Burberry enters into cooperation with Chinese reality show to reach younger demographic and boost struggling revenue, signaling new trend

By Ji Yuqiao Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2020/5/31 22:19:04

A Burberry shop in Shanghai Photo: VCG

British luxury brand Burberry will cooperate with popular Chinese web reality show Street Dance of China Season 3 to better cater to youth culture in an attempt to inject some life in its dropping revenue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The cooperation will take a variety of forms such as short videos and livestreams after the third season, which stars Chinese idols Wang Yibo and Jackson Wang, releases in July on Chinese video platform Youku.

Street Dance of China is the country's first reality show to focus on street dancing. Each season invites four celebrities who are good at dancing to each lead a team of contestants. 

Every celebrity selects dancers from 400 contestants to join their teams, which will then compete against one another.

The previous two seasons of the show have been highly successful. On Chinese media review platform Douban, season one holds an 8.7/10 rating, while season two has an 8.8/10. 

"International luxury brands are rarely willing to 'swallow their pride' and cooperate with reality shows, but Burberry is blazing a trail," a former employee of Burberry surnamed Chen told the Global Times on Sunday. 

"I think this attempt will benefit the luxury industry by attracting customers and increasing sales, especially considering the present difficult situation [with COVID-19]."

She said that the reality show has gained tons of positive reviews from young audiences, so for the Burberry, who is changing its focus to target young people, the program will help expand its influence among youth in China.

"And after Burberry starts making a profit from the cooperation, I think other luxury brands will have more confidence to try this mode," she added.

According to Burberry's financial report for the fiscal year 2020, profit dropped about 57 percent year on year, while around 60 percent of the brand's stores have closed since the end of March due to the pandemic.

Burberry Group said that the end of the pandemic, and its far-reaching impact, is difficult to predict. Given that 50 percent of its stores are still closed, it is expected that the group's profit will be severely affected by the store closures in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, Forbes Chinese reported on Sina Weibo.

Other fashion brands are trying to improve their popularity among young Chinese people by sponsoring reality shows and idols now that people under 25 are becoming the main consumer group willing to spend during the pandemic, according to a report from the Lexin Research Institute.

Sports brand Nike recently sponsored the second season of Chinese reality show Youth with You. Viewers could see candidates wearing Nike T-shirts while training on the show. 

Meanwhile, another women's clothing brand and a sunglasses brand allowed the show's viewers to purchase products to gift to their favorite candidates.

In addition to cooperating with reality shows, luxury brands such as Prada have opened online stores on Chinese e-commerce platforms to make up for offline losses caused by the closure of physical stores.

Prada and Delvaux both opened online stores on China's largest e-commerce platform, Taobao, in March, and more than 150 luxury brands have been launched on the platform's luxury channel, the China News Service reported.

The items in the Prada store include men's and women's clothing bags and shoes. By Sunday afternoon, more than 100,000 netizens had subscribed to the online store so they can be informed when the latest news hits.

"Although I do not often buy luxury bags, the online store makes it more convenient when I need to purchase a Prada bag," a 25-year-old white-collar woman living in Beijing, who has several luxury items from brands such as Chanel, told the Global Times. 

"When the time comes to buy something, all I need to do is just sit at home and log on Taobao."

Posted in: FASHION,TV

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