News From China
Chinese beauty brand Meiking had another Singles’ Day success this year through a collaboration with the animated fantasy series “Mo Dao Zu Shi” ( 魔道祖师, aka “Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”) that incorporated elements of the show’s IP into the design of new makeup products and beauty accessories such as cosmetics brushes and mirrors. This summer’s hit Tencent Video drama “The Untamed” (陈情令) was based on the same source material as “Mo Dao Zu Shi,” allowing Meiking to draw on the support of “Untamed” fans for its new line. For last year’s Singles’ Day, Meiking’s lipstick was featured in a livestreamed contest between Alibaba founder Jack Ma and beauty mega-influencer Li Jiaqi, selling 100,000 units within 20 minutes.
Budweiser has a focus on cultural brand partnerships in China. It recently announced “Untamed” star Xiao Zhan as a spokesperson, along with a collaboration with Moschino on clothing, handbags and beer bottles. Budweiser’s lifestyle project BUDX is also partnering with UCCA Lab, part of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, to plan a series of public projects focused on art, music, and other cultural interests.
Nike collaborated with writer and director Han Han to produce “Shanghai Accent” (上海强调) a short film focused on local lifestyles and how the residents work out in the city, with accompanying sportswear and shoes supporting the theme.
French luxury jewelry and watch brand Chaumet scored another major hit in China with its collaboration with popular singer-songwriter Zhang Yixing (aka Lay Zhang). Chaumet’s short, jewel-bedecked animated film features a score written by Zhang, who is also an ambassador for the brand, and it has racked up more than 8 million views on Weibo. Another musical video partnership between Chaumet and Zhang last year has drawn 19 million views to date.
Brand sponsorships on reality programming in October, via Starlink:
- 31 new shows were released in October, with 24 of them garnering a total of 74 brand sponsorships.
- Only one out of 11 network shows failed to land a brand sponsor, while 6 of 20 online shows went sponsorless.
- Experience/observation shows were most popular among brands, landing approximately a third of sponsorships.
- Brands involved in internet services, personal care/cosmetics, and food and beverage were most active, accounting for nearly half of the sponsorships.
- Hunan Television’s “The Inn” (亲爱的客栈) and Tencent Video’s “Supernova Games” (超新星全运会) tied for the most sponsors with 8 apiece.
- Notable brand marketing efforts include JD.com’s title sponsorship of “U Can U Bibi” (奇葩说), Vipshop’s title sponsorship on “The Inn,” and integration of the Baidu Xiaodu smart speaker on “The Inn.”
Starlink also published an October report on brands in Chinese drama, which noted the following:
- 30 new dramas premiered during the month, 22 online and 8 on television.
- There were 45 total brand placements on the new dramas. Brands appeared on half of the online dramas, but only on 3 of the 8 TV series.
- Personal care/cosmetics and food and beverage brands were the most active, accounting for about half of the brand participants in October’s drama releases.
- Mango TV’s teen romance “A Little Thing Called Love” (初恋那年小事) secured the most brands with 12, including Chow Tai Fook jewelry, Nongfu Spring water, and L’Oreal.
News in English
- Scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and media has started to affect TikTok’s reputation as a lighthearted entertainment app. Wired
- While TikTok claims to be independent of Beijing, former employees in the U.S. say content moderators based in China had final say over which videos could be published and promoted. Washington Post
- More TikTok developments: The short-video app also recently released new tools to allow third-party developers to integrate their content, and it is also reportedly testing cost-per-click ad pricing. Bloomberg / Digiday
- Some popular TikTok creators are turning to the app’s Chinese counterpart Douyin to extend their fame, with help from Chinese social media firms. ABC News Australia
- Merlin Entertainment will open the world’s largest Legoland park in Shanghai. The resort is expected to open in 2023. China Daily
- Separately, Lego revealed two China-focused sets to mark the upcoming Lunar New Year, one featuring a temple complex ready for the holiday festival and the other consisting of a lion-dance troupe. Radii
We’ve Got China Covered
- CFI: Cultivating Creativity: CFI Interview With Wendy Yu
- Jing Daily: Why Brands Should Think Differently on Singles’ Day
- Jing Travel: Pop Smart — Chicago, Warhol, and China