The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 28: Watch Endorsement
On the following day, Lu Lingxuan sent Yin Chang some information about VI watches.
VI is a newer brand under the well-known luxury maker Swiss Watch Group. In the past, for over thirty years, SWG focused on traditional mechanical watches for elite customers. Only recently, five years ago, has SWG established VI as a brand aimed at a younger generation.
Although the label of the brand VI is “Luxury, Fashion”, it has nothing to do with wealth or status. The product represents young peoples’ aspirations to lead a wealthy lifestyle and thus, compared to the price of a traditional SWG watch, the price of SWG’s VI was greatly reduced.
In addition, SWG wanted a young spokesperson for their VI brand and in the beginning, Mi Xiu was chosen. Now that her contract was about to expire, VI started looking for new candidates. Like Wang Chen, Mi Xiu was also a winner of the show ‘Absolute Idol’ and as a result, VI sought Wang Chen to be their spokesperson.
……Until Yin Chang appeared. Whether it was the turmoil relating to his father, or his recent fashion photographs, Yin Chang caught everyone’s attention as soon as he returned to China. His popularity on the internet soared.
Wanting to understand his desicion, Yao Manhuai called Yin Chang and asked: “Are you interested in the product?”
At the time of the call, Yin Chang was at home unpacking the clothes he had sent back from abroad — “Not really. I just learned about it.” He had to empty and pack away his father’s large walk-in closet before he had the chance to put away his own clothes.
Yin Chang has heard of the luxury watch maker SWG. Indeed, it is an internationally renowned brand but, VI was specifically launched for the Chinese market. According to Lu Lingxuan, SWG marketing was extensive and by now, everyone in China was aware of VI watches. Since Yin Chang was living abroad, he didn’t have exposure to the brand.
Yao Manhuai asked: “Then why would you want to compete for this spot?”
Of course, Yin Chang didn’t want to admit his interest in the brand was sparked by the events that transpired at school; how Wang Chen’s demeaning remarks about himself had caused Shao Junling to punch his nephew. He made an excuse: “I was just curious about it.”
Yao Manhuai: “Well…… If you go, Wang Chen will probably misunderstand your reasons. He might think you are trying to steal his contract.”
Setting his clothes down and pausing, Yin Chang asked: “They haven’t decided on a spokesperson yet, have they? How can I be stealing his contract?”
Yao Manhuai responded: “I heard that they already had picked Wang Chen. If you don’t go, the endorsement is his.”
Yin Chang continued folding his clothes: “That means they now think I’m a more suitable spokesperson than he is. But they don’t want any potential legal complications to incur from dropping him at the last minute since it’s an embarrassment and insult.”
Yao Manhuai was shocked. Understanding the deeper issue, she was surprised at how much insight the boy had.
She laughed and asked: “If that’s the case, aren’t you going to just embarrass him?”
Yin Chang got up and leaned against the cabinet. He calmly replied: “I don’t know him at all. Why should I have to protect him? If the situation was reversed, he wouldn’t be protecting me. Anyway, it’s just an audition. One has only to rely on their skills.”
Yao Manhuai: “……”It makes sense. But, is there really no connection between them?
However, now that she knew his train of thought, Yao Manhuai didn’t hesitate anymore. Her risk-taking nature that thrived on excitement spurred her on. She happily said: “Ok. I’ll set it up.”
Yin Chang asked her: “What’s the difference between an endorsement audition and a magazine photo audition? Is there something specific I need to prepare in advance?”
Yao Manhuai explained: “Apart from a 15-second commercial, everything else is the same as the magazine photo shoots you are familiar with. Make sure to rest well the day before the audition so you will be better prepared mentally. Feel confident and don’t be nervous. I’ll handle the public relations team.”
After she hung up the phone, Yin Chang stood still mulling the situation over. Although he wanted to compete for the contract, he wasn’t sure it was a good idea, let alone what was necessary to win. To be fair, Yin Chang doesn’t have any acting experience….. In any case, just do your best!
