China Insights

2016 CelebrityZ Top 100 Most Valuable Celebrities

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Brands 26.12.2016 / 08:20

CelebrityZ Cover 2 col

Chinese actor Hu Ge and model/actress Angelababy rank No.1 and 2. Singer/blogger Xue Zhiqian is identified as the most promising next big star.

China people are spending more time on consuming entertainment programmes and celebrities have become increasingly important in marketing practices. Also, there is a greater use of celebrities in north Asian countries. For example, according to Kantar Millward Brown’s Link database, between 2000 and June, 2013, 29% of ads in China used celebrities, 42% in Japan, 39% in South Korea, while it was only 11% in the United Kingdom and 10% in the United States.

To better evaluate the commercial values of celebrities in China, Kantar Millward Brown and China’s business magazine CBN Weekly recently launched the CelebrityZ Top 100 Most Valuable Celebrities.

We analysed nearly 500 celebrities’ performances in professional skills, social buzz, personality clarity and power of endorsement from September 1, 2015 till October 31, 2016. Chinese actor Hu Ge (胡歌), 34, won the pole position thanks to his outstanding performances in TV dramas“Nirvana in Fire”《琅琊榜》and“The Disguiser”《伪装者》, both were aired during the monitoring period. Model and actress Angelababy (杨颖), 27, were popular among both men and women and carried more endorsement contracts than any other celebrities. Her super high-profile wedding ceremony with husband Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明) at Shanghai Exhibition Centre on October 8, 2015, also created an unprecedented high volume of social buzz. She managed to become the No.2 on the chart.

Young male stars, such as Lu Han (鹿晗), Yang Yang (杨洋), Li Yifeng (李易峰) and Chris Wu (吴亦凡), have had a busy and successful year. They acted in movies and TV dramas, hosted shows on TV or video websites and participated in reality shows. Their diligence paid off as they all made the Top 20 cut.

To gauge the celebrities’ future potential, we measured all celebrities’ number of upcoming works in next two years, popularity among 90’s generation (people born in 1990s) and the growth of their names’ search index on Baidu. Xue Zhiqian (薛之谦), 33, who started his entertainment career as a singer several years ago but shot to big fame recently because of his humorous style on Weibo and TV shows as well as successes of new songs, was found to have the biggest “Upward Mobility Potential”. Young actress Guan Xiaotong (关晓彤), 18, who earned herself a nickname as the “Nation’s Daughter” because she starred in several popular TV dramas as the leading actors/actresses’ daughters, had the second biggest potential. Singer/dancer/actor Zhang Yixing (Lay) (张艺兴), 25, who was very productive in musical works as well as long-standing cast member of popular reality show Go Fighting! (《极限挑战》), ranked third. They are the only three celebrities who earned a five-star rating in potential.

2016 CelebrityZ Top 100 Most Valuable Celebrities

2016 Top 100 Valuable Celebrities Chart 600 Px

Among the top 100 celebrities, 71 are from the Chinese mainland, 29 from either Hong Kong or Taiwan. Male stars occupied 60% of the ranking. The average age for female celebrities is 35.7 and while that for male celebrities is 40.

All candidate celebrities are from Kantar Millward Brown’s CelebrityZ database, which included nearly 500 currently active famous actors/actresses, singers, directors, hosts, athletes, models and musicians. Well-known businessmen and grassroots Internet celebrities (Wang Hong) are not included.

10 Takeaways from 2016 CelebrityZ Ranking

* In an era of fragmentation of media and attention, the commercial value of celebrities is dependent on the celebrity’s, and their teams’, ability to generate “content”. “Content” as used here can be celebrities professional works, social media personality and presence in brand campaigns;

* Brand content marketing created with celebrities is more readily accepted by consumers;

* Selecting the right celebrity helps brands recapture consumer attention;

* Brands can leverage high-visibility celebrities to garner needed attention quickly;

* Large-scale campaigns of first-tier brands become important resources valued by celebrities;

* Brand can use “endorser matrix” to cover different audiences and display wider brand personality dimensions;

* Celebrity personality traits can help increase commercial value, such as “funny girl” swimmer Fu Yuanhui’s (傅园慧) contribution to Coca-Cola brand value in China;

* Sports stars have less commercial value than entertainment celebrities, but their power of endorsement is on a clear upward trajectory;

* Crisis assessment has become an important factor of brand ambassador selection;

* In this era where male beauty has its way with female consumers, cosmetic brands widely use young, effeminate and cute looking male celebrities as brand ambassadors.

To get complete information on this report, please contact us or visit the Chinese version by clicking on the 中文 button on top of the page.

Methodology of CelebrityZ Top 100 Most Valuable Celebrities:

All celebrities’ value are measured from four aspects which was developed from Kantar Millward Brown’s Meaningful-Salient-Different (MSD) model.

The MSD model evaluates the health and power of a brand from its indexes of meaningful (how relevant a brand is to consumers), salient (how prominent a brand is to consumers) and different (how different a brand is in consumer’s mind as compared to competing brands). 

To measure individuals in the entertainment world, CelebrityZ developed a new MSD-E model to gauge them more effectively and accurately. The four aspects are:

* Professional Skill

Based on the Meaningful index of a brand, professional skill index is a comprehensive evaluation of celebrities’ performances of their professional works, including consumer perception, number of works, performance of works (such as box office revenue) and recognition (such as number of awards won and nominated);

* Buzz

Based on the Salient index of a brand, buzz index is a measurement of the visibility of celebrities, including consumer perception, mentions in online news media and activity in social media, such as fans’ engagement with their Sina Weibo posts;

* Personality clarity

Based on the Different index of a brand, personality clarity index shows the uniqueness of celebrity’s personality as compared with other celebrities, whose data source is CelebrityZ consumer perception of celebrities;

* Endorsement

The specially designed index for CelebrityZ ranking is a comprehensive evaluation of celebrities’ performance and effectiveness of their brand endorsements, including impact of a celebrity’s brand endorsement on consumer buying behaviour, brand relationship, and the number of celebrity endorsed brands and the premium level of the brands.

EN Celebrity Z Methdology

Source: Kantar Millward Brown

Editor's notes

* To reach the author, or to know more information, data and analysis of celebrity-based branding consultancy, please contact us.

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