The influence of Chinese celebrity brand endorsers has become less generalized
Looking back to the early 2010’s, the top Chinese celebrity brand endorsers were mostly easily accepted by the general public. There was no big controversy over who is the most fit brand endorser as there was much less national celebrities back then. The celebrities that made their way into the list are those who are most familiar and liked by the general Chinese public. In 2020, Chinese celebrities have tremendous pressure to maintain a clean, positive image. In recent years, China has also experienced a rise in KOL marketing, which creates alternative opportunities for brands to leverage influence in marketing. However, celebrity brand endorsements are very much relevant in China, and practiced throughout many industries.
The power of influence of older Chinese celebrities are gradually decreasing
The list of Chinese celebrity brand endorsers has completely overturned, as younger celebrities have debuted into and older celebrities gradually quitting from the Chinese entertainment industry. Many Chinese celebrities mentioned below possess high power of influence in 2012, but are no longer as relevant nowadays.
Most top Chinese celebrity brand endorsers in 2020 assert niche influence
One thing to note is that the top Chinese celebrity brand endorsers can no longer assert influence across the general Chinese public. Their influence, in fact, are becoming much more niche. However, although their power of influence among general Chinese audiences is decreasing, their influence over one or more particular consumer segments is increasing. Nowadays, brands are required to measure its product’s fit with a particular celebrity’s influence circle first in order to successfully implement a marketing campaign and send appropriate marketing message to their rightful target audience.
[Source: BrandZ & CelebrityZ Top Chinese celebrity brand endorsers in 2019 with most commercial value]
The following are the top 10 Chinese celebrity brand endorsers with the most commercial value in 2019
Zanilia Zhao (赵丽颖)
Zanilia Zhao is a famous Chinese actress who had won many local Chinese TV awards, known as the TV drama queen of China. Despite that she has not been very active due to marriage and pregnancy last year, she remained as the celebrity endorser in China with most commercial value. She has endorsed over 27 brands, which include: Pizzahut, Hsufuchi, Meituan, Longines, Dior, etc.
[Source:Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Zanilia Zhao]
Dilraba Cherry Dilmurat (迪丽热巴)
Dilraba is a young generation Chinese actress of Uyghur descent that has risen up quickly. She has appeared in many famous TV dramas that achieved high ratings. The brands she has endorsed include: Nikon, Mikimoto, L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, Adidas neo, Oppo, etc. She has recently received many endorsements from top luxury brands due to her image.
[Source: Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Dilraba Cherry Dilmurat]
Yang Mi (杨幂)
Yang Mi is a Chinese actress, singer and model. She was ranked 3rd in 2017 Forbes China celebrity list with ¥200 million rmb revenue. She is preferred by many cosmetics and fashion brands as she is known as the Queen of influencer marketing. The brands she has endorsed include: Michael Kors, Versace, Stuart Weitzman, Estée Lauder, etc.
[Source: Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Yang Mi]
Hugh Hu (胡歌)
Hugh Hu is a Chinese actor and singer. He is famous for his solid acting skills and high-rating TV dramas. The brands he had endorsed countless brands, which include: Hyundai, PizzaHut, Minute Maid, Togocareer, Pingan, etc. Many brands collaborated with Hugh in order to build a trustworthy and professional image within target consumers’ minds.
[Source: Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Hugh Hu]
Dongyu Zhou (周冬雨)
Dongyu Zhou is a famous Chinese actress. She won best actress Golden Horse Awards in 2016 and has been fairly active recently, appearing in movies, TV dramas and reality TV shows. Previously, she has represented Pepsi, KFC, Rio, Wong Lo Kat, etc.
[Source:Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Dongyu Zhou]
Karry Wang (王俊凯)
Karry Wang is a Chinese singer and actor, and a member of famous Chinese boy group TFboys. He was ranked among wealthiest young people born after 1990’s with a net worth of ¥ 248million rmb. Karry was one of the celebrities with most endorsed brands including: Snickers, Stride, Lancome, iReader, KFC, dior, Chunyue, Anessa on Tmall super brand day, etc. Notably, his endorsement for Anessa on Tmall super brand day in 2019 reached over ten million sales in 13 seconds.
