New drama tells story of national brand innovation

With the new urban drama Rising with the Wind streaming on iQiyi, its topic is once again focusing audiences' interest on the inheritance and reshaping of traditional Chinese culture in today's modern world.  

Starring Gong Jun and Zhong Chuxi, the drama tells the story of a group of young people who struggle to promote and revive national brands by showing the charm and development of Chinese local brands. 

It has even won popularity among audiences abroad, as the drama has topped the charts on iQiyi International in many countries and regions such as Australia and Canada. 

In a recent interview with the Global Times, the producer and the stars of the drama shared their inspiration and ­experiences, as well as their under-standing of and expectations for Chinese culture.

The drama is adapted from the novel of the same name. The author and screenwriter Wei Zai, a professional with many years of experience in the e-commerce industry, noted that she referred to many real-life national brand cases when writing the story to create a realistic industry workplace feel. 

The producer of the drama Wang Yixu said that he hoped to show the charm of Chinese brands and culture to overseas audiences through TV dramas, and also inspire more young people to support and love national goods. 

Zhang Yucheng, another producer of the drama, said the whole team is very happy to see the drama becomes a hit overseas and be loved by audiences all over the world.

In the story, elite investor Xu Si (played by Gong) meets Jiang Hu (played by Zhong), the daughter of the chairman of a national clothing group. The two focus on traditional Chinese brand Tengyue. From initial disagreement to final cooperation, they jointly promote the revival of this national brand. 

"It tells the story of the revival of a national brand, the development of national enterprises, and how local Chinese brands and culture can give everyone a sense of belonging and identity," noted Wang.

"Our protagonists represent different types of young people and industries. They are very willing to pay and work hard to make national brands be seen and accepted by more people," Wang said.  

As to why they chose such a theme, Wei noted that in recent years, with the rapid development of the e-commerce industry, marketing channels have become more diversified. Many national brands have regained their glory with the help of the internet, becoming trendy and famous in the eyes of the younger generations in China and more influential internationally.

There was a time when she experienced and witnessed several old nation-al brands rising though e-commerce. For her, this is a story of these brands being inherited and re-innovated by young people. 

"Before my writing, I had visited many domestic shoe companies, online celebrity brands, multi-channel network agencies, clothing and shoe factories, investment banks and even some small investment institutions," said the screenwriter Wei, who had in-depth communication with brand heads and founders before constructing a grounded and realistic industry workplace in the script.

As a TV series, the show not only shows the quality and strength of national goods, but also shows the creativity that their rise is bringing into play.  

In order to better restore the authenticity of the story, the producers brought in professionals with financial backgrounds who have insight in investment and commercialization and veteran marketing agents in physical industries and e-commerce as consultants. 

The two actors also said that they have gained a new understanding of national brand culture during the shoot, and also hoped to convey the spirit and value of the national brand tide through their performance. 

"I specifically learned about the stories and development history behind national sports shoes. Our national goods are not only powerful, but also have their own ideas and culture. These are all worth inheriting and promoting by younger generations," Zhong told the Global Times.

"I now have a new understanding of the culture promoting the rise of national brands. This culture not only has traditional cultural genes, but also has innovative development combined with modern culture. Those brands are advancing with the times and can meet young people's inner needs for feeling and fashion," said Gong.

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