The Kardashians may be known for metaphorically breaking the internet in the United States, but they have nothing on Chinese pop star Lu Han, who literally caused Weibo to crash for several hours this week.
One of the young attractive male celebrities referred to as xiao xian rou (小鲜肉), or “young fresh meat” in China, the pop star and actor took to the Chinese Twitter-like social network at noon on October 6 to announce the name of his new girlfriend, actress Guan Xiaotong. The post caused Weibo servers to crash as female fans lamented his newly unavailable status, and service wasn’t fully restored until 4 p.m. The post currently has over 2.6 million comments and 5.1 million likes.
Brands across sectors have tapped into the influence of these massively popular “young fresh meat” stars in China, who can command impressive social media engagement numbers from their devoted fan bases. L2’s new Digital IQ Index: CPG China 2017 finds that brand mentions on these stars’ social media accounts can deliver significantly higher engagement than brand accounts can achieve.
Using L2’s amplification index to measure the rate at which a celebrity post about a brand amplifies the brand’s engagement on its own account, the report found that Lu Han’s posts about Crest achieved above-average amplification for the brand with over 1.5 million interactions. The celebrity achieving the highest amplification for CPG brands was another piece of “young fresh meat,” Yang Yang, whose posts about Ariel and Colgate achieved the highest and second-highest amplification, respectively.
Crest’s own post featuring Lu Han was the fifth most popular Weibo post by an Index personal care brand, receiving 165,663 interactions. The brand had previously achieved the most popular Weibo post out of all Index CPG brands in last year’s CPG China Digital IQ Index when it posted a video starring him. His influence resonates across sectors: other brands that have featured him in campaigns that received significant social engagement include luxury jeweler Cartier and beauty brand Lancôme.