Youku and Tudou Merger: What It Means for Marketers

Youku and Tudou, China’s popular video platforms, have kicked off a campaign called “True Dou” to differentiate the brands following the merger of their parent companies in August.

While the campaign suggests that Youku and Tudou aim to keep their websites and brand identities separate to target different audiences, the online video platforms have joined forces to offer scalable reach for brands.

When combined, both Youku and Tudou reach out to more than 310 million unique viewers per week, with daily user overlap at 14 percent daily, and 18 percent weekly, based on iResearch stats.

In May, Unilever embarked on a web campaign for its ice cream to produce four episodes of video clips based around the theme of love, titled “Dive In,” which broadcast on both Tudou and Youku websites.

The campaign received 98 million views on Youku and 96 million views on Tudou.

According to a senior Tudou exec, it was successful because Unilever had saved costs from paying double to broadcast on both platforms.

For advertisers, conventional video ad buys for Youku and Tudou will be integrated to “eliminate unnecessary duplicate reach for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.” However, the content marketing teams for both companies will continue to function independently.

Japanese automobile brand Hyundai is the second brand advertiser after Unilever to broadcast its web movie serials on both video platforms. Since its initial rollout, Hyundai has received close to 5 million views on Youku alone.

“Tudou’s new design and identity position it to appeal to younger, more independent audiences than the more general audience served by Youku,” Victor Koo, CEO and Youku Tudou chairman said in a press statement.

While it is not a new feature, companies are able to launch official brand channels on Youku. A number of top luxury brands have come on board as well as broadcast their events live on the Youku branded channels.

For instance, Gucci, Chanel, and Tiffany & Co. are among some of the luxury brands with their own channels on Youku.

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