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Actress Ariel Zhang helps those that were “once like her” with CITIC Bank commercial

photo by Na Lui

Ariel Zhang has made a name for herself on an international scale because of her versatility as an actress. Not only can she sing, she constantly proves how extraordinary she is when portraying multiple characters in one project. She can easily adapt, making her believable while switching from role to role in a matter of seconds.

Time and time again, Zhang shows what she is truly capable of. Whether it be for the children’s game PreSchool Play with Skoolbo, where she is singing on screen playing fun characters and teaching children the basics of language and math, or portraying a schizophrenic writer with two personalities in her award-winning role in Consumemate, Zhang is truly one of the best Chinese actresses right now. This is exemplified even further with her role in the commercial for CITIC Bank, one of China’s largest banks.

“I felt very excited when I found out that I booked the commercial. It is important to me to keep growing as an artist, and the fact that a big company wants you to represent them is basically a personal invitation for me to keep working hard for my dreams,” said Zhang.

China's CITIC Bank, established in 1987, is a nationally comprehensive and internationally oriented commercial bank. The bank operates in almost 130 countries, and maintains a strong foothold on the mainland banking industry. The bank operates 78 branches in the mainland, and 622 sub-branches, located in economically developed regions of China. There are 773 branch offices in China.

The bank partnered with Lumei Auto, a car dealer in California. Through Lumei Auto’s offices, they are able to market to Chinese students and their families while they are in the United States and before they arrive to the United States. CITIC bank provides travel visas for Chinese students, business travelers and vacation travelers to the United States. With the processing of these travel visas, use of the powerful social media WeChat, and hiring local students, Lumei is poised to become the premier concierge for the Chinese Students and travelers. The commercial promotes this partnership.

“I really identified with the troubles that you have when you don't have the right support behind you, that I saw this project almost like my duty to the people outside, in order to prevent others from going through what I did,” said Zhang. “Actually, I learned how CITIC bank helps the people. Most of the time, every single project you do, teaches you something related with your craft, but in this particular case, I think, I learned how to make my life easier with the knowledge of what they can do for you.”

Ariel Zhang

For the commercial, Zhang was once again required to portray two different lives, a challenge that she is very adept at overcoming. For one portrayal, she was required to suffer to the point of breaking down. In the other scenario, she was extremely content about how she was being helped.

“The bigger challenge was the fact that I had to go from one scenario to the next one right after we shot the first one. Preparation and self-experience applied to my character, and it was the better way to approach my challenge and overcome it,” said Zhang.

The commercial was directed by Rachel Zhou, who Zhang describes as a very nice girl, with that gift of knowing exactly how to communicate with people. Zhou created an excellent team for the shoot, and Zhang says it was one of the best she has ever worked with. She even felt sad when the shoot ended, describing it as amazing.

“I directed a commercial of CITIC Bank with Ariel. She was playing the lead. It was very pleasant working with Ariel. She is very smart, cooperative and considerate. She totally gets what I want, and gives her high quality performance. She is very easy to work with. My crew liked her a lot. Also, she is a hardworking actress, always on time, and always serious about her job. I think it has something to do with her passion for acting. I can tell that she is very into acting and theatre arts. She was trained very well, and she has a couple of friends who are also actors. They are going after their dreams in Los Angeles. She is very serious about every role she gets,” said Rachel Zhou.

Zhou is right, Zhang is very serious about her job, because she absolutely loves what she does. She has loved acting since she was a child, and has no plans on slowing down now. The commercial with CITIC gave her the opportunity to help people that were once in the same situation as her, and for an actress that is now so successful, that is truly special.

“This was one of my best experiences on set, especially in this side of the world. There was a helpful and enthusiastic team was brought to this project, which made this such a great experience for me,” concluded Zhang.

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