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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia top country tweeting most about K-pop

Jakarta, Indonesia – As the music genre of K-pop continues to be more appreciated globally, thanks in part to the prominence of K-pop groups on Twitter, more and more K-pop fans take to Twitter to show support and appreciation for the genre. In 2021, the Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia ranked first in countries globally talking about K-pop on the platform, according to the latest insights released by the social media platform itself.

Indonesia also ranked first in the countries globally who have the most active K-pop fans in the platform. It bested other countries in Asia such as the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and even South Korea itself in regards to online engagement related to K-pop.

In terms of most-tweeted K-pop groups globally, K-pop boy band BTS ranked first, followed by fellow K-pop boy bands NCT, ENHYPEN, EXO, and K-pop girl group BLACKPINK. Meanwhile, in terms of emerging K-pop groups, ENHYPEN ranked first, followed by TOMORROW x TOGETHER, TREASURE, aespa, and ITZY.

For YeonJeong Kim, head of global K-pop partnerships at Twitter, as the global consumption of Korean content grows, they look forward to seeing even more diverse conversations on Twitter and providing more content you can see exclusively on the platform in 2022.

“In 2021, with BTS and NCT leading the conversation, we could also see an increase in conversation related to rising artists such as ENHYPEN, aespa, and ITZY. But beyond K-pop, we’ve also seen discussions about Korean content across the board on Twitter growing with K-pop fans talking about not just their favorite music, performances, concerts, and daily lives, but showing increasing interest in dramas and webtoons with K-pop soundtracks or starring K-pop idols,” Kim stated.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesia comes out as top creator of K-pop content on TikTok

Jakarta, Indonesia –  The Indonesian market takes the lead in producing K-pop related videos on the short video platform TikTok, according to the latest data from the platform itself in collaboration with Kpop Radar, a K-Pop fandom data service operated by music start-up Space Oddity.

Indonesia takes up 16.4% of all K-pop related TikTok videos made outside of South Korea. This was closely followed by the Philippines (13.5%) and the United States (8.7%).

Overall, around 92.8% of these K-pop related TikTok videos were made outside South Korea.

Both the huge popularity of the short video platform TikTok and the rise of ‘Hallyu’ or Korean wave has resulted into over 97 million TikTok videos related to K-pop, thrice the previous 33.5 million K-pop-related TikTok videos made in 2019.

Jay Bae, head of global business development at TikTok Korea, said that TikTok has certainly made its mark in the music industry, joining the ranks of LPs, radios, and television

“We are grateful to be a part of this ongoing movement to support the genre and its community,” said Bae. 

Bae adds, “TikTok has changed how people consume and experience K-pop, with fans, from Korea, Singapore and across the globe, now having the space and tools to re-create and re-imagine their favourite content. As K-pop is so well-loved by the global TikTok community, we will continue to drive initiatives to support both the artists and the fans.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Search results for a brand can jump to 50% when tapping BTS as brand ambassadors

Singapore – With the sudden rise of K-pop groups such as BTS being tapped by global brands as their respective brand ambassadors, the trend has been evident among these brands to be more recognized by the general populace. The K-pop effect on the consumer is proven further with the latest findings from shopping aggregator iPrice showing that search results for brands can jump up to 50% after signing in BTS as their brand ambassador.

According to the insights, these sudden spikes in brand popularity have been long evident across brands three years ago when the prominence of K-pop brand ambassadors started to materialize. For instance, luxury brand Louis Vuitton and soft drink brand Coca-Cola gained 46% and 14% search boost respectively in the global market when they signed BTS as their brand ambassador. Meanwhile, sportswear brand Fila gained a 16% spike in brand interest in 2019 globally for the same reason as well.

Another successful brand interest was manifested last year when South Korean multinational electronics company, Samsung, released a BTS edition of Galaxy S20+. The result revealed a 53% increase in brand searches compared to the same period in 2019. 

And more recently, the recent collaboration of BTS and fast-food chain McDonald’s has earned the brand an 8% increase in search interest globally compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, among Singapore consumers, the said collaboration recorded a whopping 81% increase in Google search volume, signifying the massive effect it had on the growth of McDonald’s brand awareness in the country. 

The insights also note in McDonald’s case in Singapore that due to the insane demand for McDonald’s paper bags adorned with the BTS logo, people ended up reselling the packaging along with unopened sauces on an e-commerce platform within 24 hours of its launch.

