Having looked at top Chinese celebrities, we are shifting our focus to the popularity of foreign celebrities in China. Because choosing a brand spokesperson in China involves many considerations, we have cross-examined the image attributes and fanbase for a selection of celebrities to showcase what is involved in the decision-making.
Below is the list of the most popular Korean and Western celebrities in China, according to EntGroup Chinese Celebrity Index (ECCI). Korean celebrities overall enjoy the highest awareness, probably due to the popularity of Korean dramas in China. Kim Soo-hyn and Jun Ji-hyun, in particular, starred in the 2013 “My Lover from the Star”, the most-watched Korean drama on the internet in China, with over 4 billion hits.
Will Smith, whose recent Scifi flicks “Men in Black III” and “After Earth” were both released in China, grossing over $80 million and $30 million respectively, is the number one Western celebrity in awareness. Angelina Jolie, Daniel Radcliffe and Johnny Depp are among the top popular Western celebrities in China.
In addition to popularity, advertisers should look at whether fans demographics and images of celebrities are compatible with their branding and products.
Kim Soo-hyun, with over 35 endorsements in China as of August 2014, is most appealing to female audiences, with 80% of his fanbase being female. In terms of occupations, Kim Soo-hyun is most popular among students and civil servants. In contrast, Will Smith has a 65.64% male fanbase, and enjoys most popularity from technicians and professionals.
Analyzing their respective image attributes, Kim Soo-hyun stands out for being youthful and lively, while Will Smith projects a dedicated and sexy image. As a result, Kim Soo-hyun is most suitable to endorse lifestyle products that appeal to young demographics. And Will Smith is a good match for advertisers looking for a muscular and sophisticated spokesperson.