Pretoria - Bonang Matheba, presenter of Top Billing, is Revlon’s first African spokesmodel for its make-up range.
She joins a star-studded list of other spokesmodels including Halle Berry, Emma Stone, Jessica Biel and Olivia Wilde.
Before Bonang, other local beauties including Terry Pheto, Connie Ferguson, Gail Mabalane, Nicky Greenwall, Minnie Dlamini, Jeannie D and Michelle Botes, were the faces of international cosmetic brands.
It is hardly surprising considering that Africa is an emerging market and many multinational companies that want to tap into it realise that local faces will be better able to market their products because consumers relate to them.
Not only is it a rising luxury market, but African stars are seen as the best people for big companies to market their products. Consumers tend to find it easier to relate to local celebrities than those in America. It makes business sense and it normally means increased profits.
This has been proved by Bonang.
After she was named, many of her fans posted pictures of themselves on Facebook and Twitter buying the Revlon Color Stay foundation she promotes, or showing what they looked like in the make-up.
In 2001, Primrose Moloantoa became the face of L’Oréal in Africa. Her endorsement was the first big deal for a model in the “new” South Africa.
In 2008 L’Oréal announced Tsotsi actress Terry Pheto as its African spokesmodel for its Even Perfect range, targeted specifically at African skin.
She was also the face of its Color Riche lipstick and nail polish range.
The same year Rockville actress Connie Ferguson was announced as a Garnier spokesmodel, while the following year Selimathunzi presenter Zizo Beda joined her.
Model Minkie van der Westhuizen, Top Billing’s Jeannie D and former 7de Laan actress Christie Panagio have also been Garnier hair care ambassadors.
For Pantene, entertainment reporter Nicky Greenwall (2006) and model-actress Jena Dover were also featured as spokesmodels for the popular hair-care product.
Actress and presenter Minnie Dlamini also scored big with a hair care endorsement from Motions last year.
Model Lerato Moloi became the face of Elizabeth Arden in 2009, while Rockville actress Gail Mabalane became an Olay ambassador earlier this year.
And Iman Cosmetics recently revealed rising star Khanya Mkhangisa as its ambassador for Africa.
Bonang is still excited about her new role, though she’s known about it for months. “I had known about the deal for seven months before it was officially announced in June,” she said. “It was so difficult holding in the excitement, so I was relieved when the campaign was finally rolled out and I could shout to the world that I am the first South African brand ambassador for Revlon.”
She’s one of South Africa’s most hard-working and smart personalities and her rise in the entertainment industry can only be rivalled by Basetsana Kumalo.
As fate would have it, Kumalo is her boss at Top Billing and she was also a Revlon girl in the late 1990s for its Realistic hair range.
On why she thinks she was chosen, Bonang said: “I think they saw something in me that spoke to the journey they are embarking on as a brand, which is all about celebrating and embracing the South African woman. I am all about African women taking over the world and breaking boundaries, which is the empowerment that Revlon talks about as a brand.”
She believes it’s a good thing that more global brands are looking at South Africa for their ambassadors. “South African consumers can contribute a lot to the beauty industry,” she believes.
Gina Beretta, junior beauty editor at Glamour magazine, says it is a big deal when any celebrity is chosen as a spokesmodel.
“It’s a great honour for both the brand and celebrity in terms of endorsement and creating brand awareness,” she said.
“It can definitely open doors for the spokesmodel and help them secure other lucrative contracts.” - Pretoria News