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Power to the Queens

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Maybelline New York hired Hong Kong star William Chan to be brand ambassador to promote the Colour Sensational lipstick range. Chan is super popular among Maybelline’s young, female target audience – they are also the target audience of many other brands.

Chinese people love celebrities. The rate of celebrity endorsement among ads in China is the highest across the world. (Source: Millward Brown)

With the popularity of social media, the interaction between celebrities and fans has changed forever too. The relationship between the two is much closer and much more interdependent.

When researching about Chan’s fans, Maybelline found out that his fan-base is not only massive; they are ultra-protective too. They name themselves his “Queens”, meaning they protect Chan like the queen protects her king. There were instances where Chan’s agent had to stop Chan’s endorsement deals because his fans thought the brands were not good fit for Chan.


Maybelline can’t just hire Chan to do a few commercials and hope the fans will willingly buy the products. The brand had to show it respects them and cared for Chan’s career as much as the “queens” do.

Therefore, Maybelline renamed one of the lipstick shades “Queen” and made it the star colour of the range. Chan posed with the lipstick and released the promotional photos on his social media, hinting his endorsement.


Maybelline officially revealed Chan as a spokesperson. Meanwhile, the brand announced the “Queen” shade as an exclusive colour for Chan’s fans.

Maybelline created an interactive page with a 40 second video starred by Chan. Fans could choose different scenarios to follow different storylines with Chan.

Although massively popular in China, Chan is yet to be more recognised internationally. Maybelline wanted to elevate Chan’s stardom even more. It featured Chan on the one and only Time Square in New York, making him one of the few Chinese celebrities to be ever featured at Time Square.

Fans could be featured alongside Chan in an important moment like this – they could enter the lucky draw by uploading a photo with the “Queen” shade on their lips.


This campaign made Chan’s fans the absolute front and centre of the campaign, and they answered with stunning enthusiasm.

Chan’s new endorsement topic was viewed 390 million times on social media site Weibo with more than one million discussions.

Chan’s interactive videos were viewed nearly one million times.

30,000 fans uploaded their photos to win a chance to be featured alongside Chan on a Time Square billboard.

The “Queen” lipsticks were sold out in 20 seconds. Fans wanted the colour so desperately that they wrote to Chan’s agent requesting for more. After re-stock, another 20,000 were sold in two hours, breaking Maybelline’s e-commerce sales record.

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