[Source: Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Karry Wang]
Tamia Liu (刘涛)
Tamia Liu is a popular Chinese actress who had won various best actress awards in China. She had been a spokesperson for: Porsche, Lancôme, Chopard, BEAST, VIPKID, etc. Tamia Liu’s brand endorsements are often luxury or child care products as she adopts a good mother and a professional actor image.
[Source: Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Tamia Liu]
Louis Koo (古天乐)
Louis Koo is a famous Hong Kong actor and singer. He is the president of Hong Kong performing artistes’ guild currently. Louis Koo became popular among Chinese Neitzens once again due to his donations across rural regions in China. He has represented: Fiyta, Cadillac, Outes, Tanwan Lanyue, etc.
[Source:Weibo Celebrity endorser in China – Louis Koo]
Chinese celebrities that have had consistently high influence over the last decade
Some older Chinese celebrities still have influence power among general Chinese public. Many of which either still appears frequently on big screen or have recently climbed back into the ranking with more working schedule.
Faye Wong (王菲)
Faye Wong is a highly successful and influential Chinese singer, songwriter and actress. She has been a spokesperson for many global brands, such as LV, CELINE, Motorola, J-phone(Japan), Baleno attitude, Pepsi, Jovell, Head-Shoulders (海飞丝) in the early part of the decade.
Although Faye Wong was ranked first in 2012, her power of influence had weakened a lot as she gradually appeared much less in front of the screen in the recent years. However, she is still ranked in the top 100 Chinese celebrity brand endorsers in 2019.
[Source: Jolintsaidownloads Chinese Celebrity Endorser – Faye Wong]
Jolin Tsai (蔡依林)
Jolin Tsai was the second top earner among Taiwanese singers in 2010 behind Jay Chou (周杰伦). She gained US$14.51 million 2010. In 2012, she had endorsed Koobee, YAMAHA CUXI, Chinalife, Lay’s, Bixiutang, Tropicana, Whisper, Pepsi, Haichang contact lens, etc. Jolin Tsai have returned into the ranking this year as she released a new album.
[Source: yahoo.com Chinese Celebrity Endorser – Jolin Tsai]
Eason Chan (陈奕迅)
Eason Chan was praised by Time magazine as a front runner in the next generation of Cantopop. In 2012, he was a spokesperson for Adidas Originals, Le Paco Clothing, One2Free, McDonalds, Netvigator, Minute Maid, Coca-Cola, Ribena, etc. Eason Chan and Jay Chou are the only two celebrities that remained high on the ranking from 2012 until 2019. Both were ranked in top 10 within CelebrityZ’s ranking in 2019.
Brands’ preferences of these two celebrities over others may be due to their sustainable traffic and ability to generate long-term sales growth. In most cases, older celebrities that general public are more familiar with, can generate more positive association then ‘liuliang star. Budweiser signed Eason Chance as their brand endorser in 2016, and since then consumers have felt closer to the brand. This suggests that Eason Chan’s ‘spontaneous’ and ‘friendly’ personality shares a very similar brand value with Budweiser.
[Source:music.douban.com Chinese Celebrity Endorser – Eason Chan]
[Source: BrandZ & CelebrityZ Eason Chan improved Budweiser’s brand image after he endorsed the brand]
Jay Chou (周杰伦)
Jay Chou is a famous Taiwanese musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer, actor and director. He shot many TV commercials and print ads over the years. In 2012, he represented LEVI’S, MOTOROLA, CITYCHAIN Watch, Honda Yaris, Sprite, Kaspersky, Yili(伊利) Yogurt, Panasonic cellphone, DHC cosmetics, Colgate, Meters/bonwe, etc.
