Hogan Is Poised For A Bounce In China With New Ambassador Yang Yang

What Happened: Italian luxury brand Hogan, owned by the TOD’S Group, announced that Chinese actor Yang Yang will become its global ambassador on February 1. The announcement campaign highlights the brand’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection and its Valentine’s Day limited launch, featuring pink-editioned Interaction sneakers for women.

Yang Yang poses with the Valentine’s Edition Interaction sneakers in Hogan’s latest campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Hogan

The campaign hashtag #HOGANGlobalAmbassadorYangYang garnered over 460 million views within one day. The 28-second campaign video, starring the actor introducing the Valentine’s Day limited edition, received over 2.6 million views within one day. The featured sneaker is currently available on the brand’s Tmall flagship store, and a few sizes sold out on the launch day. Netizen reactions to the collaboration were positive, with comments stating that the celebrity’s personality and manner align with the brand’s image. His fans also posted their order confirmations to showcase their support for the appointment.      

Jing Take: TOD’S Group recorded solid double-digit growth in China’s market in 2020 despite its sales being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported in the company’s annual results, which were released one week ago. Diego Della Valle, chairman and CEO of the group, claimed that its primary goal was to consolidate its communication strategy, “particularly the digital one.”

As such, Hogan’s appointment of Yang Yang aligns with the group’s vision. The male actor, who has a cult social following of up to 52 million on Weibo, is one of the most popular idols with established recognition among many demographics. Additionally, he will star in top films and dramas throughout the year, which come with high expectations. Therefore, the partnership should further increase Hogan’s brand awareness by developing a broader reach to Yang’s fanbase in China. That should provide Hogan with greater brand stickiness and purchasing power.

Yet, the high-end sneaker segment that Hogan leans on has been heating up, as it’s become a golden ticket for luxury players in Mainland China. Hogan was an initiator of the luxury sneaker trend and continues to maintain an influential position in the segment.

To increase the desirability of luxury sneakers among today’s young consumers, the brand posted more of its campaign looks on the actress Rosy Zhao on February 3. This move should extend the life of the campaign by generating conversations that continue to reinvigorate the brand’s image.

The viral campaign continues on Weibo, where views of the brand’s hashtag have hit 7 million on Weibo as of publication. Teaming up with this brand ambassador undoubtedly marks a good strategic starting point for kicking off the brand’s agenda. With product innovation and creative storytelling tailored for China’s dynamic demographics, Hogan’s risk is poised to pay off.

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.


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