Video-streaming platform iQiyi is increasingly venturing into the offline retail space, leveraging the power of its shows to get involved with brands and KOLs in a new way.

According to Vivian Wang, CMO and president of iQiyi’s new consumer business group, videos with great content can sell products better than any obvious advertisement.

“Now more than ever, brands have to connect with consumers to achieve an emotional connection,” she told Campaign Asia – and that connection can be made through consumers’ favourite content.

An example is the platform’s hit show Fourtry, which sees celebrities attempt to run a fashion shop in Tokyo. When iQiyi opened a Fourtry Space store in Shanghai, people queued for hours to get in and products were selling out soon after release. With a second season imminent, iQiyi intends to open similar stores in other Chinese cities and has made deals with a number of fashion brands.

It is also planning to capitalise on another hit show The Rap of China, after finding a correlation between post-show discussion about the shoes people were wearing in the show and increased sales of those same shoes. “We realised that users’ recognition of the content will drive up the consumption,” Wang said.

Such realisation now informs the platform’s wider strategy, as Wang made clear at a recent conference: “In the future, we will build consumption scenarios around high-quality content. We will integrate online and offline models and create consumption opportunities with brands by leveraging the influence of celebrities and KOLs, leading the upgrading of consumption through the next decade.”

Its ambition is ultimately to create a new business model that connects brands, artists, technology and other resources into one environment.  

Sourced from Campaign Asia