SPAKEYS: unlikely endorsement scores Chinese success
WITH a following of over 15 million men on the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, and despite pornography being illegal in China, Japanese porn star Sola Aoi was a controversial choice to endorse a lingerie collection. Yet, local manufacturer Xianyidai negotiated an endorsement deal with her for its Spakeys label. The first 500 sets of her signature design lingerie collection sold out within six hours in May 2014 despite an exorbitant price, for China, at the equivalent of USD 210. A subsequent signature collection at equally high prices proposed in August by Spakeys on its Alibaba online store scored a comparable success, with 56 per cent of sales being to men. Although sales later slowed appreciably, Xianyidal said that the public relations benefits and broader recognition of the brand achieved through the endorsement well justified the controversial choice.
This provides further evidence that the old saying “any publicity is good publicity” remains valid, even in the context of the Internet.