The Celebrity Effect for Advertising

Advertising is omnipresent nowadays. Many companies employ famous persons to advertise their products or be the advertising spokespersons for their brands. Yao Ming(姚明), a famed basketball player of NBA, is the advertising spokesperson of the athletic products of Reebok. Liu Xiang(劉翔), the first male Olympic track gold medalist of China, is the advertising spokesperson of Shengda(昇達) Flooring. Even Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the former USSR, advertised the leather bags for Louis Vuitton, a French fashion design company. An excellent advertisement can really bring large profit to a company. Do you know the celebrity effect for advertising in ancient China? Do you know who the first advertising spokesperson of China was?

In the Warring-States(戰國) Period of China, there was a man named Bole(伯樂). Bole was adept in judging the worth of horses. At that warrior time, large quantities of good horses were required, so Bole was very famous in all states, and many monarchs employed him with a large reward to search good horses and improve the breed of horses. A man was a horse dealer. He sold horses in a market. Though his horses were of fine breed, but no one bought his horses. He had waited in the market for three mornings, but still no one showed any interest. He suddenly remembered Bole, “If the man is willing to help me…” Then the dealer went to visit Bole. Bole smiled and said, “What can I do for you?” The dealer said, “I have good horses and want to sell them. I have stood in the market for three mornings, but still no one buy a horse. Will you please go to the market tomorrow and view my horses? You don’t need to say anything. Before you leave the market, please return to view my horses once again, and then leave with a lingering look. Will you please? I will present the earning of tomorrow morning to you.” The next morning, Bole did as the horse dealer said, and then the price of the dealer’s horses was increased tenfold in one morning! Bole, of course, was the first advertising spokesperson of China, though he said nothing.

The top state of advertising is that the spokesperson says nothing but sales will be increased rapidly. Many years ago, Gong Li(鞏俐), a famous Chinese film star, only offered a smile for the advertisement for the air-conditioners of Midea(美的). Last year, Tang Wei(湯唯), the starring actress of the movie “Lust and Caution”(色•戒), got the reward of six million HongKong dollars for her smile in the advertisement for Pond's.

Advertising is omnipresent, and celebrity effect is omnipresent, too.

Oriental Style
Since February 6th, 2006
Copyright © Yike Jiang