Part of the reason these brands have gained so much success from their collaborations is that aside from the love towards BTS as a whole, each of the Korean boy band’s members boasts a fan base of their own. K-pop fans have come up with a term called ‘bias’, which essentially means a favorite member.

In terms of biases within the Singapore consumer base, findings show that Jungkook tops the list, accounting for over 26% of the country’s searches. He is followed by V (25%), Jimin (20%), Jin (10%), Suga (8%), RM (7%), and J-hope (3%).

In Southeast Asia, people seem to be Googling V the most, averaging 29% of the search volume, followed by Jungkook at 26%, and Jimin at 18%. 

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Premium Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

K-pop brand ambassadors: Are they the new ‘upmarket’ or a ‘relevancy’ ploy?

Korean pop music or most commonly known as ‘K-pop’ has now become a global force to be reckoned with, despite its relative local roots in South Korea. Part of the rising popularity of K-pop nowadays can be attributed to frequent use of social media. Data from Twitter shows that K-pop stars averaged 1.2 tweets per day by second-generation stars, 3.5 tweets per day by third-generation stars, and seven tweets per day by fourth-generation stars. The latter also tweeted 5.8 times more than second-generation stars, and two times more than third-generation stars.

With the combination of global popularity of these groups and the evident presence across social media channels, it is no wonder that a lot of brands, both locally and globally, have tapped into the growing popularity of K-pop groups to be their respective brand ambassadors.

There have been countless examples across the globe of the rising number of K-pop brand ambassadors, ranging from automotive brand Hyundai, insurance brand Prudential, to local brands such as Philippine telcos Globe and Smart, and more recently, global fast-food chain McDonald’s.

Looking at these brand ambassador examples, most of them have unified reasons as to why they chose to tap into K-pop groups: bringing favorite groups closer to the brands’ consumer base, while integrating the K-Pop group’s trademark into the brand’s objective into being customer-centric. 

And while this seems like a positive message for brands to delve into, some customers feel like brands should instead focus on improving their services rather than tapping into K-pop brand ambassadors. For instance, insights provided by media intelligence and insights company Isentia unveiled that Filipino customers shared their concern about Philippine telcos tapping into K-pop ambassadors.

With these seemingly divided thoughts from brands and consumers, it begs the question: are K-pop brand ambassadors the new way for brand representation, or is it merely a ploy of some to garner traction and relevancy?

For our first-ever deep dive under The Inner State, MARKETECH APAC’s feature series, we spoke with four public relations industry leaders: Li Ting Ng, director of innovation and client experience at DEVRIES Global in Singapore; Sailesh Wadhwa, chief strategist at Edelman Malaysia; Andrew Sha, managing director at RedTorch Communications in the Philippines; and Elya Eusoff, general manager at Ruder Finn Asia Malaysia, to once and for all, get their take on the tipping point for brands realizing the impact of K-pop brand ambassadors, and how integrating them can affect the overall health of their brand; their brand value and reputation.

K-pop brand ambassadors: why them instead of local ones?

According to Li Ting Ng of DEVRIES Global, part of the growing trend of K-pop brand ambassadors can be attributed to the fact that prior to its global expansion, K-pop stars have long been tapped by Korean brands themselves to be their front for both their local and global campaigns. However, with the spread of the so-called ‘Hallyu’ or ‘Korean wave’, there had been a steadfast rise of non-Korean brands finally hopping into the K-pop brand ambassador scene.

And with the now evident mainstream success of K-pop globally, Ng also noted that non-Korean brands tapping into the bandwagon can be highly likened to the phenomenon of roping in Western figures, like a Hollywood A-lister actor or actress who have been signed as a brand ambassador.

Such global recognition of these brand ambassadors, Ng notes, can now help brands be able to streamline their brand campaigns to a much wider and global scale.

“In addition, as the world is increasingly connected across geographies, consumers do not distinguish between what the brand does in different markets. Therefore, everything consumers come across from a brand – whether online or offline – contributes to their overall brand perception,” she stated.

This is also agreed upon by Elya Eusoff from Ruder Finn Asia Malaysia, which, according to him, further stamps the brand’s quality of their products or services, and therefore linking the brand to be labeled as ‘international’ and ‘of quality’.

In an example given by Eusoff, he compares K-pop brand ambassadors to the fact that Malaysian brands have also tapped international celebrities in order to add recognition and relevance to their brand. For instance, athlete Usain Bolt was used to signify connection speed with Malaysian telco Celcom, while football player Roberto Carlos was showcased by AirAsia to signify ‘the possibilities of daring to dream, among many other similar partnerships. 

