Asia Calling: 3 brands looking East with music

 

FRUKT has been keeping its eye on the brands & music partnership market in Asia for some time. Long before PSY took the world by storm and started advertising Pistachios in front of American football fans. It’s a massively interesting market, both in terms of economic growth, rising middle class consumers and the way music endorsement deals are handled.

Just last year we complied an exclusive report looking at brand activity in Asia (which you can download here) and as we move into 2013, the pace of activity from brands is notable. Here we outline a quick shapshot of some recent deals and how brands are leveraging an association with music culture and high profile artists across the region.

K-SWISS

The footwear brand has stuck an alignment with all girl K-pop group KARA as the new youth focused face of the brand, which will see them featuring in both print as and commercials fronting the brand’s new summer collection.  The act, which has already provided their name and image to commercials for KIA, NTT Docomo, Snickers, Kappa and Swarovski (to name check a mere handful), have filmed the “It’s My Showtime’” commercial, with brand managers at K-Swiss highlighting the suitability of the act as ambassadors due to their “powerful dance skills and personalities”. 

Interestingly, there are reports of KARA making their European debut soon, and with the second wave of K-pop imminent (opened up by the 2012 Gangham style dance craze), the girls’ endorsement friendly brand certainly has plenty of potential outside of its current market.

GOOGLE

The search engine is kick starting a major music platform in early March, staging a whole week of Google+ Hangouts that will feature some of the biggest music acts across Asia (across the full spectrum of Kpop, Jpop and Cpop).  The event, in partnership with the A-pop music channel invites fans to get up close and personal with their idols, utilsing a dedicated hashtag to ask direct questions from acts such as Super Junior, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and 2PM.  The bands will also hand pick the most interesting fans to participate in Google+ Hangouts of their own.

LENOVO

The worlds second largest PC brand has partnered up with MTV on a new creative platform, Lenovo-MTV CO:LAB,  that will run in seven Asian countries (India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) as the brand looks to leverage interest amongst millennial youth. The program, which will run for six months, builds on the company’s wider ‘For Those Who Do’ strategy, and looks to inspire DJs, musicians and vocalists (in addition to filmmakers and graffiti artists) to submit work based on “The Pulse of the City”. Mentors will get hands on refining and adding to the creative process, with fans voting for their favourite entrants. A clever move that taps directly into an emerging generation of Asian youth that want to create content rather than just consume it.

 

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