Chapter 190 - Choosing the Best Candidate for the Male Lead Role

Sheng Jiaoyang arrived home with reddened lips.

Watching her go upstairs, Grandfather Yang sighed. "It's nice to be young!"

The drama ‘Redeeming My IGD Boyfriend’ was extremely popular and the lead actors’ fame increased day by day, and Xu Jiaojiao topped the searches list again. After all, this was a drama centred around the female lead. Her fame not only increased the viewership ratings but also increased the box office sales. More than ten days had passed since the premiere of Steve's film starring Sheng Jiaoyang. Normally, the sales of a film would start decreasing after the premiere week, but the number of people entering the cinema to watch Steve’s film increased instead. Many people went to watch it because Xu Jiaojiao was starring in it.

Director Steve instantly noticed the phenomenal increase in the box office sales. After finding out the reason behind it, he personally called Lina to sing the praises of Xu Jiaojiao. Afterwards, he said that he could recommend Jiaojiao to audition for another famous director's new film production. It didn’t matter how great an actor’s acting skills were, actors who could bring more box office sales and increase the viewership ratings were good actors in the eyes of commercial directors, this was the status quo.

Lina immediately relayed Steve’s message to inform Sheng Jiaoyang.

However, Sheng Jiaoyang declined the offer, because the film directed by Cen Jin was about to start filming right after the New Year. She didn't have time to join another film production. Besides, it was only an audition, she didn't want to waste her time trying out for a movie that she couldn’t take on.

Lina also brought up the future development of their company. In the saturated European market, they clearly had to expand their market if they wanted to seek better development opportunities. Nowadays, China’s economy was growing at a fast pace, so advertisement was a key factor to penetrate this new market.

Lina said, "You have the right momentum, so you’ll be responsible for the ads and endorsements."

As part owner, Sheng Jiaoyang also bore the responsibility in promoting their products, so she naturally agreed.

Now that they had decided to advertise, she must first find a good ad agency to request for a proposal. If the proposal is in line with their company’s vision, they would proceed to shoot the ad.

Ad agencies were generally easy to find as long as they could afford the price. Sheng Jiaoyang soon found a copywriter. After reviewing the proposal, both Sheng Jiaoyang and Lina decided to proceed with it and shoot the advertisement.

The advertisement was divided into three sections. The first section was the intro story. In this chapter, a wandering traveller inadvertently smelled a unique fragrance from a girl en route his trip and consequently fell in love with her, but there were too many people on the street and the girl disappeared in the blink of an eye. The traveller tried to locate her but to no avail. In the end, he was summoned home by his family. Then, one day as he was wandering the streets, he smelled the same delicate fragrance amidst the sea of people and saw the girl again.

The second section was the love story. After seeing the girl again, the traveller devised ways and means to get to know the girl. Afterwards, both of them showed interest in each other. The traveller decided to stop his aimless travels out of regard for the girl, and the two walked down the aisle together. On their wedding day, the girl's best friend also sprayed this perfume and caught her predestined other half’s attention.

The third section was the closing story. The two grew old together. The husband fell victim to Alzheimer's disease and got lost on his way home, but as soon as he smelled the fragrance from his wife's body, he managed to return home himself. Afterwards, the white-haired couple snuggled together, and the old lady closed her eyes. When the old man cast a glance at the old lady and saw her peaceful expression, he smiled and slowly closed his eyes.

In the finale, the ad concluded with the opening scene. The traveller walked in the street with a tired face, and suddenly smelled a wisp of pleasant fragrance. He looked around to search for the traces of the fragrance and saw a beautiful woman standing with flowers in hand, flashing a sweet smile at him.

From smelling the fragrance to getting to know each other, to becoming kindred spirits to growing old together, all of this started and ended with the fragrance of the perfume.

The ad copy was very good, but the main issue was finding a suitable person for the traveller role. The ad agency provided Sheng Jiaoyang with a list of male celebrities and their approximate price. To make the ad successful, it was naturally better to sign a popular male celebrity, but in this case, the advertising cost would be very high.

Lina flew over with a team specifically for this advertisement. She didn't expect to encounter such a dilemma when it came to choosing a male celebrity for the traveller role.

As an emerging company, the biggest difference between a start-up and well-established companies was capital. To go as far as to spend several million to sign a popular male celebrity to shoot an ad wasn’t a very rational move, but if they wanted to penetrate the market quickly, this was undoubtedly the best approach.

Lina sighed. "We estimated we’ll be spending up to two million dollars on advertising. But after subtracting the fee paid to the ad agency, we wouldn’t have much left, so it’s impossible to sign a popular male celebrity. If only I were a man right now, we wouldn’t need to spend money to hire someone."

Sheng Jiaoyang was still studying the ad copy. Then, her gaze landed on the word ‘traveller’ and she suddenly thought of a person.

"Wait, I'll go make a call."

She picked up her cell phone and walked aside to call Gu Zhou. The phone rang awhile before it was answered.

"Hi, are you busy?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked.

Gu Zhou unhurriedly answered, "No, I’m not busy at the moment. It's rare for you to call me of your own accord."