But perhaps, the most notable reason for the rise of these K-pop brands: the growing demographic of K-pop fans, which are well known to start large-scale fandoms. Ng notes that K-pop fandom is one unique asset within the K-pop scene, which in turn is a great opportunity for brands to tap into to grow their consumer base.

Sailesh Wadhwa of Edelman Malaysia also agreed to the aforementioned statement, noting that the heightened interest in K-pop groups can be hugely chalked up to the fact that the genre being a source of positivity for millions of fans worldwide, which pushes brands to think of innovative ways to incorporate the same cheer and positivity through their desired collaborations.

Meanwhile, Andrew Sha of RedTorch Communications also affirms the belief in seeing K-pop fans being the strength for brands tapping into K-pop stars, stating that long before ‘Hallyu’ became globally known, K-pop has been a dominant genre of interest across Southeast Asian nations, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. He also noted that with K-pop fans providing a large purchasing power in support of their idols, it is no wonder that brands can also leverage this to generate engagement and sales.

Will riding the K-pop brand ambassador wave work always?

For Sha, brands hopping into the K-pop wave “will work,” as long as it is done right. Sha uses the example of photo cards, a well-known merchandise among K-pop fans, and he notes that buyers from both the brand’s home country and overseas will try to get hold of the product as long as it is relatable and appealing to them because they want to support their idol. 

However, there are mixed thoughts about the effectiveness of K-pop brand ambassadors, as Eusoff states that while a K-pop affiliation may bring value to the brand, they would still need to adhere to their core values from a corporate aspect, and not just merely ‘riding’ the trend, which in turn can bring a negative impact to their existing customers. 

Wadhwa also agrees with this reasoning, stating that while having K-pop brand ambassadors can have brands offer its customers a piece of the pop group’s existing story and persona, there is still a critical point brands should take into consideration, or else it only ends up as an ‘opportunistic tactic’ by the brand, which does not add up genuinely to the brand’s value.

Furthermore, Ng supports this reasoning by noting that brands should also take into consideration the proper affinity of the brand and the group they are pitching to be their front. She also added that just because K-pop has an international following or any related group, for that matter, doesn’t mean brands should immediately jump into this endeavor. Rather, they should ask themselves the purpose of the brand ambassador’s appointment, whether it is for the longer run or merely just to get a boost of attention and sales.

“We have seen many instances of K-pop collaborations resulting in products selling out almost instantly for the latter. However, while you may achieve short-term sales and buzz, it is important to question whether these consumers support their K-pop idols or support the brand or products,” Ng stated.

Tipping the pros and cons of K-pop brand ambassadors

Content, gamification, and activation or pure engagement: this sums up what unique experiences brands should apply as with any brand ambassador, according to Wadhwa.

“We’d like to view them as creative collaborations. And the best natural fit aside from values, personality and talent attraction fit, is their willingness to curate unique experiences for your brand. Given their currency with the audiences we intend to connect with, the brand story needs to have a natural fit, else we run the risk of being left out from the romance,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Eusoff notes that the factors of global link and reach to a much wider audience, as well as the possibility of faster and higher impact results are some of the advantages of tapping K-pop brand ambassadors. This was agreed upon by Sha, who added that factors such as increase in return of investment (ROI) and the brand being the front and center of buzz online or offline gives the brand an advantage to win some brand love. 

On the other hand, almost all of the public relation leaders agreed that extremely expensive fee and strict rules in engagement are the main factors that pose a low point for a brand seeking a K-pop brand ambassador, with Sha adding that one wrong move from the brand would result in immediate backlash from the fans, and Ng adding that the K-pop brand ambassador could potentially outshine the brand and its product or service being offered.

Pointers to ponder for brands venturing into the K-pop brand ambassador space

Both Sha and Eusoff agree that in order to truly work out a K-pop star-brand partnership, there should be questions considered regarding the relevance of the group to the consumers, as well as on the match of the K-pop star’s story and persona against what the brand truly embodies. 

Wadhwa agrees with this as well, stating that in addition to the science and rigor of choosing an ambassador is ticking the boxes on ROI metrics where the real question to ask is – what would the brand’s role going to be when these stars are romancing their audiences.

Meanwhile, Ng’s stance is for brands to take a precautionary route, noting that with issues emerging from the industry such as perpetuating toxic beauty standards, bullying, and its notorious training boot camps and contracts, brands should ask themselves how they should align themselves with the groups or idols they desire to work with.

