Chinese mobile steamroller ZTE has boasted of a full year spent winning celebrity endorsements.
Since becoming the fourth largest handset vendor in the world, it realised it needed the marketing to go with it. That's why over the last year it has become friends with Singapore pop star Huang Yida, tennis player Carles Moya Llompart, a Spanish supermodel by the name of Jon Kortajarena, a top TV show in China called Man's Gang, grime-pop Brit Professor Green and Spanish artist David Bisbal.
In a statement, it brags of its busy year: it managed to convince Singapore's singer songwriter Huang Yida to pen a yarn with the same name as its smart terminal slogan, "Light Your Smart World".
Then it showed off its Light Pro tablet at the Mutua Madrid Open. Llompart was hanging about for that as the tablet showed off tennis statistics in real time.
Spanish model Jon Kortajarena appeared at the Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week to demonstrate some ZTE products. In Hong Kong, ZTE's Skate launch had Kandy Wong on board. Also in Madrid, Spain's David Bisbal was sponsored by ZTE. The company claims it's part of the marketing strategy.
Professor Green in the UK said: "Sponsorship is a reality of today’s music industry – the key is to make sure you partner with the right people. ZTE are up-and-coming and innovative so this relationship is really exciting for me."
Most recently, in China, ZTE managed to get its devices into the hands of TV series Man's Gang's cast. ZTE says the product placement strengthened its brand "among the youthful, fashion conscious, target audience demographic."
What's next for ZTE? We can't wait to see.
Will the residents of Albert Square wake up to find the Royal Vic refurbished and rebranded as the BS8920 Micro Base Station Arms?
A cameo from Hou Weigui as new landlord at the Rover's Return?
Emmerdale relocating to Guandong Province?
We'll have to wait and see, but ZTE promises to rope in even more celebrities to flog its wares: "Next year looks set to be even bigger and brighter," said He Shiyou from the mobile business.