brands and music insight asia - ALLTHATMATTERS

brands and music insight asia - ALLTHATMATTERS


Brands AND Music

Insight Asia

FRUKT and music matters highlight key music & brand partnerships across the Asia

Pacific region and delve into the evolving cultural exchange between East and West…

and insight | 2012

Connecting cultures:

brands and bands in Asia

With major brands making concerted inroads into Asia and

Asian music acts gaining a strong foothold on an international

level, a generation of digital fans are helping to bring West and

East into closer proximity.

> Building music/brand equity in Asia

Asian marketing promotions have long been lambasted by the ad

men of the West for sticking fast to a seemingly antiquated ‘holdit-and-smile’

product endorsement model over more innovative

marketing techniques. However, with Western music artists now

taking up a more proactive approach to both their personal brand

and corporate alignments (thanks to the, not-so-gentle, economic

shove of the digital music revolution), Asia suddenly seems ahead

of the game when it comes to understanding and implementing

artist/brand integration.

K-Pop, for example - recently dubbed “Korea’s killer content” by

one recording director - has moved Korea’s music scene away

from its woeful privacy problems, turning it into a highly sought

after product outside its native home. Not to mention an ongoing

draw for local and international brands. With digital music

payments still low, endorsements and live performances have

become the financial backbone of a Korean artist.

At the pinnacle of this Asian endorsement model is Girls

Generation (or SNSD to their fans). The nine piece girl group has

racked up a fairly impressive 87 ad partnerships

since the band’s inception in 2003 (a sizable 27 in

2011 alone), filming TVCs, exclusive content and

participating in live/digital events for the likes of

Samsung, LG, Nintendo and Sunkist.

What is particularly interesting in Asia is that it isn’t

just the de rigueur ‘cool’ brands (Converse, Levi’s,

etc) that are finding value in aligning with music.

Even the most unlikely of products - especially to

Western eyes - can cut through by association with

popular music acts. For example, Woongjin Coway,

an ice water purifier company, saw a sales increase

of 400% after appointing Girls Generation to act

as brand ambassadors in a number of ads. Not only

that, but the girls also managed to shift the brand’s

audience from a fairly stoic 40-50 demographic,

enabling the company to draw in an entirely new

customer in the 20-30 age bracket.

the emerging middle class consumer

Asia’s booming emerging markets and rising middle class populations (70%

of India is predicted to be middle class in 15 years, with China’s middle

class expanding by 75% in 2025) are naturally a big draw for international

companies. Luxury goods and lifestyle brands are in high demand in Asia, with

consumers clamouring to purchase aspirational goods compared to their more

recession conscious Western counterparts. Prada’s net profit soared 72%

in the year ending January 2012, thanks to booming sales in Asia. Likewise

Burberry has just opened a new flagship store in Bejing off the back of a 30%

surge in sales at its Chinese stores, promoting its musical ties by having UK

band Keane soundtrack an innovative fashion showcase.

Brands are understandably eager to net a strong foothold in the booming

Asian market, and music - one of the few mediums capable of transcending

language and cultural barriers (whether championing emerging acts, partnering

with established local stars or providing access to international icons) - forms

a conduit that enables brands to connect with consumer passion points. From

intimate events such as the Jack Daniel’s JD Set gigs in the Philippines to

large scale sponsorships like Tiger beer’s annual music festival in Malaysia

and Coca-Cola’s high profile Coke Studio TV show in India, brands are setting

their sights on delivering unique content for the Asian youth community.

And make note, this is a highly engaged and active community. Whether it’s

the Me N Ma Girls in Burma, After School in Korea or AKB48 in Japan, an avid

legion of young fans are following their idols’ every move. These fan netizens,

often with their own culture and names (2NE1’s ‘Blackjacks’, for example, are

akin to Lady Gaga’s ‘Little Monsters’) are constantly pushing for international

awareness. As ever it’s social media that is driving broader acceptance of

Asian music in the West, as 2NE1’s lead vocalist, CL, illustrates, “there is no

line between Korean, Japanese, or international music since YouTube”.

