SHANGHAI (AdAgeChina.com) -- Unilever is backing its second branded content series in China, nearly two years after the debut of its hit remake of "Ugly Betty."
Like "Ugly Wudi," as the Chinese version is called, the new show "Unbeatable" promotes Unilever's Clear anti-dandruff haircare line, which is aimed at both men and women. Unilever launched Clear in China in early 2007, to tap into a major growth category then dominated by Procter & Gamble Co.'s Head & Shoulders.
Attitudes toward dandruff shampoo in China, and in much of Asia, are very different from western markets like the U.S., because it is more noticeable on black hair. For Asian women, particularly those with long hair, haircare is a major consideration. At the same time, grooming practices among young men and women have become a bigger concern as graduates head into the work force in a highly competitive job market.
Unilever has tackled those concerns with "Unbeatable," a show that combines friendship, romance and office politics. The name of the series plays off Clear's "overcoming all odds" brand persona in China.
The drama's plot centers around a college graduate who lands a job at an international public relations company that handles PR for the Clear haircare line. The heroine falls in love with the office janitor, who is really a spy from a rival pr agency, leading to problems that make her a tougher individual with "unbeatable" resilience.
Branded dramas are the "next big thing"
The brand is woven into the storyline through the main character's job, as well as in the theme song.
"Unbeatable" is Unilever's "next big thing for branded-drama marketing in China. With the sophistication of content integration, content format, scale of distribution, digital program and the full 360 activation plan, [the show] has raised the bar where branded content is concerned," said Patrick Zhou, Unilever's media director for Greater China in Shanghai.