Behind thescenes of WV’s New Spot, a Chat with Georg Warga – Creative Director and a Founder of Goodstein. 大众汽车最新广告的幕后故事 – 对话Goodstein的创始人兼创意总监 Georg Warga
Along with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Wu Jing is part of the courageous (and restricted) hall of fame of actors that perform their own action stunts. He’s starring a new commercial film for Volkswagen, promoting the latest Touareg SUV, and this special talent steals the scene.
‘Do Your Own Stunts’ is a comedy-action hybrid, in which the actor picks a timid everyday test driver, played by Ya Meng Le, and shows him how to do the stunts for an explosive car-chase.The campaign was developed in a collaboration between two creative agencies, Goodstein and Inspire.Directed by Wang Limin, the sequence is full of delightful cliches, like escaping vicious motorbikers and ballistic missiles. It was all shot in Shanghai in three days across two locations, the Wuxing Stadium and the Lingang Manufacturing Park. The production team had only one day (or more precisely eight hours) with Wu Jing to make it work. The spot is part of a whole activation campaign that invites the audience to sense the adrenaline behind action movies.
We had a chat with Georg Warga, Creative Director and founder of Goodstein, the independent creative agency behind the concept.
就该广告，我们对独立创意公司Goodstein 创始人兼创意总监Georg Warga进行了采访。
CREATIVE DIRECTOR / FOUNDER GOODSTEIN
How did you come up with the concept for the spot?
female character. I believe we did win the pitch with this concept. Finally, Volkswagen opted for the current one because it was more straight forward. Many action hero-type actors claim they do their own stunts. With Wu Jing, it’s easy to take the proof, just check his social media channels: he’s a trained martial artist; his left thumb has a missing tip; he has broken his nose and legs countless times, and has hundreds of stitches in his body. I mean, the man really does his own stunts.
The film is part of a bigger campaign that allows people to ‘star’ alongside Wu Jing through an app and offline test driving events. How was the whole concept developed?
We partnered up with another agency called Inspire. Goodstein was in charge of the creative part; meanwhile, Inspire handled the account. Together, we were the lead agencies for a campaign that involved television, print, digital, and offline events. The digital and offline aspects relate to the activation part. In the popular online app VUE, Ya Meng Le can be replaced by the user’s image, so it looks like the user is the one driving the car. The same idea is executed on the event-level and test drives.
Can you tell us about the creative process? Was the client looking for this humorous route from the very beginning?
Yes, humor is always part of Volkswagen’s DNA. Internationally more so than in China. As they just recently launched their new brand guidelines, we wanted to inject a bit of the trademark ‘twinkle in the eye’ into the work. It was not an easy task as Wu Jing is not known for his comedic chops; we didn’t know if he would even go for it. But he actually worked with us in shaping the script so it would work well for him.
Wu Jing is quite a celebrity. What was it like to work with him?
We’ve met him for the first time in his hotel room to discuss the script. He greeted us in his boxer shorts. Six-billion-yuan at the box office and the guy is totally down to earth!
He’s also a total pro. Besides being an actor, he is also a writer and producer, which means that he knows what it takes to make a film. He watched every one of his takes and didn’t stop until he was fully satisfied with his performance. I’m sure we’ll see him soon playing alongside Dwayne Johnson or someone else in a Hollywood movie.
Why did you choose to work with director Wang Limin? Did you consider any international directors?
The script passed around and attracted some strong international talent. But the production companies in the pitch thought these directors were too risky and demanding. Having worked with some of them in other projects, I didn’t entirely agree. Wang Limin was already in our shortlist with Gwantsi, the production company, and he had done stunt work with Wu Jing before. He was a safe choice, but I don’t regret it at all.
当初一些很好的国际人才都对这个剧本感兴趣，但在比稿的时候，制作公司认为他们都太冒险，要求也太高。因为之前跟这些导演都合作过，所以我不太同意制作公司的看法。观池的Wang Limin 是已经在我们的候选名单中的，他之前也跟吴京合作拍摄过特技方面的东西，所以他是一个安全的选择，我一点都不后悔选择他。
Was there anything challenging about this shoot?
We knew we only had one day with Wu Jing, yet we didn’t want to compromise the concept. So we wrote a second character in the film to carry half of the load. The challenge was to convince Wu Jing’s managerial team that he was still the star of the film, even though he was not the one driving the car.
Tell us about Goodstein’s trajectory in China.
We operate on the fringe between advertising and entertainment, always employing technology in creative ways. As a foreign company, I believe we have an interesting space here. But, we never really won a job with our loreals alone. To get jobs, you need to know people. Clients want agencies and production companies to bankroll jobs, so smaller agencies like us undertake a lot of financial pressure. And worse, quality is not always the benchmark, sometimes cheaper agencies win. Luckily, we managed to find the right partners to help us to finance these jobs so we can focus on what we do best.
In March we’ll be ten years old. I’m very proud of what we achieved over the last decade and looking forward to the next one. Cheers!
CD/Concept/Writer: Georg Warga, Goodstein
Creative Producer: Maureen Sherrard, Goodstein
Chief Strategy Officer: Baggio Song, Inspire Communications Group
Account Service: Raymond Man/Leslie Lv, Inspire Communications Group
Production Company: Gwantsi, Shanghai
Director: Limin Wang
DOP: Ekkehart Pollack
Post Production/Editing: MPC, Shanghai
Editor: Su Zhen: MPC, Shanghai
Music: Tracks & Fields, Berlin