In the wake of the announcement of Louis Vuitton’s tie-up with K-Pop darlings BTS, Regional COO Graham Hitchmough lays out the reasons for the partnership to Marketing Interactive.
The appointment by Louis Vuitton of BTS as its global ambassadors is the latest in an ever-lengthening list of Asian artists and celebrities being selected to represent international brands.
There are obvious mutual benefits to both parties in terms of heightened worldwide exposure and the reciprocal ‘rubbing off’ of respective brand attributes. For BTS the rewards will be both financial and image-enhancing, while for Louis Vuitton it will further advance its competitive position in the commercially critical East Asian markets and among Millennials and Gen-Z audiences internationally who will be the future of the brand.
Behind these more generic aspects of Asian and youth market exposure lay some more unique elements of K-Pop’s appeal to Western brands; an incredibly polished, wholesome and multi-faceted entertainment machine; a proven commercial acumen and mastery of social media, and a particular strain of structured, proactive and partisan fandom that was forged in Korea and is now to be found increasingly in the markets of the US and Europe.
These ingredients should allow LV and BTS to go beyond traditionally narrow commercial objectives of brand association to create a more purpose-led, layered, experience-based partnership that leverages and feeds the enthusiasm, ethics and ideology of emerging audiences. This will likely extend beyond fashion cycles and product placement into areas of cause-related and events marketing which will extend the relevance and reach of the two brands and create an ecosystem for deeper engagement and multi-level monetisation.