A few months back I bumped into Daniel Rae out at the rugby club in Waigaoqiao. When asking what he had been up to since I had seen him last, he told me a very entertaining story of his TV home shopping show debut for the company he works for, Fonterra (a New Zealand dairy company). Whilst he refuses to send any kind of link to the actual show, he did agree to share his story…
How on Earth did the opportunity come up, what channel were you on, and do you now have screaming girls chase you down the street?
The opportunity came through a promotion by our e-commerce sales team, I wasn’t even the first choice but another colleague (much smarter than I) thought better of it and recommended me in his place.
After a distributor dinner, some notes on a napkin and precious little other advice, I find myself standing on set in Changsha, I hear the host start the introduction, get thrust a microphone, then look up to see cameras and the recording light on, next thing I know I’m on Hunan “Happigo” TV, broadcasting live to Hunan housewives describing the virtues of Anchor milk…
I was fully expecting to be mobbed when I went out that evening, I can only assume my fans were still sitting on the sofa at home indulging their TV shopping needs. So no.
Did you get any feedback after doing the show – did they beg you for a repeat performance?
Sales were good, whether that could be attributed to my presence is highly unlikely!
It was shot live but recorded and repeated again during the day and in following weeks, like any quality infomercial I suppose. Does that count? I guess not.
Any awkward or cringe-worthy moments?
That was the general feeling… If I was to select one moment, then the part when the host tried to cut me off just as I getting to the finish – I pushed through it. She clearly didn’t understand a word of what I was saying, much like the viewers I’m sure.
And also when I momentarily impersonated a fish, briefly moving my mouth with no words coming out, so yeah, basically I nailed it!
Would you do it again?
At the time I really wanted a second take, now I’m a little wiser, but I probably still would.
Aside from being a TV celebrity, what is your day job in Shanghai?
I work in supply chain importing the above mentioned dairy products, which I’m much more suited to.
In 1 word, describe your Shanghai experience to date?
In 1 word..? Impossible