In 2023, C-beauty brands were actively creating mini-drama content. Despite the overall downturn in the Chinese beauty market, these brands demonstrated remarkable performance in terms of both exposure and sales.

Indeed the boom of mini dramas exploded and became an opportunity and an inspiration for local beauty players to create some  branded content using this engaging but also addictive content format.


Netizens’ appetite for ‘short’ also led to the viral of micro-short drama, which has become a significant online communication of C-beauty. 

Mini-Drama are web series with each episode not exceeding 10 minutes, as defined by the Chinese National Radio and Television Administration. Normally these videos last only 3 to 5 minutes, and are mostly distributed through short video platforms such as Douyin, Kuaishou, or WeChat mini programs. The dramas are usually KOLs and MCN co-created. The themes are although clichéd  but ‘feel good’, ranging from #甜宠 (pampering love), #霸总(CEO love) to #穿越 (Time travel) and #复仇 (Revenge), etc.

For example, The on-trend C-skincare brand @PROYA launched several mini dramas on Douyin in 2023. The branded dramas themes of Proya are featuring female empowerment, revenge, and resisting male  dominance in mental control, receiving enormous popularity among the audiences (100M to 360M views) but also matching their overall brand communication strategy and brand DNA positioning valuing gender equality. During the videos, the brand integrates product-selling features within the dialogue in a subtle way, such as “Take care of overnight skin” and “Easy skin care in the early morning”. 

@Kans , another mid range C-skincare brand, collaborated with  the KOL @姜十七 JIANG Shiqi to release 5 mini dramas on Douyin in 2023.It has been attracting views ranging from 650 million to 1.19 billion. Each drama consists of 16 episodes of around 3 minutes each, featuring female development in the workplace and a romantic love story with the handsome CEO.

Audiences can click on the product link within the video to make the purchase. Additionally, with Douyin’s algorithm, people who have watched the Kans mini dramas will also be recommended to the brand’s live-streaming room. After the five dramas, @Kans ranked first in the monthly sales list of the skincare category on Douyin from February 2023 to September 2023.

Photos: Micro-short dramas produced by C-Beauty brand @Kans. Users can find the drama on Douyin and click the product link in the video to make purchase


Short video platforms like Douyin have significantly transformed our lifestyle, leading to a decline in people’s patience for long videos. As a result, audiences now prefer content that is shorter and faster-paced. Taking the micro-short drama as example, China’s online micro-short drama market size has reached 37.39 billion yuan in 2023, a y-o-y increase of 267.65%, and is expected to keep rising. Furthermore, as the emerging E-commerce platform, Douyin also provides a direct link between the audience and brand’ s store, effectively facilitating the exposure and sale. 

Besides, the production cost for micro short content is much lower. Depending on the producer, the minimum cost for a micro-short drama might be even less than 500,000 yuan, and the production cycle may be shortened to two to three weeks. However, achieving more refined content effects will entail higher costs. 

Currently, the mini drama is somewhat less attractive to customers in tier 1 and tier 2 cities, and the C-Beauty brands that are actively engaging are mostly mid-priced segment. However, as the industry continues to standardize and evolve, there is a big chance to capture the interest of sophisticated audience, as well as the favor of luxury beauty brands.

This article is now published at JingDaily.

Contact us to learn more about the Mini drama trends & trendy online communication strategy in China


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