Domesticity is a state of mind and the virtual sphere now facilitates an active

fan voice on the world stage. As the lines blur, and cultural boundaries diminish

in a digital led world, mere points on a compass can’t hold back the onslaught

of the increasingly globalised music business. One where brand, band and fan

has much to gain from deeper cultural collaboration.


of the world’s middle class consumers

will reside in Asia by 2030 (1)


of global luxury sales by 2020 are

predicted to be attributable to Chinese

consumers (2)


of South East Asian consumers

are prepared to view or listen to

advertising in exchange for free music (3)


predicted social media users in

the Asia-Pacific region in 2014 (3)

1. OCED, Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries, 2010

2. CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, 2011

3. Nielsen: Global Consumer Confidence Study, 2010

4. eMarketer, 2012


Asia uncovered

FRUKT showcases a wide variety of brand activations and endorsements

across the Asia Pacific region, from supporting emerging artists to creating

virtual pop stars…

2ne1, the 4 piece hip hop/pop girl group,

entered into a long term collaborative

project with international sportswear

brand, Adidas Originals, comprised of

product placement, events and digital

remix platforms.

The group have actively promoted the adidas brand, both in their music

videos, prominent fashion magazine shoots and via public appearances

- including a performance at the ‘all Originals: live loud’ event - since

their initial debut in 2009.


We are originals (Korea)

Most recently, designer Jeremy Scott partnered up with 2NE1 on a

new footwear range for adidas, which saw him using 2NE1’s music,

character, fashion style, and individual member qualities as inspiration.

A digital promotion gave fans the opportunity to create their own 2NE1

music video by remixing pre-recorded elements online, with their

creations shared via Twitter, Facebook and embedded into blogs.

The band has also debuted ‘All Originals Make Moves’, a video

campaign championing Korean youth and city life. 2NE1 lead singer CL

and Kim Jin Pyo (formerly of groups Panic and Novasonic), have both

created a unique rap for the campaign with fans invited to vote for their

favorite online for the chance to win adidas Originals ZX footwear.

brand benefits

• Endorsement powerhouse: 2NE1, like many k-pop bands, have

a long line of commercial partnerships under their collective belts;

including Nintendo, Kirin beer, Samsung, Yamaha and Baskin Robbins.

• Fans get social: adidas benefits from the group’s avid fanbase,

known as ‘Blackjacks’, as they proactively drive global awareness of

the group, translating and disseminating content for non-Korean sites.

• Creative culture: the digital aspect of the campaign enables fans

to get closer to the artists by becoming video producers, creating

bespoke content they can broadcast within their social media circle.

> Visit the website

Zippo lighters developed a six-month

concert series in China in a bid to

raise awareness about the brand in

this emerging market, aiming to foster

credible associations with a product

that is considerably more expensive than

its local counterparts.


Hot List Night (China)

The Zippo Hot List Night, a monthly live concert experience, was actively

sponsored by the brand, and featured both emerging artists as well as

some more established acts. Marketing materials were distributed to retail

vendors, with those purchasing a new Zippo product eligible for two free

tickets to one of the events. Zippo promotional girls also distributed flyers in

the vicinity of the venue prior to the gig.

Zippo worked with t-shirt brand Plastered 8, who created promotional

posters for the gigs in collaboration with the Needles and Pins tattoo studio,

with bands such as Pet Conspiracy, Dr. Feel Good, and Hang on The Box

gracing the stage.

The live events helped to establish Zippo as an active supporter of

grassroots music in the region, drawing an audience of around 400 per

event, which helped to drive sales of Zippo by 20% in Bejing.

brand benefits

• Vendor rewards: Zippo actively involved its Chinese retailers, not only

by supplying significant marketing collateral, but also by inviting them to

present awards to bands on stage at the live events.

• Audience participation: Zippo promotional staff mingled with live music

fans at the gigs, offering branded giveaways, whilst an onstage LED

Zippo-meter monitored the audience reaction to the bands.

• Supporting new music: the brand teamed up with Modern Sky

Records on a battle of the bands promotion in Shanghai and Beijing,

giving burgeoning rock bands the opportunity to compete for a chance to

record an EP.

> Visit the Website

AKB48, the Japanese all female girl

group, notable for being the world’s

largest girl band – comprised of some

58 full time members – teamed up with

confectionary brand Glico on a digital

initiative to develop an entirely new

virtual member of the band.

AKB48 recently unveiled a new group member, Eguchi Aimi, a

16-year-old student from Toyko to the popular J-pop act. However it

was soon revealed that the singer was in fact a CGI creation, made

up from component parts of the other female singers in the group.


Virtual brand ambassador (Japan)

A digital campaign from the confectionary company, following

on from the reveal, invited fans of the group to take various facial

features of each group member (hair, eyebrows, nose, mouth, etc)

to create their ideal member. These ‘perfected’ versions of their

favourite stars could then be shared via Twitter and Facebook

and voted for online. In addition, the reassembled girl group

members could also be downloaded for use as avatars and desktop


brand benefits

• Secret service: it’s a clever use of pre-emptive marketing by the

brand, building suspicion and buzz within the fan community through a

series of well placed clues to Eguchi’s true identity.

