Things By Simon

The Citysearch Advert

A few years back, Chinese New Year and Australia Day happened to fall on the same day. This gave Nicko Place, very good friend and co-owner of media company Media Giants, an idea.

At the time, Media Giants was doing a series of videos for CitySearch.com.au – an online city guide. Nicko’s idea was to play up the Chinese/Australian celebration angle with a reverse cultural stereotypes joke. Specifically, get a white Australian guy to interview some Chinese people in Mandarin about their celebration plans, and have them give generic “Aussie” responses.

Being the only available Mandarin-speaking white Australian that Nicko had easy access to, I got offered the gig. The only problem was that I was still working full time 10+ hour days in business consulting. Nicko assured me that this wouldn’t be a problem:

“If we have the script ready, we can do your bits in about an hour, then shoot the interview shots with a hand insert later.”

Sure. What could possibly go wrong?

Amazingly, in this case, nothing. The whole thing was filmed in an extended lunch break. On the day of the shoot I told my project manager that I might be back a little later than normal because I had “a couple of errands to run” (technically true), and bolted down to Chinatown to meet Nicko and the Media Giants team. We shot my parts in just over an hour, recorded the audio for the interview bits, and I headed back to the office.

Nicko and the team shot the rest with hand inserts, edited it together, and uploaded it to the CitySearch website.

The result, while not necessarily the most polished video in history, is definitely my favourite Chinese/Australian reverse cultural stereotypes CitySearch advert I’ve ever been involved with.

See below for the video:




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