Who are the people in the world you most admire?
Perhaps it is one or both of your parents and/or your spouse?
Well, based on the answers of more than 37,000 people from 35 countries surveyed by YouGov, an international market research agency, Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates and Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie are the world’s most admired man and woman respectively.
The result of this YouGov survey was released in April 2018.
Philanthropist Bill Gates has remained as the world’s most admired man since YouGov began this survey while Angelina Jolie has retained her top spot for the past three surveys (2015 to 2018).
Not surprisingly, the majority of those in the female top 20 are from the entertainment industry where 14 of them are either actresses, singers or TV presenters.
In addition to being an entertainer, YouGov also notes that Angelina Jolie is known for her humanitarian work. In fact, her face and name are used in the Style of Jolie jewellery, a collaboration between Beverly Hills jeweller Robert Procop and Jolie. The entire profits from the Style of Jolie collection goes to the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, a charity Jolie co-founded in 2012.
On the other hand, most of those in the top 20 list of most admired man have backgrounds in either politics, business or sports.
We believe the survey results are relevant for the watch industry as the most admired people in the world are already brand ambassadors or are potentially choice picks. For example, it is understood why a brand ambassador is most likely a popular one from the entertainment industry.
Aishwarya Rai, ranked eleventh most admired woman in the world, has been a long-time brand ambassadress for Longines.
As for a male brand ambassador, one from the sporting field is a prime choice. David Beckham is currently the brand ambassador for Tudor. Other familiar sporting names who are or have been faces for watch brands include Christiano Ronaldo (for TAG Heuer) and Lionel Messi (for Audemars Piguet).
Worth noting are Chinese names in the list such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, martial artist and actor Jackie Chan, Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma and Hong Kong actor Andy Lau.
Jackie Chan is closely associated with high-end watch brand Richard Mille. It is also little wonder why Tudor’s choice is a gentleman from the entertainment field. In March 2018, Tudor officially announced the signing on of Taiwanese singer and actor Jay Chou as its brand ambassador with the aim of creating brand awareness in the Chinese market.
Of the male politicians on the top 20 list, Russian President Vladimir Putin who isn’t a brand ambassador, is well known for his fine taste in wristwatches.
YouGov’s survey results are also to be admired because of the clear explanatory notes provided. For instance, YouGov highlights that Obama Barack is the first choice in 19 countries as opposed to six for Bill Gates.
Why wasn’t Obama the chosen as the world’s most admired man?
Apparently the 44th President of the United States (from January 2009 to January 2017) didn’t fare well in the most populous countries like China (where he was ranked seventh and Russia (ranked 12th). Bill Gates, however, was in the top four positions in every country surveyed. This explains why Bill Gates is the world’s most admired man.
This explains why discovering the universal brand ambassador is a big challenge; what works well in many countries may not necessarily generate a similar effect in more populated ones.
Years ago, we had believed that Baume & Mercier’s Riviera model was important in the brand’s line-up given the fans we knew who owned and wanted such a model in their collection. However, this line was discontinued.
When we asked Baume & Mercier CEO Alain Zimmermann (who will be the Specialist Watchmakers E-distribution Strategic Project Director for Richemont on 1 June 2018) the reason for this, he replied that the Riviera was only popular in certain regions.
Now before watch brands close in on their brand ambassador choices, they should also note that the conclusions drawn were based on online surveys.
YouGov has provided the disclaimer that: “… in many of the countries the Internet penetration is low to the point where the sample can only be said to be representative of the online population.”
YouGov has highlighted that countries where the online population is lower than 60% of the total include Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.
This is an important point for watch brands because to reach out to the masses, their branding awareness campaigns in such countries should be well-balanced between the digital world and traditional methods such as print advertising and perhaps even billboards.