Soap star: CHLITINA uses popular Chinese TV series as platform to boost brand amid COVID-19

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

CHLITINA has turned to a popular Chinese soap opera series to keep brand top of mind during COVID-19. ©CHLITINA
CHLITINA has turned to a popular Chinese soap opera series to keep brand top of mind during COVID-19. ©CHLITINA

Related tags China COVID-19 Marketing

Taiwan-based beauty salon franchise CHLITINA has turned to a popular Chinese soap opera series to keep brand top of mind amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

CHLITINA, has been active in China’s beauty market in the last 20 years and has a network of around 4,500 franchise stores across the country.

In June, the company reported that its total sales decreased by 31% year-on-year, with its salon business in China shrinking by 34%.

Laurence Marcout, CEO office manager of CHLITINA, estimated that around 70% to 80% of its stores in China were severely affected by the impact of COVID-19.

Additionally, the outbreak affected an important media event for the company.

“Every year we spend a lot of effort and money on our sponsorship of the Shanghai International Film Festival. It’s a really important media event for us because we are the official skin care sponsor. Unfortunately, it was cancelled so we needed to find a new way to continue talking to the end customer,” ​said Marcout.

Previously, the brand had a product placement campaign with the successful series, ‘The First Half of My Life’, ​starring popular actor and CHLITINA brand ambassador Ma Yili.

“[The First Half of My Life] was extremely successful in China, that meant there were millions of viewers who saw our products. With Ma Yili as well, the two elements combined to be really successful. The product placement really motivated a lot of women to try our products and go to our salons,” ​said Marcout.

The firm hopes to replicate this success this year with a similar campaign with a popular Chinese TV soap opera ‘I Will Find You a Better Home’​.

“This year, we are using the same kind of marketing tools, the show features a lot of young actors and it draws in many younger viewers. This is a very good way of marketing the brand in China. People have nothing to do during lockdown, so they just watch TV,” ​said Marcout.

Open communication

In addition to the product placement campaign, the firm has been pushing out content on social media channels targeting consumers.

Marcout told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the firm has been focusing a lot more of its marketing efforts on its end consumers recently.

“It is becoming really important for us to communicate with the end consumer. It’s a trend that is becoming more and more important for the company compared to before 2016. Before that, we focused mostly on our own franchisees to ensure they stay loyal to the brand and work with us,”​ she said.

Additionally, this can help their franchisees to thrive.

“We recognised that its important to do this for our franchisees as well because each store may not have the power to do their own marketing and they depend on us to do that.”

Community effort

Despite the COVID-19 impact, the firm has taken the time and effort to give back to its community.

It first donated RMB 1m (USD 141,320) to the China Youth Development Foundation in order to help hospitals weather the crisis.

In April, it launched the White Angels initiative, offering 48,000 healthcare workers free beauty treatments and offer free visits after as well.

Around 45% of its franchise network participated in the campaign.

“We had planned to hand out 30,000 invitation cards for these free visits, and up to now have been able to distribute 22,222 of these. There have also been some goodwill visits to six hospitals where we have distributed a total of 1,605 invitation cards worth a total of RMB7.78m (USD1.1m) in beauty care treatments.”

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