One of China’s most successful talk shows debates society’s questions, big and small: Would you let your parents live in a retirement home? Is it better to break up with someone in person or not?
The show, “U Can U Bibi” on the video platform iQiyi, is also a wide-load vehicle for sponsorships, with placements of sponsors’ logos and products that are intentionally over-the-top and relentless. (“Bibi” is Chinese internet slang for “keep talking” or “keep bullshitting.”) A host finds a funny pretext to plug Head & Shoulders, and the shampoo’s logo pops onscreen with a “boing” sound. Smartphones and yogurts are propped up on the hosts’ desks, because Chinese electronics company Xiaomi and dairy giant Mengniu are sponsors. A single frame might contain more than a dozen product placements and brand logos.
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