Jay Chou briefly broke the Chinese internet with the release of his new single “Won’t Cry” (说好不哭), which sold 2 million copies in the first hour, but Chou says he doesn’t rely on music to make money. Instead, he relies on his star power for endorsement deals, representing 34 brands including Sprite, Toyota, and League of Legends. He has also branched out into other business ventures including the streetwear retail chain Phantaci, headphone maker 1More, and several restaurants.
Eastroc Super Drink launched a short-video challenge on Douyin to promote the energy drink using the hashtag “Sleepy? Tired? Wake up” (#累了困了醒醒吧#) and custom “tired” and “awake” photo filters developed by Eastroc and Douyin. The campaign was launched through a Japanese-inspired humorous video ad on Eastroc’s official Douyin account, and drew 480,000 video entries — including submissions from around 300 of the app’s top creators — from users competing to show themselves being perked up by Super Drink, garnering 5.1 billion views and 75 million likes.
Tencent Animation has partnered with Hangzhou Hongyi Investment Group to build a theme park based on the popular comic “Fox Spirit Matchmaker” (狐妖小红娘), which would mark the first park development based on a Chinese comic book. The “Fox Spirit Matchmaker” series was created by Xiao Xin and rose to become the top work on Tencent’s comic platform in 2013, and has accumulated 14.8 billion clicks to date. It was subsequently developed into an animated series in 2015 and additional films, games, and other content based on its IP are in the works.
Tencent released its first full-screen interactive short drama series, “Immerse Land” (因迈思乐园), with a plot based on an existential question: “If the virtual world were perfect, would you still return to the real world?” Each episode is under ten minutes in length, and 27 interactive points are featured throughout.
Online retailer JD.com’s sponsorship of “Let’s Chorus! 300” (合唱吧！300), a reality talent show that brings professional singers together with amateurs and fans, draws fans to the popular series directly through its shopping app. Before the show began airing, JD.com created a registration page on its app for fans to join the live audience, and later established a voting page on its app for fans to support their favorite idols. JD.com also promoted the show during its annual shopping festival during the week of September 9th with creative text inserts and music ads.
Mattress maker DeRucci has for years sought to build an association with sports and sleep, and its latest campaign featured NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. DeRucci is the official bedding supplier for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, and has hosted an annual “Global Sleep Culture Tour” since 2009 to promote the “sports + sleep” concept. This year it hosted basketball competitions in 33 cities throughout China, conducted giveaways (including signed Byrant jerseys), and created short videos with Bryant, online games, and comics as part of the campaign.
News in English
- China is paving the way for the end of disruptive advertising thanks to the rise of livestreaming e-commerce, which provides a model for how content can be directly integrated with the experience of shopping. Parklu
- Online animation is an important sector of China’s entertainment economy. Its audience is about the same size as the audience for online dramas, and an estimated 11.5% of post-00 audiences watch online animated content but no dramas. Brand involvement in the sector is increasing through product placements, character endorsements, and the development of original branded animation. Group M
- Esports goes high-end: Louis Vuitton has partnered with Riot Games to create a signature monogrammed trophy travel trunk for the League of Legends Summoner’s Cup, similar to cases the brand has made for the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, and sailing’s America’s Cup. The collaboration will also include a capsule collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière and digital skins for the champions. League of Legends
- The 2019 Prophet Brand Relevance Index for China includes 3 Western names in its top ten: Android (number 3), Intel (9), and Audi (10). Branding in Asia
- Popular support for domestic brands is on the upswing with the emergence of the “national tide” (国潮, guochao) trend, which has been boosted by support from the government, e-commerce platform Tmall, and consumer nostalgia. ISN Magazine
- A deep dive into how Bytedance’s TikTok monopolizes attention spans, along with comparisons of how the global short-video app differs from its Chinese counterpart Douyin, which offers far more opportunities for brand integration through its powerful e-commerce capabilities. New Yorker
- Bytedance is going deeper with two new ad tools for brand owners to use with its most popular apps, as the company seeks to double its 2018 revenues to RMB 100 billion ($14 billion) this year. SCMP
- Rival short video app Kuaishou has rebooted its overseas push with a focus on Brazil, where it now has 3 million daily active users. Pandaily
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