Chapter 104: The Crisis for the Television Station’s Public Service Advertisement!
The next day.
The clouds covered the sky.
Today, Zhang Ye was , so he had to leave his car in the parking lot. He took the subway alone to work. There were quite a lot of people there, so he failed to board the first time. He was late by a few minutes by the time he reached the office.
“Teacher Zhang, you are here?”
“Teacher Little Zhang, good morning.”
Hou Ge and Xiao Lu greeted him. Yesterday, when Zhang Ye first came, they had called him by his name or “Little Zhang”, but now after knowing the awesomeness of Zhang Ye, they all changed their form of salutation. It changed from “Little Zhang” to “Teacher Little Zhang”. They were very polite. Be it an institution, commercial business, private business or the entertainment industry, it was all the same. As long as you had sufficient experience and great ability, with your fame, no one would dare to disrespect you.
Xiao Lu took the initiative to pour a cup of water for Zhang Ye, “Here you go.”
“Thank you. I’ll do it myself.” Zhang Ye did not want to impose.
Hou Di smiled, “Right, Teacher Zhang. Just now, Brother Hu came over, but didn’t find you. Maybe the higher ups have a meeting that Brother Hu wants you to join.”
Zhang Ye immediately said, “Aye, why was I late? Where’s Teacher Hu?”
“Brother Hu’s office is here, too.” Hou Ge chuckled, “He will be here in awhile.”
Just after he finished speaking, Hu Fei walked into the office.
“Teacher Little Zhang, follow me for a while.” Hu Fei smiled, “The channel has a meeting. Since I don’t have an assistant, go with me, too. Hur Hur. I’m not treating you as an assistant, and roping you in is not just to make you be in the front stage; your literary qualities can always shine backstage.”
Zhang Ye asked curiously, “Teacher Hu, what sort of meeting is it?”
“A public service advertisement. Let’s go. You’ll know when we arrive.” Hu Fei led him upstairs. While they were in the elevator, he explained, “The higher-ups sent a policy down last month, and it can be considered a media policy. They wanted our Arts Channel to produce an electricity-saving public service advertisement. But we have not finished it after a month. Actually, it’s not that we haven’t done it, it’s just that the higher-ups did not pass it. Seeing that tomorrow is the final deadline, our channel’s Leader is extremely anxious. So he gathered everyone to help in planning and discussing the details of the advertisement.”
Zhang Ye was enlightened.
A small meeting room upstairs.
There was a long table, with not more than twenty seats.
By the time that Zhang Ye and Hu Fei arrived, the room was nearly full. A few people-in-charge and employees from the various segment teams from the Arts Channel had filled the room. Zhang Ye saw a few familiar faces here. There was a youth and a woman, who were his interviewers from the previous day.
Seeing Zhang Ye, these people only gave him a glance.
“Old Hu, Hur Hur. You are the slowest.” a middle-aged man greeted him.
“Isn’t the Leader not here yet? It’s fine, as long as we aren’t late. Old Wang, this is our segment team’s Teacher Zhang Ye. Please take care of him in the future.” Hu Fei seemed familiar with him.
The middle-aged man said in amusement, “He’s your man. I can’t take care of him, even if I wanted to. However, I have long heard of Little Zhang’s name. What is his position now?”
Hu Fei said, “Guest host. I might also get Little Zhang to do some of the documentation work for backstage work. There’s no other way, since my segment isn’t as large as others. With few people, everyone has more responsibilities.”
The woman, who had interviewed Zhang Ye, smiled, “It’s also quite suitable for Little Zhang to do documentation work. Few in the channel can match him in their literary skills. A capable person has many responsibilities.”
Everyone sat down.
Hu Fei introduced people to Zhang Ye in whispers.
Zhang Ye knew that the middle-aged man’s name was Wang Meng. He was an overall Director-in-charge of the trending music segment team. The woman who had interviewed him was Jiang Fen, an overall Director-in-charge of entertainment and literature news reporting.
At this moment, about 5-6 people came in from inside. One of them was the head of the channel, Wang Shuixin.
Director Wang did not look happy today. He walked straight to the seat of power. Without saying anything first, he drank all the tea in his cup. He looked like he had just scolded someone, so his throat was dry. After finishing it, he put down the cup and said, “Alright, let’s begin. I believe that everyone knows what the details of today’s meeting are. We need to fix the public service advertisement, and it has to be done by today. We need to finish its production by this afternoon in order to submit it to the higher-ups for approval. After the approval, tomorrow will be the final deadline, where it will be broadcast on television. We don’t have much time left!”
The people who came in after Director Wang were probably employees that did advertisements for the television station.
An employee handed over a draft, or it could be precisely said to be a writeup, “These were the two ideas that we came up with last night during overall time.”
Another employee distributed copies to the others.
Zhang Ye also obtained a copy. He flipped it open and took a glance.
