Earlier this month, in a marked break with its past advertising campaigns, Milan-based luxury giant Bottega Veneta hired Chinese pop superstar and teen idol Jackson Yee as its first celebrity spokesman in the Asia-Pacific region. And, while it’s too early to see the impact on sales, almost overnight, the company’s social media traffic has skyrocketed.
The brand posted the official announcement on Twitter and Weibo on August 14. In the weeks leading up to the announcement, Bottega’s Weibo posts were notching up a sleepy 100 reposts and a bit more than 1,000 likes per day. The endorsement announcement was reposted 1.2 million times, and subsequent posts have garnered scores of gushing fan comments. The traffic looks similar on Twitter. Though generally, brand updates featuring celebrities receive more likes and retweets, comments on this specific tweet stand out among other brand updates, reaching many times more than other promotional content. Additionally, most of the Twitter comments are from Chinese fans.
Jackson Yee, a singer and actor just about to turn 18, has been a well-known star from the boy band TF Boys since 2013. Positioned as the dancer in his group, he’s known for his self-choreographed street dance performances. He’s also a fashion-magazine favorite, gracing the cover of Chinese T-Magazine and Nylon several times. As a teen star rising from a boy band, Yee has been receiving nationwide attention as his solo career takes off and with his personal style becoming more prominent. With his 52 million followers on Weibo, Yee might be a good fit for Bottega if the brand is going to penetrate deeper into the Chinese luxury market.
Bottega is not a brand known for aggressive promotional campaigns. In the past, the brand has targeting the Asia-Pacific market by releasing its Asia-exclusive butterfly handbag collection in 2017, and launching WeChat campaigns for occasions like Chinese Valentine’s Day. The brand has not yet revealed any specific plans leveraging this new collaboration. But, with Bottega’s recent appointment of 32-year-old Daniel Lee as its creative director, whether the brand adopts a more aggressive marketing strategy, will be worth looking into.
Based on fan responses by far, the Yee collaboration received rave reviews. In the comments of Bottega’s Weibo announcement, follower @易烊千玺今天还是我的 posted: “Congrats to Yee for endorsing Bottega. My boy’s so pretty!” User @独一无二Yee wrote: “They’re made for each other. The discretion, refinement of Bottega is a perfect match for Yee’s confidence, elegance, and uniqueness.” Thousands of fans expressed their love and high expectations for the alliance.
Whether this will spur sales is another matter. On Jackson Yee’s Weibo, user @因为我玺欢complained, “When are you going to endorse something I can afford!”
The fuss over the collaboration has not subsided. On August 24, Bottega posted a photo shoot of Yee in its latest FW 2018 collection on Weibo and announced it had dressed him for TF Boys’ five-year-anniversary concert. The post received about 40,000 reposts and 15,000 likes, many multiples of their normal traffic. Fans posted photos of the live performance in the comments and gave pretty positive reviews for their favorite celebrity’s new look.