SHANGHAI - China has experienced a surge in the use of KOLs in recent years, not always to good effect. For example, mega-vloggers like Papi Jiang know how to ride on new trends, but a US$3.4 million (RMB 22 million) auction price for a single endorsement by her is said to be way too expensive.
Some brands speaking at yesterday's event have determined their own methods of evaluating ROI from using KOLs.
Kelly Xing, head of digital at Mondelez China, told the crowd at yesterday's Top 1000 Breakfast Briefing in Shanghai, that the company uses "different layers" of KOLs: "real celebrities who are mainstream stars with a big voice in the market like Liu Wen (刘雯) and 'cewebrities' who are people only famous on social media, such as 艾克里里".
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"Celebrities are good for brand fame, and 'cewebrities' are good for brand engagement," Xing said, suggesting that other brands to treat KOL relationships like the ones with their agencies.
"Build a long-term relationship with him/her, and not just one-off," she advised.
From the measurement perspective, Calvin Chan, chief operating officer at AdMaster, vouched for 'cewebrities'.
"If we want to know the qualitative aspect of a KOL, the 'cewebrities' are the ones actually going to drive more conversions," he stated.
Indeed, echoed Rene Co (pictured below), head of communications for Procter & Gamble China. "Do not look at the obvious KOLs," he advised, critical of celebrities who "have sold every part of their body to every brand imaginable".
Citing Pampers as an example, Co said the diaper brand's traditional 'KOL map' included mothers and paediatricians, but a lot of other babycare brands are getting into these circles as well.
"We risked being like everyone else. Then we had a big a-ha moment. More Chinese new moms want to hear from other dads, as they find it very sexy to hear men speak about babies. So we developed a KOL group called the 'super dads’ to conduct Pampers superiority demos for us. One of which is Cui Yutao (崔玉涛)."