News // 4 News by Jung von Matt / Greater China
We are delighted that Ben Teismann, Group Creative Director / Board Director at Jung von Matt Greater China, is supporting the GoSeeAWARDS as a juror. At the offices in Beijing and Shanghai, he and his team support clients such as Mercedes-Benz, smart, Porsche, Jeep or Montblanc. He especially likes the Chinese mindset – instead of saying 'No', you usually get a 'Let's see what happens'. And according to this maxim, we also call on photographers and creatives to submit their works to the GoSeeAWARDS free of charge: So let's see what happens when top creatives like Ben Teismann, who is always in search of photographers and directors, takes a look at your work.
He also finds his colleagues in China more curious and interested when it comes to taking new approaches. Ben Teismann tells us what else he has experienced in China in an interview for GoSee. Plus, he presents us his latest work and a peek behind the scenes of Jung von Matt Greater China.
How long have you been working as Creative Director for Jung von Matt and how did you end up in Shanghai? I started out as Creative Director with Jung von Matt / Neckar at the end of 2011. In the beginning of 2015, I took the opportunity to move to Jung von Matt / Tonghui (Beijing) as Group Creative Director. In 2017, we set up a second office in China – JV2M in Shanghai, and I was promoted to Group Creative Director / Board Director at JVM / Greater China. (JVM Shanghai doesn't exist under that name. There are Jung von Matt / Tonghui in Beijing and Jv2M in Shanghai; both together are Jung von Matt / Greater China). Since then, I've been commuting between Shanghai and Beijing.
What clients do you support there? At the moment: Mercedes-Benz, smart, Montblanc, Vitasoy, WF Central. Projects / Clients in the past: Porsche Motorsport, Henkel, Haribo, Jeep, Nikon, Erni, Carlsberg, Tuborg.
How exactly would you describe your job as Group Creative Director / Board Director? I am the Head of Creation for both offices in China. My main job is upholding the creative standard of Jung von Matt in China, too. Which means coaching the employees because the MO and training of creatives in China is completely different than those in the West. In the process, I get to learn lots of new things, new perspectives and ways of communicating, a different sense of aesthetics, a more pragmatic approach... What's most exciting is being able to combine the best of both cultures – being a Jung von Matt despite the language barriers. It also means actively participating in most projects, from concept to final art but also being actively involved in most productions, particularly international productions. And, of course, the client service or acquisition on the creative side.
Do you have any new examples / campaigns / projects you can share? Here are 5 works from the last few months which – I believe – have not been seen on GoSee yet.
- Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Online Video (Director: Joan Llabata, DOP: Jason Zhou, Production House: ID Creations Shanghai)
- smart brabus tailor-made TVC (Director: Paul Mignot, Production House: Eagle Media Shanghai)
- V-Class TVC and print for Mercedes-Benz Beijing (Director: Christian Aeby, Production House: radical media Shanghai, Photographer: Thomas Strogalski, Production House: Moto Artist and Production Beijing)
- V-Class print for Mercedes-Benz Beijing (Photographer: David Maurer, Production House: Beijing Eye)
- smart x IZZUE Collaboration "Greyvity" print (Photographer: Quentin Shih, Production House: Beijing Eye)
Is it true that large car campaigns are realized by German agencies together with Europeans there? Serviceplan and we are the only German agencies on site here, and as far as big car campaigns are concerned, we are engaged in an interesting competition with international agencies such as Ogilvy, Publicis, Saatchi&Saatchi, BBDO, Wieden & Kennedy... let's just say, we "share" the big car brands and campaigns.
Hardly any international campaigns are adapted; almost everything is newly produced for the Chinese market. This is due on the one hand to the fact that ideas/concepts/headlines can't be "translated" verbatim. And, as I have already said, there is a different sense of aesthetics. Plus, the details on the vehicles for the Chinese market often differ from those for the European market.