After giving it a look, Wang Shuixin threw the writeup on the table, without reading it carefully, “You call this creativity? This is your so-called creativity?” Wang Shuixin rapped on the table, “Everyone is responsible for saving electricity! Saving electricity begins with everyone! Is there anything fresher?”
The employee from the advertisement department said, “Leader, all the public service advertisements in the country are like that. It’s easy to understand. If not, it will be shouting a slogan. Or it could be some shocking statistics, saying how many people don’t have access to electricity, saying how much loss results from every watt wastage. We want to be creative, too, but it can’t be done. This is already the limit of public service advertisements!”
Wang Shuixin said furiously, “Even if you can’t do it well, you have to do it well. Why are you making excuses?”
The person remained silent for a moment, “Leader, it’s our responsibility. We will think of something again.”
“There’s no time anymore! Didn’t you hear what I just said? There has to be an outcome today, and it has to be done today!” Wang Shuixin said, “I know that public service advertisements are at a bottleneck, but only with a bottleneck can you break through. The higher-ups have such a request for our channel. This is a policy-based advertisement; there can be no mistakes! I’m not asking about anything else, nor reasons. I just want to see a result. I want to see creativity! Or else the higher-ups will not pass it!”
It was pointless pinning his hope on the advertisement department. They had handed more than ten drafts over the past month, but all of them were rejected by the higher-ups. Wang Shuixin said to everyone, “I called everyone here to help brainstorm. Whoever has a good idea or creativity, you can speak up!” It could be seen that he was anxious, too. If they could not complete a task that had governmental implications, then everyone would suffer when the higher-ups demanded an answer!
Jiang Fen asked, “How many seconds does it need to be?”
Wang Shuixin said, “There’s no restriction, but according to usual practices, it has to be within 15 seconds. If it is a longer public service advertisement, it’s best it doesn’t exceed 20 seconds.”
Jiang Fen suggested, “Why don’t we be creative on the advertising tagline? I have a pretty good one, ‘Saving, the path to the continuation of life’.”
Wang Shuixin shook his head, “No, that’s still too common.”
Wang Meng said, “What about a witty tagline? Gentlemen have manners; be a man when using electricity.”
“It’s too uncommon.” Wang Shuixin said, “The higher-ups want creativity, not something uncommon. Creativity is something that will light up the eyes of others, or something no one can think of.” As he spoke, he got irritated, “Can you broaden your minds? We have so many capable people in our Arts Channel, yet we are stumped by a public service advertisement? Can’t you come up with any good ideas?”
Another segment team’s person-in-charge gave a wry smile, “Leader, we do administrative work. Creativity isn’t our forte. If the advertisement department can’t think of something, there’s not much hope for us.”
Wang Shuixin said angrily, “You have to think of something, even if there’s no hope! Are you going to be shouldering the responsibility for failing the task?”
The person-in-charge had been joking, but with this retort, he did not dare to say another word.
Following that, others from a few segment teams suggested their ideas, but Wang Shuixin was unsatisfied by them. They were all denied. No creativity!
However, everyone felt helpless.
How could one be creative for the theme of electricity saving?
After so many years, all sorts of tricks had been used by all the different television stations!
Wang Shuixin looked at Hu Fei, “Old Hu, only your segment team has not contributed an idea. We invited you here to come up with ideas, not to just sit there and drink tea!”
Hu Fei had never done public service advertisements, and he had no ideas either. He had similar thoughts as the others. Public service advertisements had been done to the point of flogging the dead horse. It had long ago reached a bottleneck. Everything followed the same line of thought, to the point where they had to do so. As there was no way to be creative in public service advertisements, what was there to be creative about? Could you exalt an advertisement regarding electricity savings to the heavens?
Just as Hu Fei was not sure how to answer and the other people-in-charge and employees were unsure what to do, Zhang Ye spoke.
“I have an idea.” Zhang Ye’s words shocked everyone.
Hu Fei’s eyes lit up upon hearing this. That’s right. He suddenly thought of Zhang Ye. The person beside him was an effective writer, “Teacher Little Zhang, please say.”
Wang Shuixin looked on with a complicated look at Zhang Ye, “Go ahead.”
Seeing everyone look at him, Zhang Ye cleared his throat. Public service advertisement? Of course, he did not know about them. This fellow was a broadcasting major, so how could he learn anything about advertising? Although he did not know, the masters of his world knew. He had also seen quite a number of public service advertisements from this world. From the exposure to television, there was no way that he would not have seen it. Hence, he had some understanding of it. The public service advertisements from both worlds had their strengths. This world emphasized on the details and words said. In this area, they did especially well. Some of the advertisements’ tagline had shocked Zhang Ye. This world was much better than his world in that aspect. However, the public service advertisements from his world had its advantages. It had creativity. This was the only thing about the public service advertisements of his world that was much better than those in this world!
Who made the rule that public service advertisements could not be creative?
How could this be difficult for me? I’m going to be the pirate king… I mean.. I’m going to be a superstar!
Translator’s Note: Zhang Ye was not permitted to drive on certain days due to a regulation in Beijing. Read here for info on