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.
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.
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.
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.