Sam McMorran
Jun 28, 2018

How brands are rebuilding trust with live streaming

The group creative director for Imagination China on harnessing the power of live-streamed content.

Jaguar broadcast a live-streamed TV show built around its F-Pace loop stunt in Shanghai.
Jaguar broadcast a live-streamed TV show built around its F-Pace loop stunt in Shanghai.

Technology giants Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are pioneering digital engagement in China, and it’s clear to see this technology disrupting omni-channel marketing with the potency to amplify depth and reach – and supercharge brand experience.

Brand as broadcaster

Rapid advancements in streaming tech are enabling live events to be reborn, as brands compete to create engaging live experiences. Jaguar’s ‘Challenge the Impossible’ campaign for the F-Pace in 2017 captivated Chinese consumers with a simple question: ‘Is the F-Pace power loop real or fake?’

To announce that the loop was coming to China, the brand followed with a film series pitting Chinese celebrity Aarif Lee against stunt driver Terry Grant as they competed to prove themselves capable of the loop.

The audience were left relishing the prospect of Aarif driving the loop, but had to tune in to find out. With the support of Imagination, Jaguar delivered a celebrity-hosted, live-streamed TV show packed with interviews and stunts built around the event.

More than 23 million people connected via Youku to witness the feat, almost double the 12.6 million people who tuned in live for Red Bull stuntman Felix Baumgartner's famed space jump.

Retail-tainment goes live

Last year, in one month alone, nearly 35 million people watched live-streamed product demonstrations on e-commerce platform Taobao. The transparency and honesty of live-streaming has re-built trust with online shoppers all too wary of counterfeit products and fake reviews.

In the run up to 11.11, China’s famed discount day, this new form of engaging ‘visual merchandising’ saw Alibaba’s Tmall present ‘See now, buy now’, a live-streamed fashion experience. Around 50 clothing brands participated, supported by KOLs and celebrities endorsing paraded products.

The show was broadcast across online and offline media with each platform allowing seamless real-time purchasing through interactive apps and web links.

Power to transform

Harnessing the power of live-streamed content, influencers and brands can connect with consumers honestly and transparently, across physical spaces, digital activations, live events and communication campaigns. This integrated approach delivers awareness, but authenticity turns consumers into brand advocates.


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