Monday, November 23, 2009

Advertorial Extraordinaire

I found myself at the Beijing International Airport this weekend dressed in a suit with an unusual amount of gel in my hair. I sat reading a copy of Beijing Review, one I'd looked at many times before as a photographer and videographer took my photo and recorded video. It was like acting in a movie and in a way, I was a star, just not in Hollywood terms.

I'd been "volunteered" to take part in a CIPG advertisement campaign for Beijing Review. My HR contact had called me Thursday with the ever-ambiguous "What are you doing Sunday?" to which I honestly answered that I had no plans. I heard a few words that sounded like "advertisement," "commercial" and "Sunday afternoon." A woman would later stop by my cubicle to tell me she would pick me up at my apartment and shuttle me off to the Beijing International Airport where a photographer and other camera people would meet us. I was to dress formally and "look good."

"Define 'good,'" I said. The woman chuckled and just walked away.

Sure enough, she picked me and my co-worker, Joseph Kirschke, up Sunday afternoon. We met the rest of the commercial crew at a Starbucks, shot up on caffeine to get us pumped for the photo shoot and met a PR guy for the airport. He gave us each tickets so we could get through security (apparently even with VIP treatment and a airport PR escort you can't just walk freely throughout the terminal) and we made our way in.

The photo shoot would take place in the First Class and Business lounge of the Air China area. Joe and I weren't given specifics on what was going on, but we went with it and did as they told. The whole event took around 4 fours (including security checks and set up) and included two separate shooting locations in the lounge. Overall, it went smoothly.

I haven't seen the final product (I doubt they finished) but I was sent a few of the photos. When they finish the actual commercial part, I'll be sure to post that as well.

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