Celebrities chart new waters to stay afloat
Getai queen Liu Ling Ling gets Foodpanda boost amid career drought while celebrity trio delve into live streaming to sell products
Like many live entertainers, local getai queen Liu Ling Ling's business has taken a hit.
Her usual earnings took a dive of more than 70 per cent when her Hungry Ghost Festival gigs last month dropped off due to the Covid-19 situation.
In a normal year, the 54-year-old veteran performs at least 18 live shows, but she could do only three this year.
Fortunately, she received a timely lifeline from Foodpanda Singapore. The company hired her as its local ambassador.
The Mandarin-speaking performer even raps in English for the Auntie Knows The Real Deals campaign video as part of the delivery platform's first hyperlocal campaign in eight years. It is featured at bus stops, MRT stations, on buses and in lifts.
Liu, who has a seven-year-old son, told The New Paper: "When Foodpanda approached me, it was really the right timing as it was when the seventh month getai was supposed to happen. So to me, it's a very good chance to earn a living and it's an opportunity I really appreciate. I have to do well for (them)."
She said she has received a warm response and positive feedback from the public as "a lot of people who saw me (in the campaign) have said they liked me".
Liu's persona of the quintessential sassy neighbourhood auntie who is privy to the best deals resonates with her too as she feels that "making money is difficult (especially at this time), so you have to save".
Other personalities who have charted new directions for themselves during the pandemic include celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee, 49, actress-host Michelle Chia, 45, and actor-host Pornsak, 38.
The trio founded the company MDaDa and started their first Facebook Live show on Sept 4. Broadcasting from Tuesday to Sunday evenings, they have sold more than 10,000 items during their live streaming sessions, including a $3,000 slimming deal from Dr Scinn Aesthetics.
They have also ventured into selling property - a Sentosa bungalow worth $18 million is being viewed by five interested buyers.
Chia told TNP: "I think we're very fortunate because MDaDa has made a name so far, by word of mouth. Many have approached us to ask for collaborations."
The live streaming business is also Covid-proof as it allows viewers to shop from home safely.
Prior to setting up MDaDa, which has more than 4,000 followers on Facebook, Chia's travel shows were cancelled or postponed.
Pornsak said there were "no more outdoor engagements, no opening ceremonies for me to cut ribbons, everything came to a halt".
And revenue from Lee's hair salon chain dropped 20 to 30 per cent. MDaDa has become a supplementary source of income for them.
Lee said: "It actually helps my main business a lot as there are more new customers coming to my hair salon (after watching the show). This is a part-time job, but I enjoy it."