Dove’s Chinese Soap Opera

China has it’s own “Ugly Betty,” but her name is Wudi, not Betty.
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According to The Wall Street Journal, WPP Group PLC’s Mindshare, brokered a deal to bring the format to Chinese TV, giving Unilever the right to exclusive ads and product placements during the show, as well as a script built around the company’s Chinese reformulation of the campaign for real beauty.

“Ugly Wudi,” protagonist Lin Wudi, who works at an ad agency, learns to unveil her own beauty, using Dove products and working on an imaginary ad campaign for the brand. Unilever marketing staff worked with the show’s writers to integrate some 3,300 seconds of the Dove brand into the show’s first season.
In one episode, an actor playing the media director for Dove in China explains that an ad campaign that Wudi helped create epitomizes Dove’s view on beauty. “There are so many kinds of women and so many kinds of beauty,” he says. “This is exactly the message that Dove tries to put forth.”

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.