• Social sharing: fans eager to connect and interact with their idols

we’re quick to get involved with the campaign in an attempt to outdo

Glico by creating their own version of the perfect AKB48 member.

• The perfect brand ambassador: Glico manages to create the ideal

teen music idol, building not only a visual identity but also an idealistic

online profile directly mimicking their target audience.

> watch the video

Sports and lifestyle brand Puma

partnered up with four-member Southern

Korean girl group Sistar in 2011, tapping

the girls’ popularity as style icons to

promote its new range of clothing in a

music video styled commercial.

The group posed for a major photo spread in High Cut magazine, sporting

clothing from the new Puma Jacket range, and also featured in a TV

commercial for the brand, which depicted individual members of the group

dancing on a club turntable, wearing items from the new collection.


Sistar (Korea)

Sistar, who netted a Golden Disk Awards (the Korean version of the

Grammy Awards) in 2011 were also voted ‘best style icons’ at the 2011

Korea Lifestyle Awards. Their obvious appeal to fashion brands, both

western and local, has seen the girls featuring in a number of apparel

endorsements, including a jeanswear line ‘SISTAR Jean’ for CLRIDE.n and

promotional activity for the Plastic Island fashion label.

“Sistar is already a top fashion icon in Korea. They’ve been receiving a

lot of calls for photo shoots and the fashion industry is paying a lot of

attention to the group’s new style,” said the groups management, Starship

Entertainment, recently.

brand benefitS

• Fashion conscious: Puma also partnered up with Boyfriend – also from

the Star Management stable - for a photoshoot for the February issue

of ‘Ceci’ magazine, again focusing in on the desire to emulate the group’s

fashion choices.

• The looks and the lifestyle: the ad and magazine shoot appeal directly

to Korean teen aspirations. One of the four group members, Hyorin, is

currently acting in teen TV drama ‘ Dream High’ which follows students as

they aspire to become k-pop stars.

• Endorsement plus: the Sistar collaboration follows on from a high

profile partnership with Taiwanese band Da Mouth in 2010, which saw

the band actively wearing Puma clothing, engaging in digital promotions

and appearing at a number of live events.

> watch the video

Coca-Cola celebrated its 100th

anniversary in the Philippines with a

major concert experience, suggested

and curated by fans across YouTube,

Facebook and Twitter. The event featured

a variety of local Filipino musicians,

coca-cola musical ambassadors and

international acts.

Coca Cola

Centenary concert (Philippines)

The soft drinks brand celebrated its centenary in the Philippines with the

release of a specially created theme song, entitled ‘Tuloy’. A collaborative

track between bestselling Filipino recording artist and actress, Sarah

Geronimo, synthpop artist Somedaydream and singer and actor Mr.

Valenciano. The new song and the concert formed part of the brand’s

overriding ‘Open Happiness’ messaging.

The ‘Coca-Cola Concert ng Bayan’ event saw 50,000 Filipino teens

gathering in Pasay City to watch a variety of local artists - such as Filipino-

American hip-hop duo Q-York and rock bands Parokya ni Edgar and

6cyclemind. The event also saw Sarah Geronimo, Somedaydream and Mr.

Valenciano performing their centenary track, with the added international

appearance of UK R&B artist Craig David. The epic 12-hour concert was

simultaneously broadcast live across the region and streamed online.

brand benefits

• Youth anthem: Coca-Cola paired up Geronimo (the best-selling artist

of the decade in the Philippines) with equally credible contemporaries to

create a song that would resonate directly with teens in the region.

• Crowd-sourced content: Coca-Cola worked directly with teen fans

across its social media pages, taking the time to listen to fan requests in

order to develop a bespoke event.

• Sales driver: fans received free tickets to the concert when buying a

large Coke with their meals at Jollibee, McDonald’s, Chowking and Mang

restaurants, helping to drive purchase in store.

> watch the video

Converse, a brand that is actively

supporting the emerging music scene in

Asia, teamed up with two Chinese indie

bands during the 2011 SXSW festival in

Austin, Texas, documenting the musicians’

journey from East to West.

Converse has a long historic association with emerging music in China;

from the ‘Love Noise’ and ‘Acts of Disruption’ five city live tour, to the more

recent Converse Block Party in Shanghai, complete with DJs, graffiti walls

and skateboarding.


