Prudential PLC’s Investor Day is an important event for institutional investors.
With global COVID restrictions hampering their ability to safely undertake an in-person event
this year, Prudential approached APV for a virtual video solution of the highest quality.
The challenge was to produce 13 films in 13 countries across Africa and Asia and deliver them
all in six weeks.
COVID restrictions upped the ante, but at APV we love to take on the seemingly impossible.
The team marshalled a huge regional network of creatives, producers and crews on the ground. We
organised high-energy content workshops with the Prudential teams across the regions. Story
outlines were rapidly mapped out, tailored to the relevant focus on markets, products or
The teamwork that brought the films to life was nothing short of phenomenal. “Midnight was a
good end to the day,” recalls APV’s Managing Director Angela Cheung. Crews juggled shoot timings
with COVID protocols. One team in Africa received its all-clear test results just 10 minutes
before boarding a plane. The Philippines team took its tests at 5am on the shoot day. In London,
the Prudential HQ, which had been closed to employees, gave us one day access to film
Quality control took on a new meaning. Apart from meticulous creative guidelines to ensure that
shoots follow the high standards and look-and-feel, we had COVID to contend with. Global
protocols, Prudential mandates and APV’s own specific rules were layered into operations.
The outcome for the 300-attendee live event was hugely successful. Prudential noted, “The fact
that our share price closed at £15.13, up over 10 pence on the day is because of the rich
content and the high-quality production.”
Expanding distribution pathways for our clients to maximise ROI
By 2018 the distribution landscape for most clients has shifted a long way from the traditional distribution channels of broadcast, website and a limited range of social media sites, to include a diverse range of options from apps to in-store, visual displays (video walls and more), OOH, VR, AR, MR and so much more.
As such APV has become a vital partner in helping clients to navigate these channels while maximising every distribution opportunity to ensure the audience is where our clients need them to be - and that we attain the maximum ROI for every project.
A great example of this shifting mindset is our collaboration with Red Bull and Instagram Influencer Utah Lee.
With a tight timeline and a budget geared towards a smaller social media campaign, we put together a content cluster approach that allows Red Bull reach more of their audience for less, across multiple channels and distribution points. This in turn helps extend the campaign’s life while delivering the highest possible ROI for spend.
2016 – 20
Innovating in interactive
and new media
“Pushing the boundaries
of a new hybrid frontier.”
By 2016 the content marketplace was being fragmented and disrupted constantly through new evolutions in visual content technology and advancing techniques that fused video and technology in new and exciting ways.
It seems that on almost a weekly basis there is a new tool or a new way of adapting video to a new digital medium.
These possibilities for video content are moving beyond live action and animation into a new hybrid frontier, enticing clients to think further outside the box and challenge content makers like APV to offer new solutions to meet their growing needs and demands.
As a business that is constantly evolving, embracing new media and new ways of thinking, we embark on a journey to explore the new possibilities within this frontier.
Initially launched under a new APV sub brand we call Clubhouse, the idea is to take the well-established resources of APV, like equipment, infrastructure, expertise and experience and make it available to a new experimental in-house team.
A key part of our approach is seeking out, recruiting and nurturing talented and enthusiastic young creators and encouraging them to explore new and developing media forms like VR, AR, MR and interactive with us.
As our offering in this space grows, we soon find ourselves pushing the boundaries of these forms as we take on Immersive Event Coverage with 360 Video of the Rugby Sevens Carnival and Immersive Narrative with Kerry Hotels Wedding fair.
As well as developing our own team and resources we also launch an internationally recognised intern programme to give back and encourage new storytellers in the initial stages of their career.
Over four years, more than 20 trainees from all over the world take part. They make films and podcasts. They build props and create and manage social media channels.
As we continue this journey, the skills we have developed have slowly but surely became part of the standard toolbox of the larger APV team and as such the Clubhouse brand was retired. The offering is transferred to the APV brand, but the work they pioneered continues to be a key and crucial part of our innovation offering to our clients.
From the late 90’s APV became the Asian service provider for Yahoo! Broadcast, an opportunity which ultimately led to years of working on IPO Roadshows and established us as a leading innovator in this space and beyond.
Over the years we have regularly advanced, adapted and innovated our services to changing technologies and changing client needs.
Since 2014, APV has been at the forefront of livestreaming and virtual events across Asia and has delivered well over 400 live audio and video webcasts for international corporations, retail brands, pharmaceuticals, and financial institutions which, enables us to help attendees participate in a conference, town hall or event from the comfort of their desk or home.
