What Happened: Skincare brand Fresh has chosen Taiwanese singer Cyndi Wang 王心凌 to front the campaign of its latest release, a skin resilience activating serum called Tea Elixir. While leaning on KOLs is not new, the 39-year-old star is not the typical influencer that youth-obsessed beauty brands turn to. However, as one of the standout contestants on Season 3 of Chinese reality show Sisters Who Make Waves 乘风破浪的姐姐, Wang can help the LVMH-owned label not only boost its brand awareness but recruit a diverse pool of new consumers: namely, men and women of all ages.
Founded in 1991, American company Fresh is known for sensorial skincare. It was acquired by LVMH in 1999 and entered China via Tmall two decades later in 2017.
The Jing Take: International brands have stepped up their efforts to tap into China’s lucrative skincare market, which is expected to reach $69 billion (465.5 billion yuan) by 2025. This is especially true for Fresh. With functional and medical skincare rising in demand, it’s little wonder it has started doubling down on marketing and expansion.
In particular, appointing Wang allows Fresh to capitalize on nostalgia marketing. An icon of the early 2000s (some netizens even refer to her as “sweet grandma”), her recent performance of her 2004 hit song “Love you” has been watched more than 2.5 million times on Douyin, evoking vivid memories for young adults who grew up with her songs. Funnily enough, videos of young fathers dancing along with their babies have especially flourished on social media — some of which have gained 28,000 likes and 60,000 reshares — serving as a testament to Wang’s popularity.
Besides sparking memories of simpler times, Wang also attracts a large following across the gender and age spectrums. Her willingness to reinvent herself on the show while staying authentic has struck a chord with Gen Z, who are known for being more individualistic than previous generations. Thus, Wang hits the sweet spot between drawing older consumers with nostalgia and recruiting younger fans with her trending performances.
While the endorsement of the Tea Elixir product received a paltry 2,200 likes on the brand’s Weibo page, it earned 20 times more likes on Wang’s personal page at 46,300 likes. Companies should note that this is normal; brand pages don’t collect a massive number of likes, but a celebrity’s page is where all the action will be.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.