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How Influential is a BTS Endorsement on Filipinos?

Google search data offer answers.
by Ara Eugenio
Jul 8, 2021
Photo/s: McDonald's Philippines

If you aren't an ARMY yourself, the BTS meal hype on social media alone may have given you an idea of the K-pop group's power over Filipinos. That partnership definitely did something to increase brand love for McDonald's in Jollibee-crazed Philippines. 

So how exactly has the juggernaut's endorsement, including those for other brands, influenced Filipinos? BTS’ recent collaboration with the global fast-food chain saw a 47% increase in Google search interest, compared to the same period last year, data from market tracker iPrice showed.

Courtesy of iPrice
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Listing six of the band's notable brand endorsements and collaborations in the past three years, the study said that overall, Google searches on a brand can surge up to more than twice compared to the previous year, after it secures BTS' seal of approval.

For its methodology, iPrice pulled search data over a three-month period after a BTS' brand deal is announced, then compared it to the same period from the previous year and the next. 

Even "more impressively" than the BTS Meal partnership, iPrice noted that the Korean boy band’s collaborations with Coca-cola and Louis Vuitton caused search interests to surge by 127% and 65% respectively, as compared to the same period in the previous year.

When Samsung released a BTS edition of Galaxy S20+ in July 2020, searches for the brand soared by 73% from 2019.

These are already well-known brands, but even for its 2019 partnership with Tokopedia, a brand unknown to the Filipino market, BTS' hold among Filipinos managed to deliver. The Indonesian shopping site saw a 98% surge in Google searches among Filipinos. As an ongoing collaboration, this increased further by 255% in 2020. 

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However, this growth trend may note always be the the case, as the study noted BTS may only be more influential in certain categories than some. 

In the brand's collaboration with Fila, the shoe brand failed to beat its previous year record. In late 2019, Fila Disruptor 2 was named Shoe of the Year by trade publication Footwear News, generating a record-high spike. Comparing it to the spike generated by BTS' endorsement, iPrice noted search interest for Fila was 54% higher still. 

Although the surge that resulted from the 2019 BTS collaboration was 40% higher than the same period in 2020, iPrice said it's possible that the sports footwear market is a different animal altogether, with a preference for athletes instead of pop sensations for endorsements.

Which BTS Member is the Philippines’ Bias?

While BTS is a package as a whole, a brand whose power may not be as huge if they weren't the septet powerhouse they are, Filipinos still have their favorites.

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Referred to as a "bias" in K-pop lingo, Jungkook is at top 1, closely followed by V and Jimin, if their popularity were determined by the amount of Google searches from December 2020 to May 2021. 

The three's inclusion in the top three holds up for South East Asia in general except for  Vietnam, where Jin is top 3, instead of Jimin. Jungkook and V remained within the top two for all SEA countries observed, just switching between ranks 1 and 2.  

Courtesy of iPrice
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