opportunity for Chinese advertising agencies and production companies and UK production companies to learn about each other, about opportunities and challenges and to find ways of working together that will benefit both them and the agencies’ clients.”
– SLAF 2015
Our presentation covered the topic of shooting in the UK with specialist service companies -- a topic that we can safely say we know a lot about. We showed fantastic photos of the UK's landscape, locations, and all about our ever-increasing list of services and clients. Meriel also spent two full days having meetings with some truly fantastic agencies, exploring the Johnnie Walker Shanghai house and spreading the LS Productions message.
It was a jam packed schedule, but not to the extent that she couldn’t get a little snap happy (as evidenced by these lovely photos) or explore what Shanghai had to offer.
All in all, the trip was fantastic, insightful and we will definitely be back. Watch this space, and make sure to watch the APA video on the forum just below...!