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Agency Perspective :How foreign agencies can stay relevant in China | 国外广告公司如何在中国市场上保持相关性


When Ores first opened its doors in China and France, it set out to be a full-service agency with the advantage of having teams simultaneously in one of the world’s fastest growing markets and in one of the most established luxury markets. At the start, it was the connection to an office in France that brought in new business for the Shanghai team, but eventually this balance shifted, as more French clients were eager to work with an agency that already had a grasp on the Chinese market.Ores在中国及法国开业之初的目标,是成为全方位服务广告公司,因为其团队立足于全球增长最快的市场之一以及最成熟的奢侈品市场之一。然而,最初Ores上海团队仅作为法国团队的办事机构,从法国那里拿到新业务。而随着越来越多的法国客户希望直接与掌握中国市场的公司合作,两边团队的关系也发生了变化。

A New Focus

Six years on, the agency is admittedly facing another shift. The Chinese advertising market, while still expanding, is not the same environment it was when the founding team first decided to come together and trail blaze a new agency. It is more crowded for one thing, as local talent and so-called hot shops have sprung up in abundance, often out-pricing and even out-competing foreign-owned or founded agencies. While there is arguably a need for local and foreign creativity, for an agency to find its niche in the market is becoming increasingly competitive.



While it is a more difficult time for agencies, Ores has done more than survive. The team is now almost 70 people strong and has opened offices in Vietnam and Montreal. Ores still boasts its ability to complete a project from ideation to post-production, but it has strategically started specializing in areas of production. This shift is first in response to clients demands and increased need for smart, effective video content in all forms, and is second a result of the agency’s own development and increased production capabilities. For example, having an office in Vietnam allows them to be more cost-effective in terms of post-production. It is developments and a smart use of global resources like this that have helped Ores continue to leap forward and meet the new types of content creation demands of clients today.


The Celebrity Factor

Starting with Xin Zhilei for Cartier about a year ago, Julien Boulard Creative Director shared that having more celebrities in their showreel has enhanced the agency’s prestige. In China particularly, working with celebrities and KOLs is a must-have skill, so the fact that Ores can prove this ability has certainly been a strength in recent years and has brought in more high-budget projects in.

Ores大概从一年前开始启用名人,最早启用了辛芷蕾为卡地亚代言。创意总监Julien Boulard表示,越来越多的名人合作提高了Ores的声誉。尤其在中国,与名人和KOL合作成为了“必须”,因此近几年Ores在这方面所展示出的能力,成为其一大强项,也为其带来了更多大预算项目。

Just this August, Ores was sought out by Italian Fragrance brand, Acqua DiParma, part of the LVMH family, to shoot with Chinese actor Deng Lun. The request from Acqua DiParma was for the design of a pop-up shop centered around the brand’s initial launch on T Mall. In the end Ores’ proposal was not selected for the pop-up shop, but as Ores came back to the client with a complete digital strategy, there were ultimately selected to create and produce the campaign film and photo production for this Acqua DiParma brand activation. It was an intense 8-hour shoot, which required absolute accuracy in planning, as any producer knows when shooting with a celebrity.

今年8月,LVMH旗下的意大利香水品牌Acqua DiParma(帕尔玛之水)找到Ores,让其邀请演员邓伦拍摄广告。客户的要求是围绕品牌在天猫上的首发而设计一间快闪店。最初Ores的方案并没有中选,后来他们又带着一套完整的数字策略重新来找客户,并最终获得了为品牌激活创建活动视频和制作图片的机会。项目拍摄时长只有8小时,任何了解名人拍摄的制作人都知道,这个时间异常紧张,要求规划要做到绝对精确。


Always Moving Forward

As Ores continues to build its niche in the China market, the team recently brought on a new business director, Shah Farukh, originally from Pakistan. Farukh is a China veteran, originally studying Mandarin at Fudan University in Shanghai, he took one of his first jobs in the third-tier city of Ningbo, where he explained is where he really learned how to work in Mandarin and with Chinese people. He was working in digital marketing and advertising since 2014 in Shanghai before taking the job at Ores.

Ores继续为自己在中国市场上挖掘空间,最近其聘请了一位商务总监——Shah Farukh。Shah来自巴基斯坦,却是中国市场方面的资深人士。其先于复旦大学学习汉语,后前往宁波工作。在宁波,他才真正学到了如何在汉语环境中工作、如何与中国人共事。从2014年至加入Ores之前,他一直在上海从事数字营销和广告工作。


Most of Ores clients are notably French and more specifically in the luxury sector. Ores’ strength will likely always lie in the more international elements of the agency, playing a bridge role between foreign brands entering and expanding in China, but as the agency matures an essential component, Shan mentioned, will be to diversify its client base.



Ores’ current success is a testament to its own market intuition. Their story can also be an anecdote for other agencies and production companies that may have felt a recent squeeze and are looking for solutions to stay afloat in China. Many people have been lured to China by stories of its market potential and its insatiable consumer class, but it takes more than a business plan to make it. Ores has not so much changed its mission but rather has kept its ear-to-the-ground in terms of understanding and providing what clients want. Boulard said “we see ourselves as problem-solvers, so at the heart of it we want to help clients create content that showcases their brand essence”. It is this openly flexible understanding of how an agency must meet a client at their pain points that has been and will likely keep pushing Ores forward.



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