Volume 4 Chapter 5 Shirogane Aqua, Takes on Department Store Work
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
As the sports festival came to an end, my work gradually became busier. On weekdays after school, I would usually have singing or dancing lessons and complete some short tasks that could be done in a few hours. Most of the drama-related shoots took place on weekends, making my days both busy and enjoyable.
From John, who had achieved great success on the runway in our home country, I received concepts for music video art direction and costume design. I couldn’t contain my excitement for the upcoming shoot. I also discussed the ideas with Moja-san, and it seemed like the new music video would be quite a shocking piece.
Ako-san had purchased a nearly four-minute time slot for a prime-time TV commercial at 8 PM, the highest-rated time slot, and planned to broadcast the MV as a commercial simultaneously on all TV stations. Hearing about this unprecedented approach, I felt a thrill of anticipation.
However, a significant issue that arose in implementing this plan was funding. Reserving a four-minute slot during prime time on multiple channels would undoubtedly require a considerable amount of money. Additionally, securing simultaneous commercial airtime on all channels would likely require strong connections with the TV stations.
”That’s why, as I mentioned before, I will rely on my former company for this matter.”
Ako-san had previously worked at a major advertising agency affiliated with a Zaibatsu (business conglomerates). By involving an agency between us and the TV stations, she intended to facilitate smooth coordination and negotiations with the networks.
”In return, Aqua-kun, as I explained the other day, you will take on several projects for me. I apologize for my limitations…”
”Ako-san, on the contrary, thank you so much for all the work you’ve done for me. I believe that in these kinds of relationships, cooperation is key to creating something great. Moreover, I reviewed the project details, and they all seem incredibly interesting. I would like to take them on.”
I expressed my gratitude to Ako-san and once again focused my gaze on the project materials she had handed to me. All the projects were related to the advertising agency where Ako-san had worked—a part of the Fuji Group, a leading Zaibatsu in the country with over 100 affiliated companies.
”It’s reassuring to hear you say that. By the way, this will be the closest project to us.”
Ako-san said as she took out a piece of paper and placed it in front of me.
The client for this project was the Fuji Department Store, one of the well-known department stores located throughout the country.
”Ako-san… I have an exclusive contract with Corolle. Is it okay?”
Typically, working with a department store would involve clothing-related projects, which might be challenging considering my contract with Corolle.
”Don’t worry. I confirmed with both parties, and Fuji Department Store not only carries Corolle but also said that collaborating with other brands owned by the main group or brands that Corolle is currently collaborating with would not be an issue.”
I took another look at the detailed project description. It stated that Fuji Department Store wanted to feature me as an icon for their PR campaign aimed at attracting young people. Fuji Department Store was known for its high status among department stores, and its customer base consisted mainly of older individuals.
To change the image of Fuji Department Store, which operated in an area where many young people gathered, they had been renovating extensively. The renovations went beyond remodeling and could almost be considered a new opening, encompassing the exterior, interior, and the shops inside.
”Also, I checked with Morinaga-san, and they mentioned that if you can introduce their high-end line of biscuits on the Department Store, which their company will be opening soon, there won’t be any issue with promoting other food products besides biscuits.”
By the way, apart from that, there was also the Morinaga-san project… I had been doing various jobs for them, such as shooting biscuit-making videos and uploading them to Morinaga’s official YouTube channel. They often assigned me tasks for their projects.
”So, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve already received permission from your mother, but I think we’ll need to start the shoot early in the morning. Are you okay with that?”
”It’s fine. Since it’s a substitute holiday for the sports festival, I already planned to have the day off.”
Looking at the project materials, the meeting time was set for 5 AM. We would have some discussions and then proceed with the shoot from 6 AM to 9 AM, during the morning hours. But it wasn’t just a regular shoot.
We would be visiting various TV stations and broadcasting live from the specially arranged feature segment to showcase the attractions of the newly opening Fuji Department Store. Surprisingly, even the national broadcasting network had been included in the lineup.
Normally, the national broadcaster wouldn’t get involved in advertising for private companies, but I wondered what they were planning.
”According to the national broadcaster, Morikawa-san, who spoke to you during the show, will be in charge.”
