It's probably not a huge surprise to learn that Kobe Bryant is a top foreign celebrity among consumers in basketball-crazy China.
But what about Audrey Hepburn and Michael Jackson? Or Nicolas Cage and Arnold Schwarzenegger? According to a study by Beijing-based consulting firm R3, they also rank as among the top 20 most engaging foreign celebrities in China.
"You shouldn't underestimate ... the power of DVDs and movies in this country. Cinemas and Hollywood movies keep growing, there's tremendous interest in Western movies in China," said Greg Paull, principal at R3. He points out that American TV shows are also often carried on Chinese TV, making stars out of Western actors. "You've got 3,000 TV stations in China broadcasting 24 hours a day, that's 72,000 hours of content per day that needs to be filled."
The list offers clues to marketers who are considering celebrity endorsements, a popular marketing strategy in China and much of Asia.
China's 20 Most Engaging Foreign Celebrities:1. Kobe Bryant (USA)
2. David Beckham (UK.)
3. Angelina Jolie (USA)
4. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
5. Lee Min-ho (South Korea)
6. Hyun Bin (South Korea)
7. Audrey Hepburn (USA)
8. Sola Aoi (Japan)
9. Tom Cruise (USA)
Johnny Depp (USA)