We have amassed vast experience in planning, managing and executing virtual events and running livestreams on trending platforms including Zoom, WebEx (Cisco), Streamstudio (wtv.), Microsoft Teams, YouTube Live, Kollective, Intrado, Hopin, ON24, Periscope, Facebook Live, and Peer 5.
This experience has been invaluable throughout the current COVID pandemic as we enable more clients to reach more people, more often, when they have needed it most.
Here at APV, we love to dust off our tuxedo and polish our heels when required to cover premieres, press junkets and BTS (behind-the-scenes work).
We’ve walked the red carpet in Beijing with Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and in Hong Kong with Mark Wahlberg (Transformers: The Age of Extinction) and had fun with the delightful Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet for Netflix) to name but a few.
Whether it’s the making of a theme park (Hong Kong Disneyland), on location BTS filming (The Tale of The Panda), multi-year, multi-location time-lapse (the Making of Hysan Place, the Making of The Grand Lisboa), APV is there to cover it and get it in front of audiences!
APV: “Why are we making so many internal videos for you?” Client: Because the younger
employees don’t like to read.”
One recent HR study showed that 85% of executives rated employee engagement as important or
very important but that only 32% of all U.S. employees felt engaged in their workplace.
Video storytelling in recruitment, orientation and training can bring out the human behind
the senior executive, can explain abstract concepts such as company values and can showcase
the offices, environment and culture that is sometimes hidden from plain view within a
APV has been at the forefront of creating highly targeted and successful recruitment,
training and related content for blue-chip organisations including KPMG, Morgan Stanley,
Cathay Pacific, Kerry Logistics, Microsoft, Lenovo, Manulife and HSBC.
As the world climbs out of the global financial crisis recession, APV continues to create and develop new opportunities for itself from one specialist area to another.
Webcasting and outside broadcasting leads to the launching of films all around Asia.
Our skillsets in news and outside broadcasting flow into roadshows and the increasing need from many clients for relevant and well-conceived and executed IPO work.
IPO videos are still increasing in importance for many of our clients to this day.
Post 2008, trust in the financial world - and especially in bankers - was at one of its lowest ebbs.
But – thankfully - credibility and authenticity can be much more powerfully conveyed in a video than in any other form of document.
Video can do what a prospectus simply cannot. It can express complexity, scale, brand values and a true sense of place. It puts faces to names, generates reassurance about the management team. It expresses the brand’s emotion and depth.
During this time period APV produce Yahoo’s first Asia-based roadshow and quickly become the go-to video agency for many high-profile IPOs. These include IPO campaigns for; Alibaba, Allco REIT, Banco de Oro, Cazenove/ Minth Group, ICICI Bank, Kerry Logistics, Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd., Varun Shipping and ZTO Express Inc.
Our strategic and story-led approach in this arena has created powerful IPO films that support results. We cut through the noise to convey a clear and compelling brand offering for the investment community that delivers results – fast.
Hong Kong Disneyland approaches APV with an interesting challenge. Accessibility for families with young kids was seen as a barrier to visits. They need to find a way to educate parents in China about the family-friendly amenities and facilities available at Hong Kong Disneyland.
APV and Hong Kong Disneyland agree that story comes first and the plan is to create a gripping web video series starring Sun Li (孫儷), one of China’s hottest actresses. Her nickname is “The Queen of Television.”
The series, called “辣媽小包包” shows Sun Li setting out to entertain and delight a feisty five-year-old, played by the adorable superstar-in-the-making, Mia.
Our strategy is to have viewers discover the series exclusively on YouKu, in Mandarin.
A branded microsite is created to host the videos. It attracts almost 2 million views upon launch and some of the comments from viewers include “I haven’t been to Hong Kong Disneyland in 10 years, now I really want to go,” and “I’ve watched and watched it again and I still want to watch some more!”
Filming was fun, despite the delighted Sun Li fans flocking to locations.
Our in-depth knowledge and love of the Disney brand helped us create a fresh and impactful series to shift perceptions where it matters and deliver the required result for the client.
In 2009, HSBC is positioned as one of the world’s strongest and most profitable banks. Its Asian operation is growing in business sectors and in the diversity of professional employee groups.
During this time APV successfully pitch HSBC our concept of an internal TV show of several 10-minute sequences weekly.
The APV team, with CNBC experience along with broadcasting, presenting and corporate skillsets, is perfectly placed to plan, develop and deliver HSBC Red (which eventually became HSBC NOW which is still broadcast to this day).
