The Brief

The tourism industry is very particular in China, where the average tourist prefers a guided package rather than adventuring themselves into the unknown.

AGODA, a travel platform leader in Asia, wants to promote another kind of tourism and show the Chinese audience another kind of experience that is only possible when you dive in and truly explore a new place. AGODA calls this way of traveling Land Diving.

The brief asks for a series of films shot as casually as possible in which the concept of Land Diving is explored and communicated.

True immersion doesn’t happen until you are on your own

The Agoda Land Diving experience aims to encourage Chinese tourists to get off the guided tours main road and explore by themselves, allowing spontaneous and authentic experiences to happen.

For Land Divers, the experiences emerge from their interaction instead of being artificially presented to them as a pre-arranged pack. By letting themself go,  and eventually getting lost, the tourist becomes a traveler in a whole new world.

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The Challenge(s)

A particularly interesting project. Two were the main things we had to observe when thinking about how to develop the idea:

One, it had to look casual, to the point it had to look like they were shooting each other with their phones. It was a creative requirement, so it makes the audience think they can travel and get the same experiences (and footage). Not a big deal tho. You shoot with a trusted cameraman to make it look like it was shot by them. Yes, it’s a lie. Welcome to advertising.

The other one was more tricky. The timing was really, really tight. To the point that we had to send 4 crews to different locations while I would direct them from Shanghai.

This took a huge amount of preparation to be able to pull it off. Networks of scouts would send us options for locations and activities to do, we would study the area, choose the backdrops and activities highlights. Then we would make a daily plan for each crew and cast, and let them roam free. Then every night we would download the previews of the day and check if our shooting was going as expected or had to be modified.

Eventually, we got everything we needed and the result made our client very happy. A true feat of production management. God bless internet.