In a blink of an eye, it was Friday. Yin Chang woke up early and took extra care to groom himself. He chose a Burberry black shirt to wear and black trousers. When he looked in the mirror, he felt like something was missing. With minimal accessories, he added two blue sapphire cufflinks to his shirt, nothing else.
Afterwards he went with Lu Lingxuan to his workplace and swapped to a business car then headed towards VI’s audition site at the Royal Hotel. Since the occasion was important, Yao Manhuai was also there. Upon their arrival at the hotel, VI’s public relations and marketing managers came out to greet Yin Chang in person and enthusiastically took him to a private dressing room.
“Thank you so much for coming!” The manager of the public relations department, Mrs. Xie, said. She was a refined woman about the same age as Yao Manhuai.
Maybe it was because the meeting was set up in advance, but Yin Chang didn’t know why the marketing manager took Yao Manhuai to the side and talked to her in private. “Since there was a sudden change and two of our favorite stars were here to audition, we reported the circumstance to headquarters. Yesterday, in order to attend the audition, the Art Director of VI took a flight from Switzerland to China. He will be here soon.”
“Oh?” Yao Manhuai asked: “What kind of person is the art director?”
Manager Xie explained: “The Art Director is a 42-year-old man native of Switzerland named Luca. Previously, he was the watch designer of BG brand. After the auditions have concluded, all of the department managers, including myself will make the decision. However, I know that you won’t win over the marketing department’s head. They have already talked to Wang Chen in private. I don’t know which direction the other departments lean, but Luca has a large say in the matter so there are many variables still.”
Yao Manhuai asked: “Does he have any preferences?”
Manager Xie lowered her voice and said: “I heard that he’s a stickler for detail and a perfectionist. Last year, VI release a style series called GR10. He noticed the position of the diamond on the dial to be off by 1mm. The fault lay with the design drawing. He recalled all of the watches to redo….”
Yao Manhuai nodded thoughtfully, and asked: “Was it possible for him to be involved with Wang Chen’s public relations?”
Manager Xie shook her head: “I don’t think it’s possible. If he was already involved, he wouldn’t have flown over here from Switzerland in person. After all, the contract was originally negotiated for Wang Chen. But because there was some dispute, Luca came for the meeting to settle the issue.”
Yao Manhuai made an “OK” gesture.
Manager Xie smiled and said to Yao Manhuai: “I was undecided, but after seeing Yin Chang, the shock to my heart… Yin Chang’s appeal is much better in person than in the photos. To be honest, I think there is a hope for him yet.”
Yao Manhuai felt relieved when she heard this. She too felt the same shock and it was precisely for this reason that she tried every means available to her to bring Yin Chang into the entertainment industry. It would be a pity for everyone if Yin Chang remained unnoticed.
After resting briefly, a professional makeup artist came into Yin Chang’s dressing room to do his makeup. However, to her surprise, there was little to be done since Yin Chang’s skin was so pale and flawless. The foundation itself would make his skin worse. In the end, she chose a simple hairstyle along with a small amount of eye shadow. The simple application would help balance his color and define his eyes to prevent Yin Chang from becoming washed-out under the stark lights of the photography set.
As soon as she finished putting on his makeup, Lu Lingxuan came in and said, “There are a few candidates next door. They want to come over and say hello to you. Is that okay?”
Yin Chang was taken aback: “Yes.”
It turns out, not only did VI invite Yin Chang and Wang Chen, but also many B-listers of several other companies. Presumably, to obscure the direct competition that Wang Chen had with Yin Chang.
While some were led inside by their agents and some were not, several people arrived, all of whom are outstanding models. Even though their personal image was excellent, the competitive nature of the entertainment industry demanded more from someone then looks alone. Even if they had talent, a person’s popularity determines everything.
They measured up Yin Chang with stares of curiosity and some did not hide their envious gazes.
Yin Chang shook hands with each of them. Seeing that Yin Chang had a good attitude, one of them boldly asked: “Can I friend you on social media?”
