A remake of the TV show "Ugly Betty" is being used by Unilever's Dove to help solve its Chinese beauty problem. Dove ads showing real-life models have been a hit in the U.S., but not in China,
where women aren't driven to buy products promoted with so-called real faces.
To address that cultural difference, WPP's Mindshare brokered a deal to bring a version of the show to Chinese TV, giving Unilever the right to exclusive ads and product placements during the show, as well as a script built around the company's Chinese version of the Dove campaign.
"Ugly Wudi" protagonist Lin Wudi works at an ad agency. She learns to unveil her own beauty using Dove products and working on an imaginary ad campaign for the brand. Unilever marketing staff worked with the show's writers to integrate some 3,300 seconds of the Dove brand into the show's first season.