Move Over, Oscars: Golden Horse Glamour Brings Branding Opportunities

Actress Li Bingbing at last year's Golden Horse awards.

Actress Li Bingbing at last year’s Golden Horse awards.

The world’s largest Chinese-language film awards show is taking place this Saturday, and luxury brands are hoping that the glamorous event will enhance their image in China.

This year marks the 50th anniversary for the Golden Horse Awards (金马奖), which takes place in Taiwan and gains a larger amount of global attention every year as the Chinese film market expands. Last week, Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee said that he believes that Hollywood is going to be paying much closer attention to the annual event, stating, “I think in 10 years’ time our market is bigger than the Hollywood market. So it comes naturally.”

Piaget伯爵年度優秀獎獎座 (1)Meanwhile, luxury brands also hope to cash in on the equine-themed glitz—Lancôme, Moët & Chandon, and Piaget are all sponsors this year. Jeweler Piaget is taking full advantage of the marketing possibilities of the event through its collaboration with the awards show to present the brand’s “Annual Outstanding Award.” The award has nominated several names for “remarkable artistic film achievement” through “the greatest original script,” including China’s Jia Zhangke for A Touch of Sin, Taiwan’s Qu Youning for To My Dear Granny, Hong Kong’s Johnny to for Drug War, Hong Kong’s Peter Chan for American Dream in China, and Singapore’s Anthony Chen for Ilo Ilo. Piaget has designed a special jade-colored trophy for the event, which is shown on the right.

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Huang Xiaoming wearing a Tiffany panda brooch on the Golden Rooster red carpet. (Sina Weibo/Tiffany)

The Taiwan award show is significantly more prestigious than mainland China’s Golden Rooster awards which took place in late September, but brands such as Tiffany and Jaeger LeCoultre have also used this similarly named event for marketing opportunities. For this awards show, Tiffany outfitted actors Guo Xiaodong (郭晓冬) and Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明) with Tiffany brooches for their walk down the red carpet, and then blasted the photos on the official Tiffany Sina Weibo account. Meanwhile, Jaeger LeCoultre outfitted brand ambassador and actress Zhao Wei (赵薇) in one of its watches for the awards show.

As the Chinese film market becomes increasingly important, it is likely that brands will become more active in the use of brand ambassadors to market their goods. Chinese brand ambassadors appearing at global events such as the Cannes Film Festival are already considered to be a major branding boost, which is why actress Fan Bingbing represented Chopard, Louis Vuitton, and Valentino at the event this year. However, since Chinese filmgoers are on their way to comprising the world’s largest global film audience in coming years, these Chinese-language awards ceremonies will soon be attracting a great deal more global attention from both the film industry and brands.

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