Beauty brands seeking fortune in the China market can’t achieve it without the fame of local celebrities. All of the top 10 Weibo posts by brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty China feature a celebrity, and Tmall livestreams featuring a celebrity gain 26 times more engagement.
Brands have been tapping further into Chinese consumers’ worship of celebrity idols through online promotion of celebrity collaboration products, which generated major online buzz and sales in the past year. Here are a few of the most popular product collaboration promotions with local stars in China:
Wetcode X Zhao Liying
When Chinese mass beauty brand Wetcode enlisted ultra-popular Chinese actress Zhao Liying to add her artwork to a special-edition CC cream to be released on her birthday, the brand saw its highest Baidu Index spike of the year, translating into the second-highest growth on the Chinese search engine out of all brands tracked in L2’s study. The Weibo topic for the product received 2.2 billion impressions and 98 million comments.
L’OCCITANE X Lu Han
The heartthrob that broke the Chinese internet (literally) when he announced he had a new girlfriend, Lu Han drove massive social engagement and sales for the Provence-based beauty brand, developing its China market presence. When L’OCCITANE announced Lu Han as its new brand ambassador in May 2017, it released special-edition Lu Han products with deer antlers to reference his surname, which means “deer.” The promotion paid off: his Weibo posts about the brand received 186 times more engagement than the brand’s average on its own account, and sales led to a 250% jump in online marketplace sales for the brand in its fiscal first quarter.
MG X Dilraba Dilmurat
L’Oréal-owned Chinese facial mask brand MG teamed up with actress Dilraba Dilmurat to create a seaweed moisturizing mask gift set with her face on the box. Two posts with videos of her promoting the masks made it to the list of the top 10 most popular Weibo posts among tracked beauty brands. The brand made sure to generate sales ROI from the promotion by linking the Weibo post directly to Tmall, where consumers could purchase the set.
Chando X TFBoys
Creating a mask set similar to the MG X Dilraba collaboration, local brand Chando featured boy band sensation TFBoys on the box for a Singles’ Day promotion and generated a Tmall sales spike for the product.
Estée Lauder X Yang Mi
One of the most-followed celebrities on Chinese social media, superstar actress Yang Mi became Estée Lauder’s brand ambassador in February 2017. While it has already cashed in on China’s skincare obsession with its popular Night Repair Serum, Estée Lauder is also investing in marketing centered around the country’s lipstick craze. As lipstick became the Chinese beauty market’s fastest-growing category in 2017, buzz from the brand’s “Color of Yang Mi” lipstick shade was one major promotion that helped drive the brand to receive the highest Baidu Index for the year out of all brands in the study.