Controversial live-streaming to attract attention does it work for your brand?

Controversial live-streaming to attract attention – does it work for your brand?

On October 1, the well-known brand Coconut Palm conducted a Douyin(Chinese TikTok) live-streaming campaign that attracted a lot of attention on social media. The hostesses were wearing tight tops and black shorts and holding coconut tree products in their hands, dancing, and introducing products. 

Four women in tights shirts and black shorts dance in front of a blue background holding a coconut drink in their hands. ( Source: online)

Four women in tights shirts and black shorts dance in front of a blue background holding a coconut drink in their hands. ( Source: online)

According to Newrank‘s data, the number of views in the live broadcasting room exceeded 130,000 within 6 minutes, and the number of likes reached 175,600.


But soon the live broadcast was suddenly interrupted by the platform, and there was not even time to share the product purchase link. This is not the first time that “Coconut Group” has been cut off from the platform. Their live broadcasting room was also cut off from the platform several times on October 5. It is believed that the reason for cutting off the live broadcast is a violation of the law, and some people have analyzed that it may be related to the dress and appearance of the presenters. 


In just two days, many negative comments spread on the Internet and were a hotly discussed topic. Not surprisingly, this type of live broadcast caused a lot of controversies and polarized the evaluation. Some people criticized the Coconut Palm Group for taking advantage of the loopholes of policies, and some people commented, ” The presenters are dressed fine, what’s the big deal?!” 


The market supervisor of Hainan city has also commented and said that they are thinking about how to deal with this matter.


Coconut Palm Group is a company specializing in processing tropical fruits such as coconuts, one of the ten most powerful companies in the soft drink industry, and the largest natural vegetable protein soft drink manufacturing company in China.



Coconut Palm Group Douyin’s traffic continued to rise in this war of words. According to Newrank‘s data, the number of fans of the account was 70,000 on October 8 and reached 316,000 fans with nearly 150,000 followers within a day, which is more than the number of fans the account has gained in the last two years.


However, in contrast to the large increase in traffic, it was estimated that the cumulative revenue of Coconut Palm Group’s 6-day live broadcast would be between 10,000 and 25,000. The maximum revenue of a single live broadcast will not exceed 5,000 RMB, and according to some media reports, the average revenue per livestreaming is about 2,500 RMB. 


Such a high level of attention is not exchanged for the appropriate GMV. How does this kind of sensationalist but controversial live-streaming benefit companies? Or is the purpose of the brand communication higher than the revenue itself?


In the eyes of many, Coconut Palm Group is pretty good at branding itself as “always on the forefront of exploiting policy loopholes.” And the live broadcast undoubtedly reinforces this FACT. For a long time, there have been two characteristics of Coconut Palm’s most popular brand, one of which is the earthy flavor, especially the packaging designed by Chairman Wang Guangxing himself, with many words and big black, yellow, red, and blue colors clashing.


Coconut palm group has been bold in its content marketing, such as the advertising slogan “from childhood to adulthood”, which has often been ridiculed. in 2019, for example, Coconut Water’s advertising copywriter focused on a “breast enlargement artifact” and was fined 200,000 yuan by local municipal supervision.


In the comments section of this livestreaming, it is not hard to see that many netizens are in favor of this marketing method, calling it the “unique IP of coconut trees.” In particular, the appearance of several presenters was recognized by many viewers, and they acknowledged the beauty of the coconut brand. However, it is difficult for everyone to understand and accept such a new style of live broadcasting. 


Currently, the live broadcasting style of most brands in China is standardized which leads to the live broadcasting space being restricted, cut off, or blocked, and they also avoid causing too much controversy for the brand. 


Some netizens criticized Coconut Palm for “marketing with women’s bodies for decades”; The Beijing News and other media also published comments saying that such marketing should be stopped. The controversy grows larger and larger. 


The market value brought by the hot search already exceeds the thousands of yuan sold by the live broadcasting room. Any dispute about the livestreaming campaign has become the Coconut Group’s brand promotion, making the reputation of Coconut palm even more famous. 


Coconut’s live broadcasts are valuable for the brand’s voice, and the benefit to traffic is even greater than expected. However, for most brands, the case of Coconut Palm Group’s campaign does not have much reference value. The reason why Coconut Group can do this is because of two factors: its brand marketing style, which has been unchanged for a long time, and its national identity. 


In addition, although the live broadcasting of Coconut has attracted attention and attendance, negative controversy has also made this model unsustainable. To see the live broadcasting of the brand through to the end, Coconut still needs to work hard to find a balance.


Controversial live-streaming to attract attention – does it work for your brand? Get in touch with Tolmao Group to get your marketing right in China.

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