Despite that many Chinese celebrity brand endorsers had inevitably lost commercial value as years past by, Jay Chou was an exception. He was ranked at third place in the 2019 CelebrityZ commercial influence list. After been quiet for the past few years, Jay Chou’s new music video ‘Won’t Cry’ (说好不哭) featuring Mayday’s Ashin went viral among Chinese Neitzens in 2019. Moreover, his appearance in different TV shows and frequent concerts around the world had helped him build social buzz volume and online exposure. All are the reasons to him climbing up 15 places on the list compared to 2017.
[Source: QQmusic – Jay Chou is one of the most influential celebrities of the 21st century]
Chinese celebrity brand endorsers with declining influence
Leehom Wang (王力宏)
Leehom Wang is one of the most famous celebrities in Asia as a singer-songwriter, director, actor, and producer. He has worked for Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Sony Ericsson, Bausch & Lomb, Bosideng MAN, Garnier, Lay’s Chips, Nikon, Brand’s, Hyundai.
Although ranked high in 2012, Leehom Wang was only placed at 38th on 2019’s ranking. Like many other older celebrities, Leehom Wang is not favored by most Chinese brands as they find those endorsers who can attract high volume of social buzz, digital traffic and short-term sales more appealing. ‘Liuliang Star’ is a new word that refers to such kind of Chinese celebrities. Recently, CEO of Hongsheng Group that owns Wahaha (娃哈哈) mentioned in a TV program that Leehom Wang is no longer suitable as a brand ambassador for her brand as consumers are feeling tired and bored looking at him for over 20 years.
[Source: Sohu.com Celebrity endorser in China – Leehom Wang]
Sherry is a Taiwanese pop singer and occasional songwriter. She has been a celebrity endorser for Neo SkyDome Real Estate, Go To Taiwan Taiwan.net, Taiwan Beer, Kuang-Chuan Cold Tea, and Shiatzy Chen. Given that Sherry Zhang has not released any new albums in the recent years, it is reasonable that her influence power has dropped.
[Source: Chinapress.com Celebrity endorser in China – Sherry Zhang]
Fish Leong is a Malaysian Chinese singer in the Mandarin pop scene who has had much success in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. Known as “the Queen of Love Songs”, Fish Leong has worked for IMPACT, Intimate, Redbox&Greenbox KTV (Malaysia), Shiseido, YAHOO, OLAY aqua hydration, BIOTHERM, KISS GOLD, Cenosis, HITACHI, etc.
Fish Leong, Stefanie Sun, David Tao and René Zhang are all examples of those celebrities that returned back to their family and gradually appeared less on the big screen. However, many of them are making comebacks to the screen recently, which means their future influence power may be expected to increase once again.
[Source: Pinprestige Celebrity endorser in China – Fish Leong]
Stefanie Sun is a Singaporean singer and songwriter. In 2012, she had shot over 50 commercial ads for global brands such as RichLife ZHI, SK Jewellery, FOSSIL watch, Lexmark printer, Motorola, YAMAHA, Lux, Louis Vuitton, Converse, Lay’s, XS-EXES, etc.
[Source: Duitang elebrity endorser in China – Stefanie Sun]
David Tao is well known for creating a crossover genre of R&B and hard rock tunes, and has been a spokesperson for Hennessy VSOP, Big John, Volkswagen EOS, Honda, Rejoice Shampoo, Sony Ericsson W810C cellphone, Sprite,etc. Due to his scandals, he had not been active in recent years and is no longer preferred as a brand endorser by many brands as his image does not attract a positive association in consumers’ minds.
[Source: Pinprestige Chinese Celebrity brand Endorser – David Tao]
René Liu is the first to win Best Actress awards at the Asia Pacific Movie Festival in both television and film productions. She has worked for SHISEIDO, Lux, Garnier, Sharp cellphone and Sharp AQUOS, Rado, Daphne D28, Whisper, SODA, etc. She is among the Chinese celebrity brand endorsers who are declining in popularity.
[Source: Pinprestige Celebrity endorser in China – René Liu]