The ads are everywhere nowadays, and in China the country of over one billion potential consumers even more than elsewhere. There are also more than 618 million Internet users in China despite the fact that the rate of Internet penetration in the country is barely 50%. The importance of the Internet in the daily life of Chinese is growing, the advertisements abound. It is therefore necessary for brands in the country to stand out from the competition so that the name of their product will be remembered by potential consumers.

A new trend has emerged in recent years: the use of celebrities and artists to promote brands and products.


The association with artists and celebrities

In China, the ads use all imaginable channels of distribution: in the streets, subways, elevators, magazines, television, radio, Internet … So that the attention given to advertisement by potential consumers is very low. To increase their chances of lasting impression, companies operating in China are using partnerships with artists or well – known celebrities. Artists who themselves were also struggling to establish a community of profitable digital fans. Both parties therefore often agree to create content together.

A win-win partnership

Putting their efforts in common is beneficial for brands and artists. Since communication campaigns often need a boost to successfully attract potential customers. The reputation of an artist or a celebrity may be what nudges. These campaigns are often an opportunity for both parties to get more media exposure.

david beackham jaguar


Several types of associations

The association of a brand with a celebrity can take many forms. The most common is to take a celebrity as the face or as a sponsor of a brand or product. This type of partnership is conducive to storytelling which is very popular with Chinese consumers.

Brands also like to organize events such as concerts and festivals to maintain their image as a leader in their particular field. Which also advertises the company in the press and the media coverage is therefore very profitable for the company in terms of image.

Collaboration can also be playing songs from artists on television advertisements, radio or the Internet.



sophie marceau Chine

Co-branding is another interesting solution used by brands in partnership with celebrities. This implies that the partnership of the two parties could offer benefits or promotional offers to customers of the brand. By providing ticket sales for an event or a concert for example. A contest to meet the artist can also take place on the website of the company and have a positive impact for the brand if it implies that customers use social networks in order to earn the reward.

Examples of partnerships

L’Oreal and actress Gong Li: French cosmetics brand is known for its tradition of using well-known muses. For the Chinese market L’Oreal trusted Chinese actress Gong Li renowned for her beauty and elegance. It is increasingly seen as the embodiment of the modern Chinese woman, which corresponds exactly with the image that wants to give L’Oreal products in China.

gongli loreal

Earlier this year Citroën trusted the French actress Sophie Marceau very popular in China to promote their new car on the Chinese market.  Citroën gave her the task of giving their new line of DS car an image of premium car, reflecting the French elegance all around the world and more specifically in China.

David Beckham had meanwhile been invited to present the new Jaguar in April 2014 at the 13th international auto show in Beijing.

Avril Lavigne was at a press conference in Guangzhou in August 2013, to present her partnership with the Chinese famous brand of ice tea.

The partnership between brands and artists or celebrities is now a must for brands seeking visibility in China. This new trend benefits to both parties because it is an opportunity to create innovative content and enrich one another. In this kind of partnership artists and brands take advantage of each other’s image. So we can say that this kind of partnership pushes more and more artists to become their own brands and the brands themselves to become content providers.

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