"You’re making it sound as if I never took the initiative to ring you." Sheng Jiaoyang laughed.

Gu Zhou's hearty laughter came from the other end of the phone.

"I want to talk to you about something. My best friend's company is shooting a TV commercial for a new perfume line, but we are missing the male lead. If you’re free and haven’t taken on this kind of endorsement yet, then do me a favour. Of course, I won't let you work in vain. I'll offset it with the salary you have to pay me for your movie." Sheng Jiaoyang explained.

Gu Zhou didn’t even hesitate and directly answered, "Okay, I happen to be free this week. There’s no need for you to use your salary to offset this favour. I’m not short of money."

Sheng Jiaoyang was considerably surprised when Gu Zhou agreed to her request without a second thought. She now had a better impression of him. He is truly a loyal and good friend!

After discussing the time and place with Gu Zhou, she walked back to her seat.

"I have already invited a suitable candidate for the male lead role. He’s currently in the capital and can only fly over this afternoon. You can start preparing and get everything else ready to start filming tomorrow morning. We should strive to finish the shoot in three days." Sheng Jiaoyang said to the ad agency’s representative sitting opposite her.

"Can you tell us who you’ve invited?" The representative from the ad agency’s planning department curiously asked

"You’ll know when you see him tomorrow. By the way, he's a little over 1.8 m tall and has a slender physique. Please take note of this when you prepare the costumes and props."

After stepping out of the ad agency, Lina asked, "Who did you invite?"

"Gu Zhou."

"Oh, it's him. I remember you mentioning that he’s the Movie Emperor, am I right? What terms did you use to persuade him?"

"When I asked him for this favour, he agreed right away, without proposing any conditions. Let's go pick him up at the airport later."

"Oh, it just so happens that I need to go to the airport too."

Sheng Jiaoyang cast a peculiar look at Lina and asked, "What are you doing at the airport? Didn't you say that you’re going to stay here to celebrate the Lunar New Year?"

There was a sweet smile on Lina's face as she replied, "George is coming over."

"Are you finally back together?"

Lina nodded. "I asked him out last week and we decided to start over."

"That's great!" Sheng Jiaoyang beamed. Looks like her last meeting with George wasn’t in vain.

The two leisurely enjoyed afternoon tea before driving to the airport. George’s flight was earlier than Gu Zhou’s, so they first proceeded to the hall where George was supposed to arrive and waited outside for him. As the Lunar New Year was approaching, many people walked in and out of the airport. For fear of being surrounded by the crowd, they waited in the car.

When Lina's cell phone rang, she knew that George had arrived.

When Sheng Jiaoyang saw George again, she could see that he’d changed. The last time they met in the cafe, he appeared dispirited. But now the gloom in his eyes was long gone and he returned to being the radiant and handsome man he used to be.

Perhaps it was because it wasn’t easy for Lina and George to get back together, so they were more lovey-dovey now. As soon as they met, they greeted each other with a passionate kiss, completely ignoring their surroundings.

Sheng Jiaoyang was showered with their PDA. Fortunately, Shen Zhining was generally serious in public. If he was like George, she wouldn’t be able to stand it.

Cough, cough. Seeing that more and more people were looking in their direction, Sheng Jiaoyang pushed her sunglasses upwards and reminded, "Are you two done kissing yet? If not, then please get in the car and continue."

Lina hurriedly pushed George away and got in the car with a flushed face.

George swept a glance at Sheng Jiaoyang standing by the car door. He naturally remembered her. After their last meeting, he now saw Xu Jiaojiao, who succeeded Sheng Jiaoyang as Lina's best friend, in a different light. Lina was able to muster up the courage to get back together with him thanks to Xu Jiaojiao. Speaking of which, he still needs to thank her.

When they got in the car, Sheng Jiaoyang sat opposite Lina and George. She helplessly watched them snuggle together and continue being lovey-dovey.

"Who else are we waiting for?" George noticed that the car was circling around the airport.

"Jiaojiao invited a famous star to shoot an ad for my new perfume and his flight is a bit later than yours," Lina answered.

"Oh."

"If you want, you guys can leave first, I'll stay here and wait for him." Sheng Jiaoyang stated.

Lina shook her head and said, "No, he not only did you a favour but also did me a great favour. I have to thank him in person."

Sheng Jiaoyang cast a helpless look at George. She initially wanted to let them go spend some alone time together, but looks like it’s not happening.

George followed along and nodded in agreement. "Yup, we must thank him for his help."

When the car drove to the exit hall where Gu Zhou was arriving from, they parked and waited for him. After a while, Gu Zhou finally came out.

Despite dressing in a low profile manner, Gu Zhou was still surrounded by a few people.

"Gu Zhou, this way—" Sheng Jiaoyang opened the window and called out.

The people around Gu Zhou screamed.

"Kyaaahhhhh~ It's really Gu Zhou!!!"

While these onlookers were still busy confirming his identity, Gu Zhou quickly ran to the car and got in. His movements were quick and swift. He had clearly done this many times.

Gu Zhou wasn’t surprised when he saw that there were others in the car. He calmly greeted, "Hi, I’m Gu Zhou."

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xYuna's Thoughts

TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace