Magic of the Unseen

How we helped TECNO become the biggest mobile phone in Africa… by building a restaurant in two days

The Brief for Tecno

Tecno Mobile is the largest smartphone manufacturer for Africa. It serves sixty countries worldwide and has a global partnership deal with Premier League football club, Manchester City.

Text and Visual

Our challenge was to create a fantastical TV commercial and stills campaign that could run around the world. It had to focus on two critical technical functions of the phone: its incredible zoom capacity and the ability to take photographs in the dark.

The creative was set by Tecno’s advertising agency, based in Shanghai. It featured a La La Land-like couple going on a magical, romantic journey culminating in an extraordinary marriage proposal.

However, filming had to take place less than a fortnight from receiving the brief and required us to film inside a restaurant and a hot air balloon…


Our Approach


At RD, we have worked extensively with sports stars; in particular football players. We understand how to create incredible sports content in an extremely limited time frame.

To produce a complex commercial like this for Tecno mobile, with only an hour of the player’s time, would require all of our production know how.


The time frame and location issues meant that the shoot would have to take place in a studio. We worked closely with our friends at The Sharp Project to find the perfect space for the Tecno shoot.

Building a restaurant, from structure through to interior fittings, in a couple of days is one of the most difficult tasks we’ve had to undertake. Collosal effort, long days (and nights) and incredible lighting carried us over the line.

Capturing a stills and moving image campaign in such a condensed window of time, requires military planning and precision.

We performed eight filmed scenes, three wardrobe, hair and makeup changes and captured a stills campaign…in less than 60 minutes for Tecno.

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