Chapter 437: A war of two posters
The date on which Weixin went online would be the same as when <Crazy Stone> was released in cinemas, 1st January 2016.
Happy Farm was still going strong, with everyone still nicely addicted to it. Based on such a foundation, Xingchen Technologies carried out a series of measures to attract their user base during this period of time, frequently coming up with various activities and projects. One of them was ‘Agglomerating The Stars’ which had recently gone online. A pioneer of Internet-based charitable acts, this innovation won much acclaim and praise for Xingchen Technologies.
Of course, Weibo benefited from this as well. Weibo’s user base had been skyrocketing ever since Happy Farm had been launched in mid September, not having slowed at all towards the end of the year. Its total user base had already reached 180 million too with a huge increase in activity as well.
Xu Tingsheng’s much-desired closely knit communities had gradually come to find their home at Weibo, though they were still far more used to communicating and interacting on QQ rather than through private messaging on Weibo when online.
At the same time, Xingchen’s legal department successively sued two internet enterprises which had infringed on their game copyrights.
Tencent had not touched the farm game. Its own game, QQ fantasy, was also extremely popular as it had additionally launched its own recreational games too.
The two sides had yet to truly collide so far.
Still, this was really the calm before the storm.
Whether they had judged it themselves based on their own acuity or it was from insider information, rumours were already spreading that Xingchen Technologies would be releasing its own instant communication software in the near future. The war between Xingchen and Tencent in the communications domain was unavoidable.
In early December, Tencent announced that it had received another 40 million USD from its investors.
In contrast, the media reported that Xingchen Technologies had refused yet another investment offer…
Xingchen seemed to have fallen at a disadvantage in the preparatory stages of this war. Where its scale and foundation had been inferior in the first place, now this...more and more people believed that they would lose.
Many of Xingchen Technologies’ employees were feeling worried as they waited for Xu Tingsheng to come up with a solution or countermeasure.
Still, Xu Tingsheng himself was not all that concerned about this. He was not delusional. To take down Tencent, take down QQ, replace QQ completely? At the current stage, at least, there was absolutely no chance of that happening at all. It was also not this that Weixin was tasked with.
Right now, as long as Weixin could stir up some tides in the domain of instant communication software and obtain a sizeable user base, even if it was only half or a third of what QQ had or even lower, even if others felt that Weixin had seen defeat, it would actually still be a success.
While the current Tencent might not yet be as powerful as it would be in the future, QQ was already an indisputable hegemon in the domain of instant communication technology.
Therefore, this war was like a small wolf challenging a massive beast in the latter’s territory. It should not strive to completely kill the other party. Instead, it should try to protect itself as best as it could, clamping its jaws on a piece of meat before running away. Only when it had grown stronger should it return...this was the correct strategy.
Those who were bare-footed did not fear those who wore shoes. He would grab any miniscule scraps that he could, and that would still be a profit anyway…
Xu Tingsheng was not flustered.
As for the movie, Huang Yaming had been the one in charge of it all along.
In early December, <Endless> was the first to release its promotional poster. The handsome men and beautiful women in ancient garb were indeed pleasing to the eye.
Meanwhile, as discussion on the animated clip reached its peak, Huang Yaming gave his answer on Tianyi’s side. The first poster for <Crazy Stone> was released.
This poster spread like wildfire as pretty much everyone knew that that animated clip was actually from a movie that would soon be screened, <Crazy Stone>. Through this, their interest in the movie grew as well.
Yet, Huang Yaming still felt despondent.
People are always saying that this is an era in which looks matter. Actually, which era isn’t like this…
Huang Yaming looked at his cast, and then at theirs. His side didn’t depend on their looks in the first place. Additionally, they all had on bizarre makeup and beggar getups…
The general public generally shared Huang Yaming’s view.
“Where did these demons crop up from?”
“What are they trying to do?”
“Don’t scare me…”
“Looking like this, and still acting in movies?”
Celebrities generally looked better when they had gotten more famous. It actually mattered not even if their looks weren’t so great. It was really not malicious for people to say things like this before even witnessing the acting skills and inner qualities of an actor. This existed in all eras.
Fuelled by certain people behind the scenes, jeering, mockery, ridicule...they all successively came.
“If I’d known that it’d be like this, wouldn’t it be better to just preserve that sense of secrecy…” A despondent Huang Yaming complained to Xu Tingsheng.
At a time like this, it was Jin Datang who was happiest. Every day, he basically spent some time looking at the conversations of the netizens and their jeering and ridicule of <Crazy Stone>'s actors. However much he read them, he still felt entertained.
Jin Datang used Weibo too. As the boss of an entertainment company, he very much liked to make his presence known to the public.
His newest Weibo post.
There were the posters of both the movies. Below this was written: Good looks, epic production versus queer fruits, unsightly view...how would you choose? Forgive me if I am not sympathetic enough.
Whether or not such words were excessive, the majority of people still liked this post. Moreover, the celebrities acting in his movie had their fanbases.
