Godfrey Gao shares how travel feeds his appetite for DFS 2015 Spring/Summer campaign


It goes without saying that the notion of travel is at the heart of the world’s leading luxury travel retailer — DFS. That’s precisely why the brand explores the adventures and journeys of three international travellers and social media influencers — French music producer Caroline de Maigret, rising Taiwanese actor Godfrey Gao and Chinese artist Zhou Yi — for its latest Spring/Summer campaign.

John Gerhardt, Senior Vice President, Creative and Branding Direction, DFS Group, said: “Both travel and luxury are very personal. Instagram and how this amazing channel allows us to share private experiences inspired us. Our three travellers generously contributed to the campaign with their own vacation photographs. In turn, the campaign has a sense of authenticity and personalisation.”

The store’s award-winning visual merchandising team worked hand-in-hand with the visual platform generated from the campaign to deliver a truly immersive experience for shoppers at DFS, showcasing social-inspired displays, lenticular surfaces, video projections, multimedia walls, pop-up photo booths and aerial installations. 

Visitors to can click into a wealth of digital experience featuring with audio clips from each influencer, video content and travel guides. Additionally, customers and followers can share travel photos using #MyTJourney on Facebook, Instagram, Weibo and WeChat.

In an interview ahead of his episode launch next week (April 1), Godfrey Gao spoke about his adventures basking in the tropical sun, dipping into the coral reefs of Bora Bora and riding on the canals of Venice, Italy.

T stands for travel. What does travel mean to you?
Travel means the world to me, literally. I could see the world through my own eyes and share stories with my loved ones for a lifetime.

How do you feel when you go on vacation?
I feel excited whenever I am about to arrive at a new destination because I never know what’s going to happen and, sometimes, I’ll expect the unexpected.

Tell us about your last adventure.
Rock climbing at the peak and drinking homemade coffee, deep-sea fishing for the meal of the night, kayaking in the bay and camping on the beach. It was all worth the adventure because I got so much out of an overnight experience.

What’s the most inspiring journey you’ve taken in the world and how did it change you?
The most inspiring journey would be driving through the Coquihalla Highway from Vancouver to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. I was blown away by how tall the trees were, how blue the lakes were and how humongous the Rocky Mountains were. It made me appreciate nature so much. This trip inspired me to be more aware of our planet by doing the little things, like recycling and driving electronic cars instead of gas-guzzling, polluting automobiles.

Is there a souvenir you treasure most from all your travels?
I treasure the flight stubs from all my travels because it reminds me when and where I’ve been. One day, I can make a collage full of pictures for my kids to see and tell them stories of my life.

Tell us about the photos you shared to be included in this campaign? What do they mean to you?
I like to capture the moment through my eyes when I am traveling. If I see something I like, I would capture it by natural instinct. It just reminds me of what my trip was like through these pictures.

What was your greatest experience on location?
To jet ski all around Bora Bora and stop during the trip for some fresh coconut and seafood in a local village.

What do you pack first? What do you always forget to pack?
I pack my shoes first because my shoes are size 13 and four pairs of shoes would take up half of my suitcase. I rarely forget stuff because I’m very thorough.

What are your beauty/grooming essentials when traveling?
I never travel without some good skincare because it protects my skin from the unknown certainty of the weather and humidity. I always carry a beard trimmer to style my beard and an electronic toothbrush to clean my teeth.

How would you describe your personal style when traveling?
I would describe myself as casual. I plan as I go and prepare for the worst but look for the best.

Tell us about your most memorable vacation. What did you do?
The most memorable vacation would be driving around the islands of Hawaii, like Maui and Oahu, because it felt like I was in heaven. They have the best seafood in the world and the most beautiful landscapes and, obviously, the weather is impeccable. The helicopter tour to see the active volcanoes around the Big Island was spectacular and I would recommend it to everyone.

What do you always pick up while you are traveling?
I always pick up chocolate and candies at the duty free because I’m a sucker for sweets!