How Kpop Group BTS Catches Singaporeans’ Interest in Certain Brands

Deridian Nurhalim

We’ve all heard that BTS' latest collaboration with McDonald’s has finally hit our shores.

The highly anticipated exclusive menu has been taking a wave of interest in Singapore. 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.

It’s safe to say that the fast-food chain has made an excellent decision in reaching out to BTS’ fan base. But this isn’t the first time brands have leveraged the K-pop superstars’ global influence.

Since BTS earned an impressive roster of brand endorsements and collaborations over the past three years, iPrice Group looked at how much brand interests surged in Singapore after these brands signed BTS as their ambassadors.

According to their latest research, which listed down six of BTS’ notable endorsements or collaborations in the past three years, Google searches of a brand can jump up to more than 50% after tapping BTS.

Within two weeks after the launch of the BTS meal, McDonald’s earned an 8% increase in search interest compared to the same period last year. Surprisingly, when compared to the same period before the pandemic, this collaboration recorded a whopping 81% increase in Google search volume, signifying McDonald’s growing brand awareness islandwide.

Other high-profile collaborations were with Louis Vuitton and Coca-cola, which have earned both brands’ search interests to surge by 46% and 14% respectively, as compared to the same period last year.

In July 2020, 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.

Meanwhile, BTS’s collaboration with Fila gained a 16% spike in brand interest in 2019.


Driven by highly devoted fans who would spend an average of $1,422 on their merch, tickets, and albums, it is no wonder that BTS has been successfully making online sales across categories.

These brands have gained so much success from their collaborations because each of the Korean boy band’s members has a fan base of their own. K-pop fans have come up with a term called “bias,” which essentially means a favourite member. With this in mind, iPrice also determined who Southeast Asia’s top BTS biases are.

In Singapore, Jungkook tops the list, accounting for over 26% of the country’s searches. He’s 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%. However, Vietnam seems to have a soft spot for the oldest BTS member, Jin, as he ranks #3 in the country.

Hence, if brands can’t afford the full package, maybe getting one BTS member may still do the trick. After all, iPrice’s older study proved the huge success of a single Black Pink member’s collaboration with Saint Laurent last year. A single BTS member may just garner the same success or even more.

About iPrice Group

iPrice Group is Southeast Asia’s leading online shopping companion. With a mission to bring a greater level of transparency, convenience and trust to the e-commerce market across Southeast Asia in order to help people save money, the company today operates in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogs 6+ billion e-commerce offers from more than 2 million sellers, attracting more than 35 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates under its own brand iPrice and through various partnerships with leading apps, such as SmartPay (Vietnam), Boost (Malaysia), GoRewards (Philippines), Home Credit (Indonesia) Visense (Singapore), Robinsons rewards (Philippines) & Boost (Malaysia).

Methodology

The success of BTS' brand collaborations is based on the search volume seen on Google Keyword Planner. The searches recorded were during a 3-month period during BTS' collaborations, announcements, or product releases. The search volume of each brand is compared to the same 3-month period of each year from 2018 until 2021. The brand keywords used depending on how it's referred to in each country (e.g. Singapore knows McDonald's as McD, so the keywords used were "McDonald's," "McD," and "McDonalds"). The popularity was based on each country's Google searches per BTS member in the last six months (December 2020 to May 2021). The keywords used are each member's stage name with the keywords "BTS" after (e.g. "V BTS"). For Thailand, keywords used were in Thai characters. The tool Google Keyword Planner was used to obtain the search volume.

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