The one good thing about this was that many people came to know of <Crazy Stone> and also hold some curiosity towards it. Still, the losses were also great: Many people, especially females, expressed: Like I’d go watch a beggar gang legend movie…
Many in the industry felt that <Crazy Stone> would definitely make a profit in the box office and earn some. Considering the initial investment sum and how so many people knew about it, this was basically already set in stone.
Still, they also felt sorry for Huang Yaming. There had virtually never been a chance of <Crazy Stone> winning in the first place, not in any aspect whatsoever. Right now, even winning just a single week seemed a tall task indeed.
Just a few days after the poster was released, Huang Yaming hosted some of the cast and crew of <Crazy Stone> in Bright Brilliance.
Xu Tingsheng was present too.
So many future bigwigs of the industry were here right now, a little tense as they sat in front of their investor while still having yet to become famous. It actually made for quite an interesting feeling.
“Would you mind going up to sing a song, Mr Huang?” Xu Tingsheng pointed at the stage.
It was generally Huang Yaming who interacted with these people. His identity now being different, Xu Tingsheng had thought for a long time before finally coming up with this tactic. Mister Huang here referred to Huang Bo.
“You can sing?” Huang Yaming asked astonishedly.
“Not only can he sing, he can dance too. He was a singer once, right? Singing regularly...Blue Sandstorm,” Xu Tingsheng smiled as he revealed the name of Huang Bo’s former group.
Everyone present was taken aback, Huang Bo himself included.
Xu Tingsheng thought inwardly: I saw a lot of your interviews on the computer in my previous life.
Having much experience from his many years of singing, Huang Bo was not flustered as he went to the stage downstairs and sang a <Love and Anxiety>. He was a capable singer indeed.
In asking him to sing, Xu Tingsheng was really paving the foundation for another matter.
Upon Huang Bo’s return, he immediately asked, “That was really good, Mister Huang. I wonder if you might be interested in singing the movie’s theme song?”
“Oh, really? I thought that Miss Cen Xiyu…”
“It’s also fine to have two theme songs!” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “Her image may be too high for this movie too. Oh, no offence, everyone.”
“<Uglie>, Rebirth’s new song. There’s only a relatively crude live version of it on the internet. I feel that this song fits in quite nicely with the public sentiments we’re facing now. We can take it as a counterattack as well as advertisement. It’s just that-I wonder if Mister Huang would mind doing it…”
At this point in time, being able to sing Rebirth’s song was actually a very lucky thing for Huang Bo who had aspired towards music yet lacked the ability to fulfil this dream. He had been in the industry for many years and performed in various places throughout the country, having even run a factory too. He had experienced a lot and had high EQ. With all that considered, Huang Bo did not appear too emotionally agitated as he smiled, shaking his head.
He said sincerely, “It’s okay. My friends, fellow directors, production crew...many people...I got used to it long ago, anyway. Also, I’ve heard the song before. It’s very deep and meaningful. I find it can be considered as speaking up for ordinary people like me. I’m very willing. Thanks!”
“You’re welcome. Just give more opportunities for us to work together with you when you’re famous in the future! That goes for everyone else too. Let’s work together in the future,” Xu Tingsheng raised his wineglass, “Here’s to a killing in the box office, and to all your futures!”
Xu Tingsheng built a foundation for the future. As for whether they could make use of this to sign a couple more movie contracts with these artistes, that was Huang Yaming’s task. These people would probably not refuse. After all, these future box office machines could surely never imagine right now just how much influence they would have in the movie industry in the future.
With Tianyi supporting and aiding them, the song was recorded very quickly.
In mid December, the Huang Bo version <Uglie> was released on various media channels. Coupled with a few scenes from the movie, the music video had mainly been filmed within the studio itself. Remarkable singing prowess, sincere voice, heartfelt outpouring of emotions, the lyrics that fit in so well with the current public sentiments and also left such a deep impression…
Riding on the current trending topic and Rebirth’s popularity, this song spread extremely rapidly.
Just as Xu Tingsheng had said, this was an advertisement and counterattack too. Most people in this world were inevitably ordinary. As more and more people resonated with this song, as more and more people empathised with the feelings within…
All that ridicule and mockery became a real eyesore indeed. Everyone began reflecting on themselves, wondering when they had become so shallow, lacking compassion in simply randomly hurting others in their words without justification.
All those arrogant people began getting stomped on, including the unwary Jin Datang who, taken entirely off guard, was mercilessly rebuked for a few hundred pages.
The hard work of ordinary people as they silently tolerated what life dealt them and strove on earnestly started to be appreciated and cheered on, because it was actually more difficult for ordinary people to succeed, to be given opportunities.
Thus began a complete and utter reversal in public sentiments.
At the end of the music video, the full cast of <Crazy Stone> appeared. Sincere smiles on their faces, they said earnestly, “We may not look that good. Still, our movie is good to watch.”
From all around the country, people wrote their replies to this on Weibo, on the various forums…
“Just based on this song alone, I’ll definitely watch it...”
“Thank you for being the representative of ‘we, the ordinary’.”
“I owe you guys a movie ticket. I’ll definitely return it.”
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