City Chain: Justifying prime-time buy

When Stella Chow, marketing director of City Chain – the mother company of Sovil et Titus – saw the four-minute director’s cut versus the two-minute version of its latest commercial, “100 Years”, she knew the viewers can only be convinced with the longer one, even if it meant pushing a mammoth budget to air it on prime time on TVB.

“The story is quite complicated: so we saw that the four minutes were completely necessary. And it was the crucial foundation to the rest of our integrated campaign,” she said.

By that, she meant a Facebook game where couples can – like the ones the in commercial – sign and date a marriage contract with a personalised message.

The tale is of a man who legalises the extension of wedding contracts; but as his witnesses more and more failed relationships, his confidence in his own relationship falters.

The man changes his mind when an old client changed his previous year-long contracts to 100 years, claiming that his wife will pass away in a month, and he wishes to date her for the next life.

“We wanted to bank upon the warmth and the togetherness during Christmas time, and we hope that every viewer will be affected,” explained Chow, adding that the lengthy commercial also required intensive liaison with the TVB team, who worried about legal issues and whether its audience would be interested.

As a result, the game went viral on Facebook as well as other forums and the watch saw a double-digit sales growth that outperformed industry average.

“It’s very up in the air, the concept operates in fantasy, but the emotions within the story are real – those are what we want to convey,” she added.

“In a way, that’s our tribute to creativity that we think lack in the world of advertising right now.”