To push its launch in China, BudLime is sponsoring a romance web series called ‘That Loves Comes’ to target young, largely female drinkers.
AB InBev’s BudLime, a lime-flavoured light beer, hits the Chinese market in August, the brewer is backing this made for internet web series which will also be rolled out on mobile phone platforms and iPad apps later in the year.
The online love story has been developed by production outfit Orange Box, a unit of Chinese video-sharing site Tudou. The series focuses on a romance between an urban, sophisticated photographer and his small town, rural sweetheart. It resembles the kind of romantic dramas that have proved popular with young women in neighbouring Asian countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Such series are fairly new to China, where historically dramas have tended to dominate.
This new series is part of Tudou’s strategy to produce more original content to replace the often pirated videos that have long been the staple of the Chinese viewer. Indeed, increasingly it is computers and online films that are replaced videos and TVs in Chinese viewing patterns. Each episode features pre-roll and background banner ads and a TV spot for BudLime.
With YouTube currently off the scene in China, sites like Tudou, Youku and Ku6 are getting traction in the market, particularly among younger viewers. iResearch data suggests a 32% growth in online video use in China between 2009 and 2010.
Online platforms are ideal for nationwide launches in China – a market so vast and with such a fractured media environment. However, platforms like Tudou do have growing numbers of young viewers so the line between teens and young adults is often blurred – something beer brands need to be careful of.