China to Austin (China)

The brand’s collaboration with both Queen Sea Big Shark and Car Sick

Cars served up a short film showcasing the two groups’ experience at the

prominent SXSW music festival, as they played gigs and traversed the

festival site, all while sporting items from the Chuck Taylor All Star Summer

2011 Collection.

Converse previously worked with the band Queen Sea Big Shark on the

‘It’s Your Turn’ lyric promotion, which invited fans to add lyric suggestions to

an incomplete track as part of a unique collaborative music campaign.

brand benefits

• Supporting musical creativity: Converse’s partnership with the

bands at SXSW is indicative of its wider global music strategy, which

sees it opting to act as a facilitator of unique music experiences as

opposed to pushing a heavy sales message.

• Crowd sourced content: the ‘it’s Your Turn’ campaign not only enabled

fans to work collaborative with their idols on the creation of a song, but

also let actual fans have a cameo in the accompanying music video.

• Go West: Chinese bands Hedgehog and Re-Tros have both availed of

Converse latest initiative, Rubber Tracks, a free to use recording studio

in Brooklyn, with the latter performing a showcase at the 2012 SXSW



Levi’s is helping to support emerging

artists in Pakistan as part of its ‘Levi’s

Originals: Inspire’ campaign, which

enables upcoming acts to reinterpret

songs by more familiar artists.

For this particular campaign Levi’s entered into a partnership with two

unsigned acts, Zoe Viccaji and Bilal Khan, who have both reworked the

track ‘Bichara Yaar’ by acclaimed Pakistani group Strings. The group has

collaborated on the new acoustic tracks and appears as the ‘originals’ in

the accompanying print ad campaign.


The Originals: Inspire (Pakistan)

Viccaji cites the marriage of brand and artist – which, in addition to the

song creation, requires her to wear a Levi’s wardrobe at various branded

events - as a “win-win situation” that gives her greater access to high

quality recording facilitates that she wouldn’t normally be able to use.

The promotion is similar in style and substance to the Levi’s Pioneer

Sessions, which saw acts - such as She & Him and The Shins – rerecording

iconic tracks from artists that have inspired them.

brand benefits

• Supporting creativity: this campaign sees Levi’s building on its

global position as a strong facilitator of new music, merging established

popular icons with emerging talent to produce something entirely

original and authentic.

• Pioneering spirit: teaming up with upcoming acts and giving them

the freedom to be creative - as opposed to over engineering the

outcome - enables the brand to deliver a genuine piece of untainted

entertainment content.

• Future vision: the promotion is rooted in the handing over of the

music baton from one generation to the next, positioning the brand as

forward thinking and part of a new generation.

> Visit the Website

Tiger beer Malaysia is once again

hosting the Tiger Asian Music Festival,

bringing together a mix of progressive

urban Asian artists to perform in

Kuala Lumpur in the region’s expansive

theme park.

This year’s festival has a “Street to Beach” theme as it takes a wide

variety of urban Asian artists to Sunway Lagoon’s Surf Beach. Acts

set to grace the stage at the event include A-Lin, ManHanD, LMF and

members of Hong Kong band, Beyond.


AMF (Malaysia)

Exclusive invite tickets to the event are being made available by the

brand through a series of online contests and promotions in clubs and

bars. For example, music fans that visit the brand’s Facebook page and

share their ‘like’ for the Tiger AMF with five of their social media friends

will be entered into a draw to win tickets to the festival.

“Tiger, a distinctly edgy brand, understands that music is a universallyaccepted

language that unites people. As a brand synonymous with

delivering exceptional consumer experiential activities, Tiger is looking

forward to rewarding our fans with exclusive invites to this year’s Tiger

AMF,” said Sean Koh, marketing manager for Tiger Beer.

brand benefits

• Invite only: the festival pushed out 20,000 exclusive invites via its

dedicated website, and a further 2,000 through product purchase,

helping to drive social traction and in-store sales.

• Share and win: fans that share the AMF trailer video on Facebook

are being rewarded with a variety of prizes – including signed posters,

tickets and t-shirts - in return for generating click throughs to the site.

• Additional partners: a variety of other brands, including Mint, Cathay

Pacific, street wear apparel company LANSI and Durex are also

actively involved with the event, which offers unprecedented access to

Malaysia’s biggest music fans.

