Retail in Asia

In Trends

The platform to target Chinese GEN Z


Douyin is a copycat that has become popular with Chinese Gen Z mobile users (85 percent of its users under the age of 24.).

Similar to, the China music video social network allows users to create 15-second lip-syncing videos full of filters and stop-motion effects.

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Although it is small in relation to the social media giants mentioned above, Douyin has been experiencing explosive growth since being featured on the hit reality TV show “The Rap of China”. As of September 2017, Douyin already had 1.73 million users and on November 18 became the number one free video-streaming app on China’s Apple App Store.

Big brands from many industries including Audi, Michael Kors, OPPO, and Pizza Hut have already run campaigns on Douyin to reach China’s Gen Z consumers and smaller brands are experimenting with it as well.

1. The app’s “Challenge” feature makes it very easy to get users to create branded content

Just like using a hashtag on Instagram, Challenges are popular among users because they can grow your account and get you seen.

Brands can create Challenge contests where users must lip-sync a branded jingle or film skits that integrates their campaign messaging, and offer prizes to videos in the Challenge that get the most likes. Douyin users love Challenges and don’t care that they are essentially creating a commercial for a brand, especially if they can win something!

2. The format has already been proven by in the US

3. Costs are relatively low compared to other platforms

4. Very targeted audience

85 percent of Douyin’s users are under the age of 24, making it the perfect place for brands hoping to reach China’s Gen Z consumers.

For corporations with larger budgets, the best option is to work directly with Douyin to create branded campaigns. These campaigns could include a banner on the homepage, a promoted Challenge hashtag, and or a custom video editing filter. While not cheap, it’s definitely the best way to get seen.

In mid-November Michael Kors became the first luxury fashion brand to partner with Douyin, creating a challenge to amplify the reach of their The Walk Shanghai event (#KorsShanghai#).

The official Challenge with the hashtag #城市T台不服来斗# asked users to create their very own Michael Kors fashion walk video with a custom video filter. Michael Kors also cooperated with a couple Douyin KOLs and several Weibo KOLs who created their own ‘The Walk’ videos while wearing Michael Kors apparel and accessories.

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For companies with smaller ad budgets, the best way to run a campaign on Douyin is to work directly with individual influencers which currently costs between 5-20k rmb per video.

This method essentially allows brands to get similar results to the official Challenges the big corporations are running, but at a much lower cost. It’s a bit riskier though; the campaign’s success relies on creating a Challenge that really resonates with the app’s user base and working with influencers that have an engaged following.


(Source: Luxury Society )