SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina.com) -- Ugly Betty is a hit in the U.S., but Chou Nu Wu Di (Ugly Wudi) is even more popular.
The Chinese version of Ugly Betty debuted Sept. 28, 2008 at 10 pm on the provincial channel Hunan Satellite Television.
With 73 million viewers across China and an 8.7% audience share, the show easily topped opening night audience figures in most other countries where a version of Ugly Betty airs, including the U.S., the U.K., India and Mexico, where the show has been filmed twice as a popular telenovela.
The Chinese version of the series is sponsored by Unilever, which has used the show to promote three brands: Dove shower cream, Clear anti-dandruff shampoo and Lipton milk tea, and Bausch & Lomb.
Both sponsors were introduced to the project by MindShare Performance, MindShare's branded content division in China.
The Ugly Betty project "has been the biggest branded content initiative that Unilever has developed globally and also the first of a kind done in China. [The] brand messages could not have been delivered better through regular TV commercials," said Patrick Zhou, Unilever's media director in Shanghai.
The first season, which finished this week, was ranked No. 1 in its time slot across 30 markets (all channels) every day, and was aired seven days per week.
Normally, this time slot (22:00-24:00) is dominated by CCTV 8, the drama and entertainment channel broadcast by China Central Television. The second season will start on Jan. 5, 2009.
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