Which BTS Member Is the Philippines' Bias?

And just how powerful is a BTS endorsement?

There’s no stopping the BTS juggernaut. Not since perhaps the Beatles has a pop group inspired so much devotion and obsession from fans across the globe. And Southeast Asia and the Philippines are no exception.

Meta search platform iPrice conducted two studies related to the K-pop superstars. First, of the seven members of the boy band—V, Jimin, Jungkook, Suga, Jin, RM, and J-Hope—which one is the most popular based on Google searches over six months from December 2020 to May 2021?

Photo by iPrice.

In the Philippines, Jungkook has a slight edge over V, with the former getting 28 percent of all searches for the BTS members, and the latter with 27 percent. Jimin is third at 20 percent, while Suga and Jin are tied with eight percent each. RM and J-Hope bring up the rear with six percent and four percent of searches, respectively.

The ranking is essentially the same throughout the six countries surveyed in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia). V and Jungkook seem to be the top two favorites in the region, only switching ranks in some countries. Jimin is in the top three in most countries except Vietnam, where Jin is at number three. 


Brand interest after BTS partnership

iPrice also studied BTS’s effect on brand interest after the band’s multiple collaborations and endorsements over the past few years. The question iPrice posed is exactly how much interest for the brands grow after their partnership with BTS?

According to iPrice’s research, which listed six of BTS’ notable brand endorsements and collaborations in the past three years, Google searches on a brand can surge more than 2x after a collaboration with the K-pop superstars 

BTS’ recent collaboration with McDonald’s earned the fast-food chain a 47% increase in interest compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the “Butter” hitmakers’ partnership with Coca-Cola and Louis Vuitton have driven interests to surge by 127 percent and 65 percent for the respective brands compared to the same period in the previous year. 

In July 2020, Samsung released a BTS edition of Galaxy S20+. Leading to Google searches for the brand soaring by 73 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Photo by iPrice.
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iPrice noted a slight deviation with the band’s collaboration with Fila. In late 2018, the apparel brand recorded a huge spike in interest after Footwear News named Fila Disruptor 2 as Shoe of the Year. After the news died down, searches for the brand had immensely decreased, and only started to spike during its partnership with BTS in late 2019. Comparing both periods, however, the brand’s search interest is actually 54 percent lower compared to the period when Fila was awarded the title Shoe of the Year. But the shoe brand still had higher interest (by 40 percent) in late 2019 compared to the same period the next year.

All this has led iPrice to believe that BTS may exert more influence in certain categories than others.

Finally, iPrice took note of BTS’ link-up with Indonesian shopping site Tokopedia. While most Filipinos did not know much about this site, interest in the Philippines for Tokopedia skyrocketed 98 percent after its partnership with BTS was announced. The collaboration is still ongoing, and it increased further by 255 percent in 2020

Now that’s true power and influence.



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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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