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Emerging Is The New Cool


Is it just me or cities like Shanghai and Dubai are being featured increasingly more in commercials for the Western market and are fast becoming attractive backdrops for the latest Hollywood blockbusters. These two cities have been attractive business destinations for a little while now but are now entering the second phase of their quest to world domination – to become iconic fashion, cultural and lifestyle destinations in their own right.

The trend really took-off in late 2010, when David Lynch, in the last of the three part-long form advert series shot for Dior, depicted French movie star Marion Cotillard in a typical ‘Lynchian’ spy intrigue taking place in Shanghai. The film was backed by print and online advertising where one sees Cotillard standing on the balcony of her luxury hotel suite in the company of a handsome and supposed Chinese spy with Shanghai’s Pudong skyline looming in the background.

Dubai hit the silver screen back in late 2011, when Tom Cruise clambered over the scintillating cladding of the iconic Burj Khalifa Tower in Mission Impossible III. Not to mention Martin Scorsese’s Body of Lies featuring Leonardo Di Caprio, which had a few scenes set in Dubai back in 2008.

Bond movies are usually a good indicator of new ‘hot’ and glamorous destinations, and Skyfall, the latest Bond released back in 2012 is no different. Fittingly it featured a super-stylish fight scene set in Shanghai, where Bond, in an edge of your seat type scrap with a baddy, is sent crashing through glass walls and left hanging for his life atop a futuristic looking condominium with Shanghai’s neon lit skyline gleaming in the background. Quite a mesmerising scene, and a stark contrast to the rather dull second part of the movie set in sleepy, rural Scotland.

The latest example of a ‘Shanghai backdrop’ add we managed to spot happens to be for Renault’s latest all electric model, the Zoe. The commercial depicts a young and stylish Caucasian girl who is seen walking out of a Zoe onto a street in the heart of Shanghai, when (surprise, surprise…) a handsome Chinese fellow hands out his umbrella to shield her from the falling rain. Interestingly, the composition of the advert presents the possibility that this young Western woman could actually be living in Shanghai, something that would have seemed rather unlikely a few years ago.

We predict you’ll be seeing more adverts and movies featuring Shanghai and other stylish emerging cities such as Dubai,  Seoul and Sao Paulo in the near future, further cementing the idea that emerging is the new cool…

Images: 1: Renault, 2:, 3:, 4: