The majority of Asian countries, including China and Indonesia, have already for the past several years been enthusiastically transforming their economies from export-driven to consumption-driven. Accordingly, the advertisement industry is expected to continue to show double digit growth. Taking into consideration collectivistic patterns of Asian cultures we can observe overwhelming involvement of talents in all marketing activities. No matter whether it is online, onscreen, or onsite promotion, talents are always a key element of advertising and promotional activities.
China is currently experiencing a massive influx of foreign talents of all types – models and actors, singers, dancers, circus and theme parks performers, and all of whom are considered premium here just because of their nationality. It is estimated that there are about 10,000 foreign models working as freelancers in Mainland China along with more than 30 professional model agencies supplying talents for event companies, production houses, exhibitions, etc. Since this influx of foreign talent has only just happened recently, there as a lack of solid infrastructure and established market standards for participants’ interactions.
The success of a promotional event, television commercial shooting, or fashion show depends greatly on the talents involved. When a large amount of resources are concentrated to push forward a product or idea, it is absolutely necessary to be sure that talents will do their best. However, talents are often misused, cheated, or simply treated badly. That’s why it might be difficult and costly to establish cooperation with professional and well-behaved models, actors, and other type of artists, until they are sure that everything will go well.
As the market is continues to grow, there is a rising demand for regulations and transparency coming from both sides - bookers and talents. More particularly, there are the following problems which exist within the talent-booker relationship:
Search. Spreading job information is resource intensive and it is difficult to find decent talent. The current supply and demand is hidden, channels are not consolidated. Bookers are not aware of talent’s schedules, so it takes time to contact each one. The current solutions are outdated technologically and logically.
Reputation. Trying to track talents on your own and or using booker blacklists is difficult, since there is no unified database for record keeping. Often job conditions are not described clearly, bookers are rude to talents or even outright lie about the job details. There are no clearly fixed prices for jobs, unfair propositions and low offers from the bookers are common. On the other hand, models themselves often misbehave or fail to fulfill the requirements of the job. This leads to distrust on both sides.
Presentation. Collecting and presenting casting info is time-consuming. Because talent presentation materials are not standardized, bookers often just go for talents whose presentation materials are better, and miss out on getting the better talent.
As the market is getting more mature and sophisticated, there is a certain need for complex monitoring and preventive measures that would help to make the industry more transparent and efficient. Generally, the problems in Asian talent market are quite common for all developing markets. Thus once the solution is found and successfully introduced, it can be applied to other regions as well.