While many in showbiz are out of a job and struggling to make ends meet, Hongkong star Eric Tsang has seen his fortunes rise during the pandemic.
The 67-year-old, who has been based in Shanghai for the past eight months, has been raking in the big bucks just by lending his face to products through licensing deals.
Unlike endorsements, a celebrity just has to authorise the use of his image or name for a product or service in a licensing deal.
According to reports, the average cost of licensing Eric’s photo is around NT$4.3mil (S$204K). In recent months, he has received as many as 40 licensing deals, earning him a whopping NT$170mil (S$8.1mil).
In the next year, his mug will be plastered on a variety of merchandise from household items to bath products, and even building materials.
Celebrity licensing deals may seem like easy money, but Eric is reportedly strict about the products and brands he is associated with and will never lend his face to health products so as “to avoid unnecessary trouble”.
Celebrity licensing is increasing in popularity in China as it is more economical for a brand than regular celebrity endorsements.
Hongkong stars like Jordan Chan and Donnie Yen have also jumped on the bandwagon and command around NT13mil (S$618K) and NT$25mil (S$1.2mil) respectively.
In addition to celebrity licensing, Eric is also killing it in live streaming.
Last December, he accepted a gig selling alcohol on the condition that the company engage the cameramen that were laid off by Hongkong broadcaster TVB due to COVID-19.
The broadcast attracted more than 10 million viewers and set a sales record of 15mil yuan (S$3.06mil). His performance and high ROI have led advertisers knocking on his door.
The showbiz veteran was also recently appointed as TVB's Deputy General Manager, which will see him focus on the development of the broadcaster’s variety and infotainment content.