Celebrity brand ambassadors are crucial for brands to generate social engagement in China. But not all strategies are the same. Here’s how promotion methods differ between beauty and fashion fragrances in the country.

Beauty brands tracked in Gartner L2’s report on the topic have seen the most success using their biggest celebrity ambassadors across multiple categories, including fragrance, to drive engagement, while fashion brands have been more willing to appoint a fragrance-specific ambassador. Only 7% of beauty fragrance brands select brand ambassadors exclusively for their fragrances, with most brands instead opting to have their brand ambassadors promote their entire portfolio. Lancôme, for example, named TFBoys member Wang Junkai as its “Makeup and Fragrance Ambassador,” earning over 5 million interactions on a Chinese New Year post featuring him. He helped Lancôme earn 69% of all Weibo engagement among fragrance brands between January and November 2018.

In contrast, 20% of designer fragrances have appointed fragrance-only Chinese ambassadors. While beauty brands benefit more from multi-category ambassadors, designer fragrances’ Weibo engagement is 29% higher on fragrance ambassador posts than on posts from general brand ambassadors. For example, Anna Sui appointed Nine Percent member Wang Ziyi as its “Fragrance Ambassador.” The announcement post asked users to follow the account and share the post for the chance to win an autographed perfume bottle. The hashtag associated with the campaign, #Anna Sui’s First Fragrance Ambassador, received over 69.7 million views, while the announcement earned over 237,000 interactions.

YSL Beauty also features a fragrance ambassador, investing heavily in developing the branding of its relatively young Mon Paris fragrance. As YSL Beauty currently depends mainly on lipstick rather than perfume for its China sales, it named superstar actress Dilraba Dilmurat as its “Fragrance Ambassador” for Mon Paris to focus on this lesser-known category. The brand’s May 2018 Weibo post announcing her as the ambassador received over 194,000 interactions, helping to generate sustained Tmall monthly sales growth starting in June 2018 and continuing through December.

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