The ground-breaking show proves itself as a channel to engage employee interest and boost morale. Broadcast in English and Chinese, it showcases employees through human stories of their leisure and sporting passions, rising management stars, new products and CEO thought leadership.
HSBC NOW is initially delivered only via the regional intranet in Asia for many years. Watching its impact and success, London headquarters recognise its value and decide to replicate the concept for the whole of the European region.
APV is proud of the originality of its concept and the consistent quality of the show’s output.
With the experience of these years, we gain a new ethos and approach to how we partner with brands through our corporate work.
Expansion into media and
“Helping you present
your messages with
clarity and focus”
As recognised documentary, broadcast, news and visual content experts, APV has long been sought-after as trainers, educators and consultants in presentation and media training.
With services ranging from presentations to workshops, one-on-one training, virtual training, conferences, panels and more.
For many years, we’ve been the media trainers of choice for both government and blue-chip corporations.
Our origins in training started as far back as 1996 with the creation of a series of videos that demonstrated both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ samples of news interviews.
From here we started training HK government employees on how to best manage their dealings with local and international media, allowing them to tell their stories with confidence and clarity and cutting through the noise to have the greatest possible impact.
From 2015 onwards, our training work has regularly taken us to Bhutan as part of an ongoing contract to work with civil servants and professionals at the Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies.
From the very beginning through to today, all of our training programs are custom designed, offering a range of actionable insights across a broad range of content marketing and media and presentation needs.
We have well-recognised workshops for anyone who has to present and deal with the media in a formal or informal way, to help participants present their messages with greater clarity and focus, appear comfortable and confident in front of the camera and to understand the different styles and approaches of TV vs. print vs social media.
We also offer workshops on video strategy, marketing, production and distribution.
Many of our employees have taken part in local and global forums as both speakers and/or panelists.
Zhang Zi Yi for Shangri-La Hotels
and National Geographic Channel
Zhang Zi Yi for Shangri-La Hotels and National Geographic Channel
Brands start their journey to harness the power of branded content; emotional storytelling that puts the story, not the product first.
With its long-form production skills and connections to broadcasters, APV is perfectly placed to create memorable quality branded content that delivers both compelling stories to audiences and measurable outcomes for brands.
In 2007, we produce a travel and social documentary series for Shangri-La in conjunction with National Geographic Channel, featuring blockbuster Chinese actress and superstar Zhang Zi Yi.
We travel with Ziyi to Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Borneo, Singapore and the Middle East where she embraces each culture, looking for answers to unlock the secrets of their ways of preserving their own stories, culture, heritage and environments.
The stunning series, filmed in glorious vibrant high definition, sparks a distribution bidding war and is also picked up by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific as part of their in-flight entertainment offering for their passengers.
This series allows APV to set a new standard in spectacular branded content that would lead to a stream of commissions from leading brands like: The Peninsula Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Chimelong Group, TAL Group, Swire Group and many more.
US Department of Commerce:
Study Abroad – USA
“APV was picked to show
real life studying abroad.”
The US Department of Commerce, in conjunction with CNBC Asia, commission us to produce two 23-minute programmes to explain and promote the life of Chinese students studying in the US.
The two "Liuxue USA" programmes are completed in a very short time, with a hard deadline for broadcast in China, timed to coincide with a diplomatic visit by senior US officials. A streamlined production crew of just two APV staff travel to ten cities across the US, visiting fourteen universities to interview more than forty students from China about their experiences living and studying in America.
In addition to personal anecdotes and stories, "Liuxue USA" features valuable practical information regarding visa applications, tuition and fees, living arrangements, and general advice about studying abroad. The programmes are filmed and produced in Mandarin, and are distributed online as well as on broadcast television.
Thanks to the huge success of these two films, we are soon awarded another contract in 2007 to produce two more films to be broadcast on television in India to highlight the key benefits of tertiary and post-graduate education in the United States for Indian students.
APV is commissioned by National Geographic for several documentaries for its Inside series.
The dramatic story of Supercar Nissan Skyline GTR. Originally a family sedan, it turned out to be a super-fast
racing car. Nissan stopped manufacturing it, until a new CEO from Renault decided to bring it back. We cover the
relaunch of this iconic motoring legend.
Curiously, the film’s success led to APV’s first experience of content piracy as Superfans in Latin America put
the film online for free months before the documentary’s official launch in Asia and North America.
