Sony, Estée Lauder team up online in China

30 March 2009

BEIJING: Sony and Estée Lauder have teamed up to develop a new online TV series aimed at Chinese women aged between 20 and 30, and which will promote a variety of brands owned by the two companies.

Asia is home to a number of highly-developed digital markets, and it has been argued that the development of interactive technology is re-shaping the television market in the region more broadly, as seemingly demonstrated by this latest venture.

The new show, called Sufei's Diary, is based on the series Sofia's Diary, a franchise which is owned by Sony and was originally launched in Portugal, as well as running in country's including the UK and Brazil.

The company is re-making the original show into a 40-episode series, which will promote a variety of brands including Estée Lauder's Clinique cosmetics range, Sony's Vaio computer and Cybershot camera, and the recruitment website

Since its launch late last year, the show has been viewed more than 20 million times in China on websites including Sina and Youku.

Viewers are also able to participate directly in the programme by voting on story lines, and Mark Heap, managing director of Estée Lauder's brief for PHD, says it has an average audience of 450,000 per show, compared with 50,000 for its UK equivalent.

Mary Chan, Sony Pictures Television's vice president of production, argues the programme is targeted at a highly difference audience than state television, the traditional demographic for which is "a 45-plus female, watching historical drama series."

China's internet market is less regulated that than the TV sector, and a survey on the Sufei's Diary website found that over 50% of 1,500 respondents reported an increase in brand consideration for Clinique having watched the show.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff