Move over, Tom Hiddleston - 5 more Asia brand adverts featuring Western stars

PHOTO: YouTube screengrabs

British actor Tom Hiddleston charmed viewers in China when he appeared in an advertisement for Centrum multivitamins, which showed him preparing breakfast.

Filmed from the woman's point of view, the British actor appears topping a salad with a heart-shaped fried egg and some fresh pepper as his partner walks downstairs into the kitchen.

He slides the plate in front of the camera and compliments her, before reminding her to take the vitamins in almost perfect Mandarin.

"I will be a little bit busy in the next few weeks, but I'll make it up to you soon, I promise," he says to the camera as he grabs his jacket and leaves the house.

Despite some Western media commentators criticising the ad for being creepy and uncomfortable, the video has received more than 33,000 likes on Hiddleston's official account on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.

"Husband, I love you," one comment read. "I'm not just his fan. I'm his wife," another wrote.

Standing 1.88 metres tall and with a degree from Cambridge University, the British actor has impressed Chinese fans with his multiple talents, from mastering languages to playing the piano.

His gentlemanly image taps into the craze in China for British celebrities. Fans gave him a nickname, Dou Sen, based on the second and third syllables of his surname.

The 38-year-old is not the only Western performer using their appeal in Asia to film ads for various products. Here are five others:

1. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio had a non-speaking role in an ad for China's largest online used-car dealer, Uxin, last year. The 15-second commercial was shown on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV's sports and movie channels, and other regional broadcasters.

In 2015, the Oscar-winning actor starred in a 15-minute short film titled The Audition to promote Macau casino Studio City together with Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt. The ad was estimated to have cost US$70 million to make. He has also sold Bourbon whiskey Jim Beam to Japanese audiences.

2. Madonna

Madonna was filmed in a Japanese commercial for sake manufacturer Takara in 1995.

Dressed in a Japanese martial arts uniform, Madonna went into a chamber and killed a golden dragon. She was rewarded with a golden sphere which magically turned into a glass of sake.

She also wrote and sang the song used in the commercial. "I'm pure. Jun Legend," she said to the camera.

3. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt is no stranger to Japanese commercials. He has appeared in ads for Roots Coffee, Japanese fashion brand Edwin Clothing and conglomerate SoftBank.

Pitt was shown carrying a sumo wrestler as his bodyguard in one of the SoftBank commercial series.

4. Christopher Nissen

Labelled "the Danish Justin Bieber" by Warner Music Denmark, the 27-year-old is a big star in China where his songs have made a huge impression. He never cracked the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, but 12 of his singles have made it into the top 10 in China.

The young singer is also a spokesperson for Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies in Denmark, starring in a two-part commercial for the brand last year.

5. Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is famous in China thanks to his many commercial movies passed by Chinese censors for screening in the country's cinemas.

The Academy Award-winning actor starred in a Chinese car ad for BAIC Motor's Senova in 2013, in which he took part in a car race for a full minute.

This article was first published on South China Morning Post.