BEIJING, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Contributing to the growing enthusiasm over the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games (the "2012 Games"), Youku Inc., China's leading Internet television company (NYSE: YOKU) ("Youku") yesterday aired "The 727 Cycling Team," the fourth in a hit series of five micro-movies telling the stories of "Ordinary Olympians" -- ordinary people whose extraordinary experiences reflect the Olympic spirit. "Ordinary Olympians" debuted on April 15 as part of Youku's "Our Olympics" campaign, and has since been viewed a total of more than 24 million times. More than 93,000 comments to date have been left by viewers with whom the short, heartwarming movies struck an unexpected chord.
Drawing on its tradition of grassroots engagement, Youku and the sponsor Yili chose to highlight unconventional athletes for "Ordinary Olympians." The first of the micro-movies, "Happy Backpackers," introduces Zhang Guangzhu and Wang Zhongjin, an elderly couple who have backpacked their way through 46 countries on seven continents since they first set out from home in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics.
The penultimate episode of the series, "The 727 Cycling Team," tells the story of seven Chinese people traveling to London by bicycle from Kunming in southwestern China. None of the amateur cyclists, with ages ranging from 20 to 60, had ever left China before. If all goes well, they will arrive in London on July 27, in time for the opening of the 2012 Games. The episode debuted to 1.9 million views within a day of its online premiere.
Continuing with the theme of grassroots participation and leveraging its powerful media platform, Youku is also calling on its 300 million viewers to share their own sports-related stories for "Our Olympics" (http://sports.youku.com/together/), an overarching campaign challenging viewers to bring Olympic values to their everyday lives. The campaign (of which "Ordinary Olympians" is a part) has spread rapidly across Chinese social media, and offers weekly prize drawings as incentives for the week's most-retweeted videos.
"'Our Olympics' is a textbook example of the kind of branding communications that Youku excels at," said Dong Yawei, Youku's senior VP of Sales. "By combining emotionally gripping stories, professionally produced content and engaging online presence, Youku continues to win the hearts of its viewers."
"For Yili, the Olympics are about more than just the competition between athletes," said Li Dan, executive director of corporate marketing at Yili. "They're a reminder of how important health and nutrition are for everyone, whether they're on the racing track in London or on a basketball court in Beijing. Yili's mission is to help our customers lead happy, healthy lives, and with 'Ordinary Olympians' we're proud and privileged to be highlighting people doing exactly that."
Youku accepted original viewer uploads until June 30, after which it reviewed the user-contributed videos and selected representative viewers as subjects for a second line of micro-movies telling their stories. The final episode of "Ordinary Olympians," will air later this July. The subjects of the micro-movies will be featured as in print ads on 300 London double-decker buses during the Games.
Youku Inc. is China's leading Internet television company. Our Internet television platform enables users to search, view and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Youku, which stands for "what's best and what's cool" in Chinese, is the most recognized online video brand in China. Youku's American depositary shares, each representing 18 of our Class A ordinary shares, are traded on NYSE under the symbol "YOKU."
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SOURCE Youku Inc.