Bally appointed Chinese actor Huang Jingyu as its new global spokesperson. He will be the face of Bally’s 2021 FW and 2022 SS campaigns and participate in the brands’ various activities to celebrate its 170th anniversary.
Famous for the heroic characters he plays, Huang has more than 20 million followers on Weibo. Bally’s move underscores the importance of the China market in the global pandemic recovery period and, in particular, the continued use of local faces in international brands’ communication strategies even as some are facing consumer backlash due to spokespersons’ public controversies.
Chinese textile conglomerate Shandong Ruyi was said to be seeking to acquire Bally from JAB in 2018 but the deal did not go through, according to reports at the time. Bally currently has 60 stores in China as well as e-commerce channels across Tmall, JD.com and WeChat’s mini-programs.
Further Reading: How to Avoid Brand Ambassador Controversy in China
Navigating China’s celebrity ecosystem has always been a high-risk, high-reward gamble for global luxury brands, but the stakes are even higher in this volatile, politically charged year.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article indicated that Shandong Ruyi had acquired Bally. That is incorrect. The reported deal to acquire the brand ultimately fell through.