Inside the Emperor’s Treasure
APV is granted exclusive access to become the first TV crew allowed inside the vaults of Taiwan’s National Palace
Museum, housing the world's largest collection of priceless Chinese art treasures, spanning China's 5,000-year+
The film faithfully recreates the last days of the Emperor and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's 1948 decision to
evacuate the imperial collection to Taiwan.
Inside the Rugby Sevens
For APV, telling the story of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is truly a labour of love. The film tracks the
human-interest stories of the various local professionals who put the event together, providing the audience
with a unique perspective and insight into this iconic tournament.
To capture the action, we have eight camera crews working side-by-side and even go so far as strapping a GoPro on
a rugby ball to capture unique angles never seen before!
The whole team gets involved, working until 3 and 4 in the morning to capture the Sevens as it unfolds alongside
crucial behind-the-scenes moments.
Through this NatGeo series, APV delivers great stories of Asia with passion and professionalism.
2003 – The SARS outbreak in Hong Kong explodes with frightening speed as an unknown virus. Hong Kongers are shocked as the virus infects entire tower blocks and the death toll climbs daily. The APAC region and the world at large throws up border restrictions and watches on in horror.
Isolated, it is up to Hong Kong to lead the medical response and social protocols that would eventually inform and educate the world.
In the midst of this crisis, APV steps up and provides crews for more than 20 international broadcasters and a live 24-hour studio. We are acutely mindful of crew and staff safety and managing the contagion fear levels as crews move back and forth between hospitals and the APV base.
We are tasked with producing two 60’ SARS documentaries: The Science of SARS for Channel Four (UK), and SARS: The Global Killer for ITN Factual and Discovery Channel.
We become the key partner with the Hong Kong Government to produce VNRs (video news release) during the crisis and later to cover Hong Kong’s re-opening and Harbourfest.
VNRs would soon become a specialty product for APV.
APV’s swift work in coverage and facility hosting helps Hong Kong share its stories with the world.
We play our part in examining the science that would go on to help other countries.
While showcasing Hong Kong in its valiant efforts to pull through and re-open in the second half of its worst year in decades.
From live broadcasting to
corporate media tours
“A growing market of
local, regional and
Building on the success of our uplinking work for the HK Handover in 1997, we
expand our Outside
Broadcast commissions to include financial institutions and other ‘events’ clients.
From Satellite Media Tours to town meetings to The Macau Handover and Millennium Night we are
soon servicing a
Meanwhile, we continue to expand and innovate in all our other key offerings such as producing
video content for
sales, broadcast and recruitment for a range of international, local and mainland China clients.
We help with the launch of products such The Pink Panther in China, Motorola’s Star Tac mobile
phone, and Intel’s
Pentium 111 chip.
We make a film for Eastman Chemical that was telecast on Chinese TV on 18 stations over 76 times
to an audience of
724 million viewers!
Our news coverage sees us reporting on the referendum in East Timor, with Bill Clinton in
Pakistan, on the hostage crisis in The Philippines and elections in Taiwan.
Of all the Gin Joints:
documentary about a
legendary press club
“I enjoy covering wars.
I regret to say …
I enjoy the excitement.”
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong is world-famous. It was the hub of journalists, cameramen and photographers, producers, directors and filmmakers throughout wars and turmoil in Asia and beyond.
With roots in 1943 in China’s Chong Qing, it moved to Shanghai and then escaped the violence of civil war by moving to Hong Kong in 1949.
War veterans like news cameraman Marvin Farkas told Mark Erder stories of the 50s and 60s – and the FCC’s role as ‘base camp and playground’ during the Vietnam and Cambodian wars.
From these stories Mark develops the concept for a documentary series built around real characters and their stories. With support from the BBC’s Fergal Keane, who had been stationed in Hong Kong, APV signs a co-production deal with the BBC for its Correspondent series.
The Club participants are legendary, and generous with their memories. They include Clare Hollingsworth - who broke the news of World War 2- Hugh Van Es, who shot one of the defining stills of the fall of Saigon, Marvin Farkas, Anthony Lawrence, Jim Laurie and others
Today’s FCC is a different place. Fewer Foreign Correspondents, plenty of corporate professionals.
Of all the Gin Joints is documentary storytelling at its best, capturing a slice of modern history through the voices and faces of the journalists who knew it best.
It still stands as an important documentary of stellar witnesses of the era.
The fall of President Suharto
“Tragedi Trisakti –
Jakarta was on fire
and the end of Suharto
These years are filled with a mixture of news stories, documentaries and corporate productions: the Kobe Earthquake, a portrait of Imran Khan making his first run for Prime Minister of Pakistan, The Rugby 7s, AsiaWeek’s 20th Anniversary celebration, the construction of HK’s new airport, a history of HK smoking for ‘60 Minutes’ and Fashion Week reports.
