Have China’s ‘Traffic Stars’ Become Toxic For Beauty Brands?

Chinese “traffic stars” once offered beauty brands massive growth in China, but an explosion of idol scandals is tarnishing this strategy. 

Key Takeaways:

  • In China’s unique and intense fandom culture, beauty brands are especially attuned to fast-track rising stars from TV shows like “Youth With You” and “Produce Camp 2021,” quickly appointing them brand ambassadors.

  • Referred to as “traffic stars,” fresh-faced Chinese idols have become attractive to beauty brands that covet their massive, female fanbases.

  • Because of China’s recent celebrity scandals, brands need to ensure that their future idol appointments are morally aligned with Beijing’s cultural objectives.

Tapping “traffic stars,” the Chinese term for hyped celebrities who drive high digital traffic, has made big beauty brands’ ambitious growth in China possible over the past few years. But now, after an explosion of idol-industry scandals, brands and marketing agencies alike are rethinking the viability of this strategy.

In 2016, Guerlain took the unusual step of appointing Yang Yang, a Chinese actor who rose to fame overnight through the Chinese drama “The Lost Tomb,” as its brand ambassador, even naming a lipstick“the Yang Yang shade. The lipstick quickly sold out, and Yang’s massive base of superfans had to shop the product from retailers abroad. Continue to read the full article here