> Visit the Website

East meets West

Brand partnerships are a staple of the Asian music market, whether it’s international brands

looking to support creativity and new music experiences or localised talent looking for

traction via collaborations in new regions…


Super Junior (Korea)

Clothing brand Bench is celebrating

its 25th anniversary in the Philippines

by signing up Siwon and Donghae,

members of popular K-pop boy band

Super Junior, as its latest ambassadors.

The partnership is once again testament

of the power of avid k-pop fanbases,

with Super Junior United Philippines

(SJUPH), one of the group’s local fan

collectives, campaigning for a year for

members of the group to endorse the

apparel company.

Bench announced the new

endorsement deal via Twitter, driving the

hashtag #SiHaeLovesBench to rank in

the top 4 trending topics of the day.

Kayden K

brave girls (Korea)

The urban streetwear fashion line

has enlisted k-pop group, Brave

Girls, winners of ‘Rookie of the

Year’ at the 19th Korea Culture

Entertainment Awards, to participate in

a new marketing campaign launching

simultaneously in Korea and the US.

The five-member Korean girl band

will feature in a major marketing push

alongside global music artists such as

Far East Movement, tying into a wider

comeback promotion for the group.

“The Brave Girls have a unique

trendiness to them both in their music

and style that’s hard to find with other

girl groups. They’re a perfect fit for the

global market, which is why we chose

them for our project,” stated a source

close to the initiative.


N7 Weekender (India)

The global rum brand actively sponsors

what has become an essential music

event in the Indian calendar, hosting a

three-day festival at Magarpatta City

in Prune that showcases a plethora of

local and global acts in front of 24,000

avid fans.

Over 150 acts played across five stages

at the sold out event in November 2011,

including international artists Imogen

Heap, King Creosote and Basement

Jaxx, plus a variety of local talent, such

as Shaa’ir + Func.

The event showcased an eclectic mix

of music, with Eristoff vodka providing

dance and electronica at the Eristoff

Wolves Den, to rock and metal at the

Bacardi Black Rock Arena.

Lipton Tea

SNSD (Japan)

SNSD, or Girls Generation as they are

more commonly know (outside Asia), were

ranked as the most prolific female brand

endorsement partners in 2011. The group

has notched up 27 alignments with a

myriad of consumer products in the space

of a year, from Dior to Dominos Pizza.

The girls partnered with Lipton on two

new TV ads in Japan to promote its tea

products, ‘Let It Rain’ and ‘ Mr. Taxi’, each

containing a different song from their first

Japanese album.

Lipton ran an accompanying “Dream

Factory” contest, in which 30,000 Girls’

Generation prizes could be won via an

on-pack code. The brand also sold 500

limited edition Girls’ Generation packaged

tea cartons.

Red Bull

Thre3style tour

(Hong Kong)

Red Bull’s travelling Thre3style Music

Tour landed in Hong Kong earlier this

year, looking to educate local DJs and

enable them to showcase their diverse

skills. The Asian tour was presented

by one of Canada’s most in-demand

DJs and respected producers, DJ

Skratch Bastid, who actively shared his

knowledge with over 20 aspiring DJs in

Hong Kong.

Participating DJs were tasked with

playing three different styles of music

within a 15-minute time slot, stretching

the DJs beyond their usual comfort zone.

The DJs were then judged on creativity,

skill, track selection, stage presence and

crowd response.

> read more

> read more



> watch the video

Music Matters, the pioneer music industry event

and festival in the Asia Pacific region, is the

annual meeting place of the entire value chain of

the music business, from artists and mangers to

record labels, promoters and music publishers.

The conference programme highlights the music

industry’s most pertinent issues, covering topics such

as the role of brand sponsors, the rise in Asian music

festivals, developments in music publishing, launching

digital services and detailed country focused sessions

including China, India, Japan and Korea. The festival also

provides a unique live platform for independent artists to

be discovered by the global music industry.


To register for the week that matters please contact

Winnie Cheung.



About FRUKT Communications

FRUKT help some of the biggest brands in the

world deliver smart entertainment marketing

solutions. From conception through to activation,

FRUKT create ideas that deliver against brand

and business challenges. Our clients include

Coca-Cola, Nokia, Diesel, Southern Comfort and

Starwood Hotels, for whom we have created award

winning integrated platforms spanning Live, Digital,

ATL, Instore and more, across 150 countries.


FRUKT USA | Chris Johns, Director

M: +1 305 322 0362


FRUKT UK | Gareth Hall, Business Development Manager

M: +44 7746511844


FRUKT Communications

USA: 88 10th Ave, 6th Floor, New York, NY, 10011

UK: 56 Compton Street, London, EC1V 0ET

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