The Explosion of Danmu in Chinese Social Media

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Danmu, social media fad

Danmu is the social media fad in China to watch for, namely it is becoming a huge trend with those Chinese citizens who are watching videos online. What is even better, companies who are trying to make it big in China, want this to happen, as it can be a great way of getting their name out to the general public.

Learn more about social media in China here

What is Danmu?

This is often referred to as bullet screen, and is going to happen on videos that others are commenting on. For example, someone could upload a video that is talking about a product they are interested in. instead of just seeing this video, they are going to see tons of commentary bullet across the screen. Often, this commentary is snarky and humorous, making for some moments of giggles for those who watch this.

Danmu was first thought of in Japan via Niconico, and then made its way to China. Consumers loved watching the videos and the commentary, and this gave way to businesses taking this social media fad even more serious than what they were before.

Businesses Adapt their Approaches

Brands that are interested in integrating this social media fad into their marketing campaigns are most often using Bilibili in order to reach their target demographic. Most of those consumers who are watching Danmu are those who are in their teenage years and early 20 year olds. So how can a business do this? Knowing that the comments may not all be favorable to their brand? This is something that not all businesses are going to be comfortable in doing. According to the business director of BBDO Proximity in Shanghai, Sharon Ho:

“You have to be very open-minded and accepting, not to focus on the positive or negative of what people say about you – the key thing is they are talking about you.”

Case Studies: Companies Success and Failure with Danmu

There are several businesses who have opened up their minds and put their videos out there, ready to take whatever comments come their way. In China, Coco-Cola released their Ice Dew Chun Yue, a water brand to the market, and posting a video that was meant to inspire people to try this. There were very diverse reactions with many finding the video to be funny, while others were less than excited over it. The company even received comments like “the water doesn’t taste good”, blasted across the video.

Braun partnered with BBDO Proximity Shanghai to create a video that was full of humor, including interviewing men off the street about their shaving habits. The entertaining factor of the video is what has earned major points for the business.

Durex posted a series of videos on the social media site that showed absolutely nothing happening. Including a video in which a couple stands in front of a condom vending machine for 3 hours, and still did nothing. This video is one that has gained a lot of comments, including “In the time you waste watching this, you could use a whole box of Durex.”

With this social media fad, businesses are getting mentioned. Yes, the comments may not all be a raving optimism for the product, but it still generates buzz around the Internet. Coca-Cola was happy with their results, as any type of talk around social media is going to make the brand even more favorable with Chinese consumers. For Durex, the comments though meant to be funny, were a constant reminder of what Durex offers their consumers.

Even though Danmu started out as a joke for many people, it seems that this can be a fantastic way of gaining attention for a brand or business. Through using this social media fad, companies are showcasing that they realize what the age demographic wants, and they are delivering this to the public.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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