Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Well I have to say that I have been a very long time fan of the PizzaExpress brand, specifically 20 years long since I first went to London as a student in 1993. The idea that I could eat fantastic fresh baked Italian style pizza for a budget within my pretty limited student range and even get to see the Pizzaola tossing the dough, all seemed a bit unreal to me coming from the PizzaHut dominated land of Hong Kong. So when they came to me all that time later and asked if I would be interested to work on a new showcase video for them, as you can imagine I very enthusiastically said "YES".
Before we could get started on the video itself, we needed to attend meetings and have lots of discussion time, this meant lots and lots of delicious pizza and pasta and along with Spiriteca (importers of incredible whiskey and other rare spirits), was one of the most enjoyable build-ups to a job I have ever experienced!
Now there are probably a lot of things about PizzaExpress that you don't know. Firstly the company was started when Peter Boizot went to Italy in 1948 and saw real Pizzaolas tossing dough in the air for the first time in his life. He vowed to bring this Italian tradition back to England with him and succeeded in doing so in 1965 with a Pizza oven from Rome and a chef from Sicily.
Another thing you may not know is that PizzaExpress has been a major supporter of jazz music since they started doing jazz performances at their Dean Street location in London in 1969. Some of the jazz greats that have been featured there are Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones and Jamie Cullum.
And did you realise that PizzaExpress is helping to prevent Venice from sinking? In 1977 they created the Pizza Veneziana and from then till today a percentage of every one sold goes to the Venice in Peril Fund.
You get the idea - it's an interesting company that does some unexpected stuff.
Back to our little project. So the mandate was quite straightforward - make a beautiful video that captured the various key elements of PizzaExpress: the location, the design and art which they support, the commitment to high quality super fresh ingredients, the pursuit of the most traditional Italian ways of pizza preparation, the fun, relaxed atmosphere and of course most important - the customers!
Well a lot to pack into a short 1.5 minute video, but I think we did a pretty good job of it! And by the way, we also created the 3D animated version of their logo at the top of this page :-)
Check out the final video we made here:
Saturday, April 6, 2013
This is a pic of Kelvin with one of his Platinum selling albums produced for the UK band N'Dubz:
You can also check out his website and blog here: Afreex
Since Kelvin arrived in Hong Kong, we have had the chance to work together with many different well known Asian stars including: Sandy Lam (林憶蓮), Van Ness Wu (吳建豪), Jun Kung (恭碩良), MC Jin (歐陽靖), Hanjin Tan (陳奐仁), Race Wong (黃婉伶), Rosanne Wong (黃婉君), Michael Wong (王敏德) and many others.
Although I was not directly involved in Kelvin's production and recording of the song Mayfly (蜉蝣) for Joey Yung (容祖兒) he kindly invited me along to sit in on the recording session at This Music Studio.
The song was a great success and reached no.1 on the RTHK Radio 2 charts! Although it was not originally intended to be a "plug song" as it was the last album to be added to the album and the 4 plug songs had already been chosen, but because demand from the fans was so strong EEG decided to shoot a music video to the song and put it out in Karaoke's around Hong Kong. The video they shot turned out very well and you can check it out here:
Monday, April 1, 2013
A few months ago, I was very lucky to come across a very interesting opportunity indeed. I was introduced to the head of Hong Kong's leading importer of rare and top-quality whiskey for a marketing and PR consulting job. Now, for anyone who knows me well you will definitely know that I am a HUGE fan of good whiskey and suddenly having the opportunity to work with and taste some of the best whiskies in the world was like a dream come true!
The job description was pretty interesting too - they had recently been offered a space for a 3 month pop-up store in The Landmark, one of HK's oldest and most exclusive shopping malls, and they wanted to bring me on board to spread the word on this exciting first in Hong Kong. Needless to say I enthusiastically said "yes!".
The first thing we decided to get to work on was a launch party to welcome in existing and new customers, so we booked the date, sent out the invites and off we went! Here are a few snaps of the party so you can see how it went:
|Drinks were very popular!|
|Sniff and sip|
|Lots to choose from|
|Discussing the drinks|
|Me & Next Media Crew|
|Sean Fitzpatrick of Tatler Group|
Here is the final map that we put together for our Get in the Spirit Walk:
As you can imagine we had great feedback from this event, but it still wasn't the end of all the fun things we had up our sleeves!
To keep the excitement and interest up throughout our whole tenure, we decided to set-up a free tutored tasting every Saturday and Sunday afternoon between 2pm & 5pm. This meant that every weekend we would open up a few really special bottles and you could just drop in any time after lunch to try several of the best whiskies you had ever tried in your life and get educated in their background, history and tasting notes. Lots of fun - I attended several of the sessions myself!
There were still several other things that we set-up during our time in the Landmark and all of them were very enjoyable for us and hopefully for everyone who visited us too. And to see how successful the whole project was, check out some of the flattering articles we got in the press below:
|Hip Hong Kong|
And you'll be happy to know that the story hasn't come to an end just yet! I've been talking to the guys at Spiriteca again recently and seems they have the next exciting plan already in action behind the scenes. Keep your eyes peeled!