“…… All right.” Yin Chang replied. Knowing that Lu Lingxuan operatedr his main social media page, he commented: “I can’t on my Weibo account, but you can text me through WeChat.”
Everyone: “???” Is he fucking real?
When they left his dressing room, the B-listers were flattered. After all, Yin Chang’s current popularity has already left them in the dust.
Little star A: “Damn, I really added…”
Little star B: “Why is he so different? His photos make him seem like the very cold type.”
Little Star C: “The real person is so handsome and gentle. I feel like I’ve become his brother-in-law…”
As several people were discussing their thoughts, Wang Chen arrived accompanied by his agent. One of them was a contemporary of Wang Chen who also participated in “Absolute Idol”. As soon as he saw him, he greeted him enthusiastically: “Wang Chen!”
Wang Chen came over and shook his hand then smiled and asked: “Are you here for the audition too?”
Of course, the man knew that he couldn’t compare with Wang Chen. He was a little embarrassed and said: “Well, I just came over to gain some experience.”
Wang Chen: “What were you talking about just now?”
“Yin Chang!” He said excitedly. “Yin Chang is in there. We just went over to meet him and he friended us on WeChat!”
Wang Chen’s expression was a little unnatural. He glanced at the agent next to him, questioning. His agent encouraged him: “Since we will all be in the same circle from now on, let’s take the initiative to say hello? “
As soon as he had spoken, Yin Chang and Lu Lingxuan arrived.
As Yin Chang and Wang Chen’s gaze met, an invisible electric current ran between them in the air. Neither of them said anything.
Quickly, Wang Chen put on a professional smile and went straight up to Yin Chang and kindly offered: “Hello, I’m Wang Chen.”
Yin Chang also introduced himself to him politely and that was it.
Wang Chen was waiting for Yin Chang to ask him for his social media account. Instead, Yin Chang was looking away from time to time and seemed a little absent-minded.
In an effort to resolve the awkward moment, Wang Chen’s agent rushed over to the rescue and said: “Yin Chang, I’m glad to meet you. Wang Chen has been watching you for a long time. Would you like to friend each other on social media? You can text each other in the future….”
Yin Chang smiled politely: “Thank you. Let my agent know. I’m really sorry, but I need to go use the bathroom now.”
He made an apologetic gesture then gracefully turned and walked away leisurely. Watching his unhurried gait, why didn’t his attitude match his actions?
Wang Chen’s agent: “…”
Lu Lingxuan: …”
Wang Chen: “……”
Not far from them, extras A, B, and C “…”
Yin Chang really did go to the restroom, but only to wash his hands. There was some hairspray on them that he wanted to wash off.
As he was in a good mood now, he couldn’t help humming a catchy tune that his vocal teacher taught him a while ago.
While humming, there next to him appeared a middle-aged foreigner who was about the same height as him. The gentleman was also washing his hands and while he was washing his hands over and over again, he was looking over at Yin Chang through the mirror frequently.
Yin Chang happily smiled at the other person and offered a greeting: “Hi!”
The foreigner was taken aback for a moment before smiling and returning the greeting: “Hi….”
After washing his hands, Yin Chang picked up a towel from the table and dried his hands carefully. Once complete, before turning around and leaving, he folded the towel up precisely and put it gently in the ‘used towel’ bin.
Wang Chen scolded his agent in the dressing room angrily: “Why did you tell him that I have been following him for a long time!”
Agent: “Don’t you often check his Weibo homepage?”
Wang Chen: “I didn’t! I just stumbled on it by accident!”
Agent: “Okay.. You didn’t…..”
The agent comforted him: “I’ll just have to contact his agent for you.”
Wang Chen: “…” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! ! !
After watching Yin Chang’s attitude towards Wang Chen, the other celebrities were gossiping in the corner.
Little Star A: “He actually had that kind of attitude toward Wang Chen!”
Little Star B: “Is he a fool? This attribute will inadvertently offend many people in the future! ”
Little Star C: “But why do I feel so special?”