Sony and Clinique helped produce an online sitcom that has become a hit in China while weaving product placements into the plotline, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A 40-episode series called Sufei’s Diary has become an online hit in China, where advertisers struggle to reach young people, who avoid the country’s staid TV programming, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.
The story, written by Mei Fong, says that Sony and Estee Lauder’s Clinique brand helped produce the sitcom and have product placements included in the show.
Sufei’s Diary is about a college student in Shanghai and is a twist on Sofia’s Diary, a Web series that originated in Portugal in 2003 and was later adapted to plug products in placds like Brazil and Britain. The Chinese version is more overtly commercial and has more interactive elements, the story says.
Sony Pictures Television International, which owns the Sofia’s Diary franchise, produces the show and marketed it to Estee Lauder, whose Clinique brand targets women in the 20s and 30s. During the series, Sufei goes to a Clinique beauty counter and is seen using a Sony Vaio computer and a Cybershot camera.
Viewers also have a hand in the plot, as they can vote via blog posts and text messages on the resolutions to challenges Sufei faces.
Since its debut in December, Sufei’s Diary has attracted more than 20 million views on Chinese Web sites Sina and Youku, and on Cernet.com, a Chinese university broadband network, the story says.
WSJ Online subscribers may read the full story here.