Yesterday evening, a video showing a couple having sex in a fitting room was released on Weibo. Netizens easily identified the fitting room thanks to the female voiced audio comment “Welcome to Uniqlo ” you could hear in the video.

1 million views in 2 hours

This video went viral first on Wechat through the moments to finally get to Weibo where it gathered 1 million views in less than two hours (see the topic Number 1 meaning literally Uniqlo video ).

Hot topics on Weibo

 

The Wechat sharing link picture is here :

 

Search it

 

A picture of the link leading you to the video, leaked on Wechat that later leaked on Weibo (More here for social networks in China).

Of course the government “tried to react” quickly and removed the video in as many places as it could:

Removed4

 

Not much success in censorship…

Sure, it has been removed from the Weibo hot topics after a few hours, leaving the Top 10 hot topics clean but screenshots and press release still subsist, you just have to know where to look :

By typing these on Baidu you find the information about this case :优衣库试衣间男女一起

Check on a Chinese online news paper to see what I am talking about

Why did it go viral?

This video went viral because of the peculiar blend of this scene and the more official tone of the female voice clearly telling people watching where this couple was.

Marketing stunt or not?

Facts :

  • Other brands mocked what happened by saying that their fitting room were bigger (Zara and H&M most notably (other clothing brands have separate fitting room for male and female in China but not Uniqlo by the way)
  • Uniqlo denied this video to be part of a marketing stunt in a press release
  • The police is looking into it.
  • It is a most extreme and risky stunt  to play with sexuality in China given the severe restriction set by the government.

If it is not, it could be called a bad buzz since the brand has been mocked, losing credibility.

In such cases you need a damage control campaign to avoid negative publicity such as what happened yesterday.

So, what do you think dear reader :

Buzz or Pr crisis?

More on buzz in China here

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