“If you’ve decided that engaging a K-pop ambassador would benefit your brand, it’s key to recognize that K-pop talents and groups are brands of their own. Choosing the biggest and most popular talent or group may not necessarily add value to your brand, especially if it becomes all about your K-pop ambassador rather than your brand,” she concluded.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

Twitter is proving itself to be the critical tool for K-pop growth globally

Seoul, South Korea – As more and more K-pop groups are debuting in South Korea, social media has proved to be a driving force for these groups to be widely known by the general populace. This in turn gives the opportunity for these K-pop groups to be noticed by non-Korean fans globally, and hopefully build a global fanbase.

Such is the case for Twitter, which recently released findings of the platform usage by various K-pop groups, ranging from the so-called ‘Second-Generation’ groups such as Super Junior to Girls’ Generation to ‘Fourth-Generation’ groups such as ENHYPEN, ITZY, and Stray Kids.

The ‘Second-Generation’ groups were the first to build an online fanbase, including circles in Twitter, which is fueled by their strategic entry into other Asian markets and exploring global opportunities since 2009. Meanwhile, the ‘Third-Generation’ groups, which include BTS, BLACKPINK, TWICE, and Red Velvet expanded their global fan base through open platforms like YouTube, which gave birth to the globalization of the genre. Lastly, the ‘Fourth-Generation’ group are born from the proactive discussion of other K-pop groups globally before their official debut, fueled by online events as an alternative due to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the data collected, K-pop stars averaged 1.2 tweets per day by second-generation stars, 3.5 tweets per day by third-generation stars, and seven tweets per day by fourth-generation stars. Fourth-generation stars also tweeted 5.8 times more than second-generation stars, and two times more than third-generation stars.

Twitter-Kpop-Radar-1-min

In terms of tweeting after the debut of their respective groups, second-generation stars tweeted for the first time 1,154 days after their debut, third-generation artists tweeted for the first time 132 days after their debut, and fourth-generation artists tweeted for the first time 116 days before their debut.

Twitter-Kpop-Radar-2-min

Analyzing the amount of tweets for a year following artists’ debuts reveals other differences between the generations as well. Most second and third-generation artists did not post tweets before their debut, and slowly increased their amount of tweets after their debut. However, a notable exception is BTS: BTS opened its Twitter account in December 2012, six months ahead of its debut, and actively communicated with fans globally. Currently, BTS has 36 million followers on Twitter.

Twitter-Kpop-Radar-3-min

Meanwhile, Fourth-generation artists, such as ATEEZ, THE BOYZ, ENHYPEN, Stray Kids, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, and TREASURE, communicated with their fans after opening their Twitter accounts, months ahead of their respective debuts. On average, fourth-generation artists tweeted an overwhelming amount before their debuts compared to second and third-generations, with each artist uploading an average of 323 tweets, and accumulating 562,377 followers even before debuting.

Twitter-Kpop-Radar-4-min

For YeonJeong Kim, head of global K-pop and K-Contents partnerships at Twitter, direct communication with global fans through Twitter has now become a success formula for K-pop artists, adding that such activity demonstrates that digital-based communication has a significant impact on growing their fandom.

“When BTS, a 3rd generation K-pop group, had intimate real-time conversations with its global ARMY, it set an example for the 4th generation to make this a feature of their engagement with fans. Fourth-generation artists like THE BOYZ, Stray Kids, ATEEZ, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, GIDLE, ITZY, TREASURE, ENHYPEN, and aespa, who have been using Twitter as an active communication channel even before their debut, are advancing to the global stages faster than the previous generations,” Kim stated.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Globe’s 917Ventures launches new marketplace for K-pop, K-drama fans

Manila, Philippines – As the pandemic forced live events to go virtual, Globe’s corporate venture builder 917Ventures in the Philippines has decided to roll out a new marketplace platform, called ‘Fanlife’, which is made to cater to K-pop and K-drama supporters. 

‘Fanlife’ is the ultimate marketplace platform for the said fans and will offer exclusive experiences and official merchandise. Fans may learn more about their favorite artists via exclusive content and get a chance to meet them. They will be able to stoke their love for their favorite artists with collectibles and merchandise available on the e-commerce site.

‘Fanlife’ was one of the selections from the first batch of the Velocity program, a 917Ventures initiative that helps aspiring entrepreneurs build successful businesses. It aims to expand the reach and engagement between local and international artists and their supporters, offering an immersive experience on www.fanlife.ph. 

