China’s young rising stars, their commercial value and the brands that are collaborating with them
Earlier this year, Kris Wu, 27, a Chinese singer and actor made history by becoming the first artist from mainland China to perform at the Super Bowl. The NFL also named him official Super Bowl LII ambassador for China. As one of the most influential young celebrities in China, Kris is also the first non-British brand ambassador for Burberry, and ambassador for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.
To target the world’s most populated market and to be better engage with over 200 million millennials in China, more and more multinational brands are collaborating with young Chinese celebrities. Especially those with high commercial value and significant social media influence. For example; Michael Kors partnered with Yang Mi, while Bally is working with Tang Yan, and Lancôme choose Zhou Dongyu as a brand ambassador.
Isentia’s recent social media analysis report “The hottest young Chinese celebrities that luxury brands should be following” reveals some of China’s young rising stars that may be next on the brand collaboration watch list, given their commercial value, reputation and highly visible lifestyle.
Download the full report now or read on for a sneak peek!
SK-II partner with Leah Dou （窦靖童）
Leah Dou, born in 1997, is the youngest brand spokesperson for SK-II. Known for her rebellious, edgy but also cool attitude, including a distinctive chin tattoo, Leah is somewhat of a departure from the Japanese skincare brands traditional brand representatives.
As the daughter of China’s famous musician Faye Wong and Dou Wei, Leah is a unique Chinese celebrity and according to Isentia’s analysis, after a month from the launch of the “Your statement, your bottle” SK-II campaign, it contributed to 21% of SK-II’s social buzz.
In the past two years, SK-II has increased its marketing efforts in China by leveraging e-commerce and social media tactics crafted for the local market. SK-II’s Changing Destiney campaign has successfully aroused resonance among the Chinese consumers, and sales roared 50% in 2016 from April to December.
Tinna Nien , SK-II’s senior PR manager said in a media interview that to quickly adapt to the China market demand and tap into the millennial consumers, SK-II works with Leah to create diverse brand images, as she is not just represents young consumers but also symbolizes independent values.
However, the collaboration didn’t work for everyone. According to Isentia’s social media analysis, netizens expressed an ambivalent view on choosing Leah Dou as a brand ambassador as they felt she wasn’t a ‘right match’ with the brand. Sentiment then hit bottom and also triggered discussion around the push to be ‘younger’ and label those over 25, unmarried to be ‘leftover women’. Large amounts of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) however continued to blast positive articles and posts towards the SK-II x Leah Dou collaboration and KOLs followers expressed supportive opinions. The sentiment peaked and lasted around 10 days. Over 114 KOLs leveraged for promoting #‘生而由我，从心所欲BE THE PERSON YOU DECIDE TO BE #, SK-II seamlessly leveraged the KOLs to promote Tmall, Duty free and offline promotions.
China’s top rising stars:
So who are the ones to watch?
The raising social media e-commerce and fan economy creates a new direct-to-consumer model that enable brands efficiently convert the leads. In Chinese, people call the celebrities who are good at promoting and selling products via social media to their fans ‘Dai Huo Huang Di or Huang Hou’ (King or Queen of product sales). According to Isentia social media analysis, the brand or event co-mentions ratio of King or Queen of product sales could up to 20% to 40%.
Using our powerful media listening tool, along with bespoke framework and extensive keyword iteration list, Isentia’s award winning media analysis team identified the latest popular influencers based on real data and their ability to impact sales through brands collaborations.
Celebrities born after the 1990s have become popular on Weibo since they garnered high buzz volumes thanks to TV dramas and shows. “孟子坤 Meng Zikun”, “周震南Zhou zhennan”, “马伯骞 Ma bosai” and “赵天宇Zhao tianyu”, were all known thanks to the TV show “The coming one” (明日之子.
To view the full celebrity rank and download the full report, please visit:
Creative and strategic marketing professional with experience in planning and delivering end-to-end marketing campaigns across multi-channel platforms. As a Marketing Manager at Isentia, Vittorio loves creating educational content for the media and communications industry.
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