At the same time, APV begin a long-term relationship with business television through regular contributions to CNBC and a series of multi-year business reports for Star-TV.
Thanks to our broadcast news skills and growing corporate experience this period sees a growth in our production of Video News Releases.
In 1999, we installed a unit manager in Jakarta to plan for coverage of the Presidential elections. The forward planning and marketing paid off as we secured 60% of all satellite uplinks for the election enabling first rate coverage of this story to be shared with the world.
APV’s first corporate film:
new technology in
our first corporate
After several years of exclusively producing News and Current Affairs for international broadcasters APV are commissioned to create our first corporate video to help launch FedEx’s first logistics center for Asia.
FedEx plans to launch its Asian logistics operations at simultaneous events in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo to audiences of leading corporations.
The challenge we face is that the Singapore-based center is not yet complete and we need to visualize what it will be like when it is fully operational.
We manage to successfully achieve this by applying a combination of news savvy, storytelling, and new camera technology to create an engaging and exciting 4 1/2 minute video.
We create it purely with the use of available action in the FedEx warehouse. We avoid creating imagery through computer animation. But we make selective - and highly effective - use of the new ‘pen cam’ which allowed us to get super close-up shots of micro-chips as they moved from board to board. Management interviews and on-brand graphics are added to build a pacy video.
The overall success of this first corporate video becomes a major game changer for APV and signals our potential for corporate storytelling to clients and enables our shift into this product category.
Exclusive contract for
Channel Nine Australia
“Asia’s top news stories delivered
with our own signature of quality
Watching the rising political tensions in Thailand, Adrian Brown and Mark Erder judged that it was too important a story to wait to be sent
On their own dime, the pair flew into Bangkok and soon found themselves on the streets just outside the main protest area when soldiers opened fire on the masses of people gathered there.
APV’s exclusive news coverage is fed from a military TV station, with Adrian blocking the censor from reaching the machine, enabling this important story to reach audiences all over the world.
In 1992 APV also covers Charles and Diana’s trip to South Korea. An astute shot of the couple filmed by Mark was followed just a few brief days later by the announcement of their separation.
In 1994 Channel Nine Australia make APV their Asia Pacific Bureau.
With the freedom and agility to cover the region’s many stories, APV’s output had an imprint of content and quality.
In those ten years, APV cover many stories that have a significant impact on the history of the region from: the fall of the Taliban, East Timor’s Independence, new democracies in Cambodia and Taiwan, a rising Beijing’s Olympic campaign and many more.
The Last Governor – BBC documentary series
“Capturing history behind the scenes
with Chris Patten - I was always aware
I was in a privileged position.”
The Last Governor is an immersive 5-hour documentary that was first broadcast on BBC 1 in July of 1997. Shadowing Hong Kong’s last Governor, Chris Patten, in the last five years before The Handover, the series was filmed by Mark Erder for APV and presented by Jonathan Dimbleby. Totem Films of London were the producing company.
With unfettered access to Chris Patten and the explosive politics of the time, The Last Governor tells a riveting story of intrigue, secrets and lies at the highest political levels.
As Patten continued his fight for a robust democratic framework for Hong Kong, Britain and China clashed, as secret deals were forged with nothing short of the fate of Hong Kong and its people hanging in the balance.
The Last Governor is released to a warm audience reception and critical praise and is still to this day viewed as an important documentary on this crucial moment in Hong Kong’s history.
APV is founded by Mark Erder, American documentary filmmaker and cameraman, and Adrian Brown, British television news reporter. The company initially focuses on the television news market, exploiting a niche by providing tailor-made reports for international broadcasters without their own resources in Asia.
The pair quickly builds a solid and lasting reputation for fast delivery and reliability with a variety of broadcasters in Britain, Europe, North America and Australia. Early on, they recognize the importance of retaining all rights to their stories, a distinction that allows them to resell the same material to non-competing clients in different geographical markets.
Early clients include CNN, ABC America, Sky, Fox and the major Australian Broadcasters: TCN 9, Channel 7 and Channel 10. APV becomes the de facto Asia bureau for Sky News (UK), CNN International, Asian Wall Street Journal Report, Asia Business News, and CNBC Asia.
The partners, new to business, begin by taking operations one day at a time. They quickly establish systems, a business framework and work ethos that enable APV to grow and attract top talent.