“Fanlife connects you to your favorite artists through exciting experiences, bringing you closer to them with just a click. You may also discover your new favorite artist and be a part of your favorite artists’ communities all within the website,” said Aya Villa-Real, the Venture Builder of Fanlife.

Meanwhile, Vince Yamat, the managing director of 917Ventures, commented, “We believe the best ideas and ventures come from such a diverse entrepreneurial base in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. As such, Velocity provides venture builders the opportunity to build businesses leveraging on the advantage of operating within 917Ventures and Globe.”

The new platform comes as local telco giant Globe, the parent company of 917Ventures, recently announced that it is looking to scout new businesses to explore other sources of income, as both global and local telecommunication revenues were greatly affected by the coronavirus crisis.

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Platforms Featured Global

Twitter’s fan engagement feature ventures to K-pop, kicking off with BLACKPINK’s ROSÉ

Seoul, South Korea – Twitter’s #FanTweets, the platform’s exclusive fan engagement feature is venturing into K-pop, starting with BLACKPINK member ROSÉ, where fans can now engage with the artist herself through BLACKPINK’s official Twitter account

#FanTweets are a custom type of exclusive content on Twitter, where celebrities record their responses to real Tweets from fans. #FanTweets help to bring fans closer to their favorite artists and give them a chance to hear straight from the artists themselves. Also, witty, vibrant, and authentic tweets from fans will provide a different fun experience unique to #FanTweets.

Through #FanTweets, ROSÉ can reply to fan’s tweets about her new album, stage performances, life, and her dog ‘HANK’.

This comes after ROSÉ released her debut solo album ‘R’ last 12 March 2021, in which it entered the Billboard Hot 100. Her debut single ‘On the Ground’ also debuted and peaked at No.1 on the Billboard Global 200 chart.

“#FanTweets offer another way for fans to hear directly from their favorite K-pop artists. With #FanTweets, BLACKPINK’s ROSÉ shared new sides to her, as well as more stories for her fans to cherish. Twitter will offer more fan-driven exclusive content to enable fans to connect with their favorite artists and to drive conversations about #KpopTwitter and various K-content,” said YeonJeong Kim, head of global K-pop partnerships at Twitter.

Some of the celebrities who have engaged through #FanTweets include Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović and English singer-songwriter Louis Tomlinson, known to be part of the English boy band One Direction.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Big Hit Entertainment, UMG announce expanded partnership

Seoul, South Korea – Big Hit Entertainment, the South Korea-based entertainment group which handles various K-pop artists, including world-known group BTS, has announced it is entering an expanded strategic partnership with global music corporation Universal Music Group (UMG).

The partnership entails both companies working closely together in increasing opportunities for artists through innovation and technology, while expanding the global reach of K-pop music and culture around the world.

Furthermore, the partnership will allow UMG artists to explore enhanced ‘direct to fan’ communications through Big Hit’s Weverse, a dynamic community-based platform that allows loyal artist fans to engage, share and interact, see and hear new content and purchase new products.

“Our two companies indeed share values and visions in that we both pursue constant innovations and are committed to providing our fans with genuine music and content of the highest and uncompromising level of quality. In this sense, I strongly believe that UMG and Big Hit will create a synergy that will rewrite the global music history,” said Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment.

The partnership, announced through the recently-established live-streaming platform of Big Hit Entertainment called KBYK’s VenewLive, also stated details about assembling and debuting a new global K-pop boy group together in the U.S. for the first time.

“We will strive to secure competitive platform leadership and develop a top group of artists through the close partnership between our two companies, enabling K-pop to transcend all borders and languages. This project is especially significant as it will apply Big Hit’s ‘success formula’ established over the past 16 years to the U.S., the center of the global music market,” said Lenzo Yoon, CEO of global and business at Big Hit Entertainment.

Members of this new boy group will be selected through a global audition program, which is on track to begin airing in 2022 and will be launched in conjunction with a major U.S. media partner. The debuting global act will work based on the K-pop system – a full production that combines music, performance, fashion, music video, and communications with fans.

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “With their innovative approach to developing artists and embracing new technology, Big Hit has become one of the most dynamic companies in music entertainment. We’re thrilled to be working together as we launch a new joint venture between our companies that will further accelerate K-pop as a global cultural phenomenon.”

The upcoming audition program will also seek the help of Geffen Records, leveraging their extensive industry network and partners to oversee the music production, marketing, and global distribution operations. Big Hit will utilize its global expertise to lead the discovery, training, and development of new artists, fan content production processes, and management of fan communications through the Weverse platform.