Oh, I see. I’m not unfamiliar with Morikawa-san, so it might be quite easy to work with her. She even came to the cafe in disguise the other day. Morikawa-san is energetic and has an aggressive side, but she’s generally a gentle and calm person.
”The content on the national broadcaster will be a live broadcast from the department store’s art salon. It was approved as part of the Stars nation’s friendship commemoration, following our collaboration on the runway. The salon will exhibit works by promising up-and-coming artists from the Stars nation, and they want Aqua-kun to introduce them.”
Perhaps Fuji-san, who worked as an advertising agency, was plotting to not only connect my face with various TV stations but also establish a stronger connection with the national broadcaster. Unlike private broadcasting companies, where everything can be managed through money and negotiation, national broadcasters don’t have commercial slots to begin with, making it difficult to air my music videos. Fuji-san was likely trying to find a way to overcome this obstacle.
”Understood. Although it seems quite challenging when I look at the schedule, I’ll do my best.”
The schedule had some leeway, but it was still a demanding one. Moreover, considering that all the broadcasts would be live, there was a possibility that the schedule wouldn’t go as planned.
However, I was excited to try it because it seemed interesting. Besides, I knew that someday I would have to perform live on TV, and I hadn’t experienced a proper live broadcast yet. This experience could be significant.
”In that case, please let me know your decision as soon as possible. Additionally, we need to shoot for the website, social media, print media, and newspaper advertisements today. If it’s physically challenging for you or if you’re not feeling well, please inform me. We can wait for another two to three days if necessary.”
”It’s alright. I have other work as well, so let’s shoot while we still have some time.”
I informed my mother in advance that I would be returning home late today, just to be safe, and got into Ako-san’s car to head to the department store before it opened. When we arrived, Nobu-san, who would be in charge of the shoot, was already waiting. Nobu-san not only worked on my projects but also handled work related to the department store itself, so it was perfect timing for him.
”So, let’s have a great shoot today!”
”Thank you for your assistance. I look forward to working with you!”
I exchanged greetings with Nobu-san and then greeted the representatives from Fuji Department Store and the staff members who were waiting for us at the entrance.
Afterward, we were guided to a separate room where I changed into the costumes for the shoot. Then, we began shooting inside the closed department store before it opened.
”That’s great! Lift your chin a bit more, yes, that’s it! Looking good!”
Nobu-san’s enthusiasm increased as we started the shoot, and he became more talkative.
”Mmm! That expression just now was fantastic! You looked incredibly cool, the coolest in the world!”
I don’t know if it’s actually true, but being praised like that makes me more conscious of looking cool in front of the camera, and it boosts my mood. It’s not about me specifically, but rather the impressive photography skills of Nobu-san and his ability to engage the subject in conversation.
The shoot continued smoothly. And then, instead of wasting time moving to change my outfit, I thought I could just change on the spot, but Nobu-san stopped me with a serious expression.
”Aqua-kun, showing off your abs might be a little too soon for the girls.”
Oh… I remembered what happened last time and quickly lowered the outfit I was about to take off, returning it to its original position.
After finishing the fashion-related shoot, we moved on to shoot in various places such as the department store basement, interior shops, bedding section, rooftop garden, and restaurants. The staff from each floor’s shop had been waiting for my shoot, and I expressed my gratitude to them.
”Phew… we managed to finish shooting in one day.”
By the time the shoot was over, Nobu-san was sweating profusely. I felt like it would have been impossible without him. The shooting schedule went very smoothly, but during the shoot in the bedding section and loungewear, a tired employee suddenly collapsed, surprising us. I hope that lady who collapsed on a stretcher was okay and taken care of properly.
”It’s alright, it happens to young people often.”
Nobu-san laughed it off and said such things. The people from Fuji Department Store also smiled and reassured us, so I guess everything was fine. Anyway, we were able to finish the shoot at the department store without any issues.
Alright! Next is my first-ever live TV appearance. I’ll give it my all and do my best!
On the night before the live broadcast, I went to bed earlier than usual, around 8 PM. Then I woke up on the morning of the broadcast.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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