And loads of campaigns are constantly produced. It would be untrue to say that the big campaigns are done by European photographers, directors, etc., and the smaller campaigns are done by locals. I'd say the estimated ratio would be one of 5 productions made by westerners.
Whether a production is realized with a western photographer, director, etc. is primarily a question of budget or quality. But even here you can't say: "more budget, better quality = westerners". The case is rather that very good local photographers, directors, etc. don't do the job for any less than westerners who are especially flown in.
Western photographers, directors, etc. are highly respected for their quality in general. In print productions, we often forget that the quality of a photo not only depends on the shoot but also on the entire post-production process. Photographers are often just flown in for the shoot and seldom get the chance to work with a retoucher. Plus, there are only very few good retouchers in China. For instance, in Beijing with a population of 25 million, I have only found two really good retouchers so far; one of them is German.
In my opinion, most campaigns are realized in China because it is still a hassle for the Chinese to get foreign visas. I see it as an opportunity. China offers a plethora of fresh, exciting locations with many things that would be unimaginable in other countries, such as Anke Luckmann's Parkour Runner Project.
What's the main difference between client needs on the Chinese market compared to the European? Constant 24/7 availability.
What's most exciting about working as a CD in Beijing and Shanghai? I like the mindset in China. Do more, worry less. Particularly in this industry, where it's too easy to over-discuss things; it's exciting to just try things out. There are, of course, limits. At the moment, you can't do anything with tattoos and hip hop for example. Humor is also a complex field, but I hardly ever hear "It's not possible!" but mostly "Let's see what happens".
I find my colleagues here are more curious and interested when it comes to taking new approaches, which also leads me to be more open about absolutely unusual approaches. With some amazing results.
What's your take on the two cities? What are your personal highlights? What I like about Beijing is the constant change. Just yesterday there was a restaurant, and today it's a super comic store. Or you walk through Sanlitun in the afternoon and get the impression that Ferraris are being given away here, and you sit in a smoky Tepanayki bar on the second floor of a shack in the evening having the funniest conversation with a Japanese guy you don't even understand. Beijing has great art and music scenes; very young, very wild. Beijing is modern and traditional, global and Chinese at the same time – always exciting. One of my favorite places are the Hutongs around the Lama Temple, where somehow everything seems to flow together.
In Shanghai, I like the cosmopolitan flair. Shanghai doesn't feel like China for the most part. Shanghai is in my eyes a truly international city but not that hectic. Shanghai is relaxed.
I can't say which city I like better, but I do enjoy commuting back and forth between the two cities. In other words, Beijing is like Berlin; Shanghai is like Hamburg – both are cool, you just can't compare them.
Public transportation? Or Shanghai by bike? Everything but driving a car. Driving in the city is hell due to the 24-hour traffic jam. The quickest and easiest way to get from A to B is a combination of subway and share-a-bike. Sometimes orientation can get a bit complex, but most people are very willing to help.
What about the old, traditional Beijing / Shanghai? Do they still exist? I don't think so. There are isolated places that feel traditional but really aren't. There is a very interesting trend at the moment. After decades of copying Western standards, more and more young designers and architects are trying to modernize China's cultural heritage, creating something truly new – very exciting.
(Further information on Ben Teismann's work: benteismann.tumblr.com, blog: livingonearthisexpensive.tumblr.com social: instagram.com/bteismann)
04.09.2018 // show complete article
JUNG VON MATT / GREATER CHINA realized a SMART BRABUS tailor-made TV commercial with Director Paul Mignot (Production House: Eagle Media Shanghai) as well as the smart x IZZUE collaboration “Greyvity” (Photographer: Quentin Shih; Production House: Beijing Eye).
04.09.2018 // show complete article
V-Class TVC and print for Mercedes-Benz Beijing (Director: Christian Aeby; Production House: radical media Shanghai, Photographer: Thomas Strogalski; Production House: Moto Artist and Production Beijing
V-Class print for Mercedes-Benz Beijing (Photographer: David Maurer; Production House: Beijing Eye ).
04.09.2018 // show complete article