China's state-run television isn't known for its popular entertainment programming. Advertisers are looking to fill the gap, with online shows that put consumer products in starring roles. Pernod's cognac brand Martell Noblige is featured in the online show "Style, Experience," while Unilever sponsors China's version of "Ugly Betty" dubbed "Ugly Wudi."
In China, Unilever dropped its Campaign for Real Beauty ads for Dove after research showed that many women believe they can attain the level of beauty they see in typical ads. The company instead launched a Chinese version of "Ugly Betty" called "Ugly Wudi," with exclusive ads and product placement, plus a script built on the company's Chinese reformulation of the "Real Beauty" campaign.
There's good news and bad news for the TV networks as the new season settles in. "Heroes," "Jericho" and "Ugly Betty" are doing well for NBC, CBS and ABC respectively, but several other new shows already have been dropped, and many others are failing to find an audience.