LINE Friends BT21 is a pilot project from LINE Friends in collaborations with K-pop sensation BTS. Prior to BT21, BTS already have some official stickers on LINE. However, LINE Friends BT21 which do not show the members’ handsome faces at all seemed to gather more positive reactions.
This remarkable results largely because both LINE and BTS share similar target market. The majority of LINE users are a young female, which also BTS’s target listeners. In additions, BTS was well-known as social media savvy since their early career and master in maintaining communications with their fans base A.R.M.Y.
BT21 stickers consisting of Tata, RJ, Chimmy, Cooky, Mang, Shooky and Koya, seven aliens who came to earth to become a global superstar, was downloaded not less than 8 million times in just 10 days.
What is the exact value of BT21?. Perhaps it is emotional value. BTS fans will instantly recognize the BT21 characters as a depiction of each BTS member real-life characteristics. LINE itself seems to leave behind their usual Japan style product preparation promotion which is full of secrecy and adapting K-pop promotional style. Some of BT21’s promotional strategies are by creating a backstory for BT21 and broadcasts a variety show program that shows BTS’s member’s direct involvement in the LINE Friends BT21 making process.
LINE Friends itself is LINE’s subsidiary company that focusing on brand creation such as Brown, Conny, Choco, and friends. Just like another LINE Friends characters, BT21 will soon available as a merchandise that can be bought on LINE physical stores.
For now, the BT21 LINE stickers are available in two versions. The free to download version is a sketch drawing version which is most likely were drawn by the member themselves. While the final more neat design version of LINE friends sticker is on sale for 100 LINE coins (equivalent to US$1.99). Just one day after BTS’s performance on American Music Awards that became trending topic worldwide, LINE released another localized BT21 stickers titled Everyday Cuteness which can be downloaded for free if we add BT21 line account as a friend.
As a pilot project, Line Friends BT21’s success will determine whether LINE will continue the LINE Friends program with other world-class celebrities. And looking at the responses, it seems that in the near future we will be able to use LINE Friends characters from another celebrity.
Which celebrity you think will be the next LINE Friends character?
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