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.