KangShiFu: KangShiFu Creates a Reality TV Show to Combat Stereotypes


Campaign Summary

KangShiFu created a social movement in support of Chinese girls, crafted by Chinese girls. Through the development of a unique and engaging reality show, KangShiFu was not only able to give girls a platform to share their voices, but also created a space where their voices would be heard and amplified.



In 2021, when KangShiFu unveiled its Zero-Sugar Iced Tea, it had two key objectives:

  • Finding a unique way to elevate brand awareness and affinity with its target audience, young girls.
  • Synergizing content with eCommerce to drive sales.

Three challenges stood in KangShiFu's way of achieving its goals:

  • KangShiFu's regular iced tea was already a household name among Chinese consumers, which means its zero-sugar variant would need to make a copious effort to differentiate itself from the original to make a splash in the Chinese market.
  • KangShiFu also faced vigorous competition from other sugar-free beverage makers and was in dire need of crafting a unique brand image for its new product.
  • KangShiFu needed to articulate the benefits of its zero-sugar iced tea in a way that built emotional resonance among its target audience.

Target Audience:

KangShiFu's core target audience was young females between 18 and 30 years old.

The overall market for female consumers in China exceeded 10 trillion RMB. Women now make up the main force of China's ecommerce consumption, with a penetration rate of 84 percent. Young people between 18- and 30-years old account for over 69 percent of all buyers of sugar-free drinks, and 69 percent of this proportion were women, leading to a target group index of 139, which was far higher compared to men.

Creative Strategy:

KangShiFu knew that girls in China were generally expected to be "sweet" by taking on an accommodating personality.

KangShiFu wanted to help Chinese girls dismantle the stereotype that girls need to be sweet in order to be powerful, just like KangShiFu's new Zero-Sugar Iced Tea. Hip-hop, a once underground culture in China, is now one such mainstream artform where the young female generation can make themselves heard. So, the brand launched "Girls Like Us" — China's first all-female hip-hop variety show. The show was streamed on Tencent's platforms. Girls across China were invited to audition for the show and take part in the social movement as an ambassador for girls across China.


2022 was the first year that KangShiFu launched its Sugar-Free Iced Tea and the associated campaign activities, which were centered around an integrated marketing approach. Compared to previous campaigns of KangShiFu's regular iced tea, this campaign placed greater emphasis on linking product features with consumer emotions and preferences. The initiative also focused on fostering creative dialogues with the target audience through an innovative variety show collaboration model featuring customized scenes, original music, and seamless placement that further amplified the "Powerful Without Sugar" messaging.


Overall Campaign Execution:

The total campaign was 26.5 million RMB, 40 percent of which was spent on mobile, including partnership with Weibo, ShakeYin, and Meituan. Mobile placement played an integral part of the 360-degree integrated marketing communication, empowering the Zero-Sugar Iced Tea to achieve a substantial uplift in brand awareness and sales.

During the 'Tear Down the Labels' session of Girls Like Us, contestants would physically tear down labels delineating gender norms and use that as a musical inspiration for their next hip-hop creation.

During the performances, KangShiFu's Zero-Sugar Iced Tea was promoted using special effects and branded gestures, connecting the drink to the core message of "Powerful Without Sugar," highlighting that girls don't need to be sweet to be successful.

Mobile Execution:

To link KangShiFu's branded content to ecommerce and drive sales, fans could tune into exclusive Tmall livestreams hosted by their favorite contestants and buy limited edition bottles of KangShiFu's Zero-Sugar Iced Tea.

Furthermore, KangShiFu hosted "Home Delivery by Celebrity" on China's leading food delivery app Meituan. Fans who ordered the Iced Tea via Meituan went in the draw to have the drink delivered by the reality show's overall champion.

To promote the show, the brand called on China's top female influencers to speak up against gender labels alongside the reality show's contestants, posting videos on China's leading social platform, Weibo, to spark conversations around female empowerment.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

KangShiFu's show, Girls Like Us, was a hit. It was viewed more than 700 million times. KangShiFu's campaign also resulted in over 200 million topic views, 900,000 personal anecdotes on battling gender stereotypes, and support from more than 23 mainstream news outlets across the country (e.g., People's Daily and China News Weekly) that brought in an extra 120 million impressions.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Social/Influencer Commerce | Awards: X Global Silver Winner