New Role For Chinese Olympians Product Endorsers

New Role For Chinese Olympians Product Endorsers

Olympics advertising featuring Chinese athletes like basketball player Yao Ming and hurdler Liu Xiang appear to be paying off for advertisers.

In a Nielsen survey of Chinese consumers conducted in May 2008, Olympics ads featuring celebrity endorsements by Chinese athletes were among the most recalled. 

Liu Xiang’s Coca-Cola ads were most frequently recalled by consumers — 62% remembered them, according to Nielsen.  Yao Ming’s China Unicom and Coca-Cola ads also proved memorable — 48% recalled them.  Meanwhile, diver Guo Jing Jing’s Coca-Cola ads were recalled by 36% of those surveyed.

But despite their high profile, celebrity endorsements carry no guarantee that consumers will recognize advertisers’ brands, according to Nielsen. 

According to the Nielsen survey, a significant number of Chinese consumers wrongly associated Yao Ming with Nike, Adidas, and Pepsi.  Similarly, Liu Xiang was incorrectly associated with Pepsi and MengNiu dairy products by 15% and 13% of consumers, respectively.

View the full press release.