John Janick, Chairman, and CEO at Interscope Geffen, commented, “We are all incredibly excited about this joint venture project between Geffen Records and Big Hit. This partnership offers both of us an incredible opportunity to work together helping to shape the future of music globally to the benefit of artists and fans alike.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

K-beauty conglomerate Amorepacific inks deal with Shopee to bolster regional reach

Singapore – South Korean beauty conglomerate Amorepacific and e-commerce platform Shopee have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen both their regional partnership, which started in 2018, as well as to accelerate the growth of K-beauty brands in the region. This adds Taiwan to the beauty company’s market aside from the Southeast Asia region. 

Through the MoU, Amorepacific will be launching the first regional campaign for one of its brands, Sulwhasoo, on Shopee Premium this April, to drive online sales and premium category growth on e-commerce. This follows the exemplary performance of Sulwhasoo’s launch in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand on Shopee last year. 

Amorepacific’s portfolio includes known K-beauty brands such as Laneige, Mamonde, Ryo, and Mise en scene, as well as innisfree and Etude. The company aims to leverage Shopee’s market leadership and deep data insights into consumer shopping trends and behavior to help pre-launch new exclusive products. 

In addition, Amorepacific will explore introducing its brand ambassadors such as popular Korean celebrities and artists into its Shopee campaigns, strengthening its brand affinity and awareness with consumers across the region.

With regards to Sulwhasoo, aside from the campaign in Shopee Premium, Sulwhasoo will curate brand content and tap on the differentiated user experience on Shopee Premium to enhance its brand storytelling, and deepen engagement with the growing number of premium and luxury consumer segments. The beauty brand will also explore launching a brand membership program on Shopee to reward loyal shoppers.

For Michael Youngsoo Kim, head of Amorepacific APAC, their partnership with Shopee is a natural evolution of its successful business results in the past 9.9 and 12.12 campaigns. 

“With Shopee’s deep understanding of the local market landscape in the region, engaged users, and data expertise, we believe that Amorepacific and Shopee together, will be able to better serve the needs of consumers by bringing more of our world-class products to them,” Kim stated.

Meanwhile, Chris Feng, chief executive officer at Shopee said that they look forward to working with Amorepacific, as they have been invited as new brand partners for Shopee’s Regional Champion Brands Programme, which aims in boosting top-performing brands on the platform.

“We are confident of helping Amorepacific capture more growth and opportunities regionally with priority access and support on all regional initiatives and resources. This partnership will also enable us to tap on their vast portfolio and industry expertise to strengthen Shopee’s beauty and personal care offering, giving our shoppers more choices, as well as upgrading the online shopping experience,” Feng explained.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH telco Smart’s new ambassador K-pop group BTS an advent of ‘telco war’

Manila, Philippines – Two of Philippines’ telco giants Globe and Smart have been continuously tapping Korean superstars for the past year, and this time the rival has just been taken up a notch. 

On Monday, Smart Communications shocked Filipino fans by unveiling its new ambassador, K-pop group and global superstars BTS across its social media platforms. This comes shortly after telco Globe revealed K-pop girl group Blackpink as its new endorser. 

BTS will be headlining Smart’s campaign this year, ‘Live Smarter, Live with Purpose’.

Smart has been aggressive in the past months roping in Korean entertainment stars as part of their expanding network of brand ambassadors, including 2020 K-drama “Crash Landing On You” stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin in May and August last year respectively and Korean actor Park Seo-Joon in October last year as well.

Considered to be one of the most influential groups in the K-pop scene, BTS has been known for sending a timely message of comfort and hope to fans everywhere through their music.

Formed in 2010, BTS is composed of an all-boys ensemble Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, and are best known for their hit songs ‘Mic Drop’, ‘Fake Love’, ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’ and their English single ‘Dynamite’.

“Aside from their remarkable talent, BTS emerged as the biggest band in the world because of their meaningful and uplifting music that brings hope and encouragement to fans especially in the bleakest of times. It is, therefore, a big honor to welcome BTS to the Smart family so we may inspire more Filipinos to find purpose in everything they do and ultimately live Smarter for a Better World,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart president and CEO.

“Just like BTS who are able to inspire millions of young people all over the world through their music, Smart Prepaid aims to bring about amazing experiences to the Filipino youth through technology to make life easy, fast, and simple. This way, the young generation is empowered to immerse in their interests and succeed with their pursuits,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and consumer wireless business head at Smart.

BTS’ campaign with smart is set to be released by the first quarter of the year, centered around the theme of ‘passion with purpose’.