Compilation: JKT48 in Business and Marketing Perspective
The growth of JKT48 has attracted the attention of many people, not without exception those who came from commercial business and marketing area. There are already a few people from this area who’ve had discussed the JKT48 phenomenon in the internet. So I decided to gather all of those article that I could find and translate it. Below are the compilation of translation from a few article I could find in the internet. Please bear in mind that some of this article are outdated and sometimes written by people that’s foreign or new to JKT48 fandom, that’s why the writer might use some incorrect terms in explaining JKT48, but I’m sure that most of its context are still relevant with the current situation of JKT48.
Pocari Sweat are masters in making Trending Topics, just like what they’ve just done through their endorsement with JKT48 group. The beginning of the story of this exciting discussion that have been up quite some time in social media and various other media are the formerly success of Japanese group called AKB48 by Yasushi Akimoto (lyrics creator) as producer.
Yasushi Akimoto, the producer who gave birth to and raise AKB48 is the one who will also be the main producer for JKT48. His achievements have been proven by AKB48 appearance in various parts of the world, such as New York, Los Angeles, Cannes, Paris, Moscow, Korea and Singapore. Prior to the formation of JKT48, group AKB48 has had 4 other twin that is SDN48 (AKB48 adult version), SKE48 (Nagoya), NMB48 (Osaka) and HKT48 (Fukuoka).
In Indonesia, JKT48 is an audition to find and gather [TN: I believe the writer meant to say "has hold an audition"] their members which has started from last October. The selected will receive training that will enable them to achieve their dreams.
Well, the interesting parts here is the involvement of Pocari Sweat brand who are able to make this phenomenon identical to the positioning that they want created. In addition because both come from Japan, of course Pocari Sweat want to affirm and deepen the meaning of its brand among the target market. Pocari Sweat is currently no longer talk about product benefits clearly but began to enter the creation of the soul of the brand and the psychology of the consumer.
So what can we learn from this phenomenon, check out the discussion below!
- Trends rolling like a snowball
The emergence of SMASH, Korean Girlband-Boyband Competition, Korean style dangdut with Ayu Ting Ting‘s blond hair, are indicators of the rise of Asian trends, in particular Japan and Korean, in Indonesia. The very strong western style influence in the 90s era have started to get run over by the current Korean-Japanese style which is more synonymous with today’s young people. The trends among young people today are increasingly being used by the brand to go deeper into their consumer area of psychology, so that every values that the brand had become equal to the values that were currently popular amongst their market target. It is a step that is often performed by various Otsuka products in developing strategies to achieve the position of market leader.
- Get closer to community
Nowadays, the growing era of Social Media further strengthening of consumer base in the community area. A brand owner must kept aware on the various steps that can make [their products] closer to or even accepted by the communities. Pocari Sweat’s step in endorsing JKT48 is an approaching step or at least the creation of product positioning in the Japanese music lovers community.
- Use ‘similarity of passion’ approach
It’s familiar that a product did a campaign of the benefits side of their products. However, if the product awareness level is quite high, a brand certainly has more demands on how that brand can be attached not only to the mind of the consumer, but especially to their hearts. As stated by R. Suhendar, Head of Marketing PT. Amerta Indah Otsuka [TN: the branch company of Otsuka Pharmaceutical that produce and spear-heading the selling of Pocari Sweat in Indonesia] at the launching of the latest Pocari Sweat TVC ad in Jakarta on Saturday (3/12/2011) that the election of an idol group JKT48 as an icon of Pocari Sweat TVCM because they had the same vision to appreciate the spirit in the struggle for progress of young generations. In this stage Pocari Sweat no longer talking about the benefits of the product, but raised the “equal” values in order to be accepted in the hearts of the young generation of Indonesia.
Auditions and talent development concept is certainly not the first in Indonesia, but from the variety of events that we follow there exist [brands or people] who are able to consistently maintain public interest, but those who’re diminishing and even impacted with bad perception among the public are not little. So is the future of the JKT48 project whom its first 28 members will be premiering at the end of 2011 can take heart in the community for a long time? We’ll just see its development, yes?
(Posted December 15th, 2011 by Creasionbrand, a branding consultant based on Bandung, in their blog)
JKT48 Differentiation in Indonesian Entertainment World
Indonesians are currently being bombarded with boys and girls band that adopting the concept of Korean boys and girls band. But amidst the attack of those Korean boys and girls band concepts, emerged JKT48 group. JKT48 is the only AKB48 sister group outside of Japan [as of the writing of this article]. Composed of 28 teenagers making this a very interesting group, 28 people in a single stage. JKT48 first appeared in Pocari Sweat commercials. Young, energetic, and attractive appearance made their first entry a Trending Topic in Twitter. Unlike the general boys and girls bands who actually needs it, they did not frequently performed from stages to stages in television music programs. As if holding out slowly in spreading mystery and curiosity to the music lovers. Without much indulgence in the media, they are prepared a concert with their older sister AKB48 from Japan. In the concert which was held last February 25th, 2012, as many as 3000 people singing and dancing together at Balai Kartini [An exhibition hall in Jakarta that is also usually used for weddings and concerts].
Certainly such accomplishment led to the conclusion that they are successful with differentiation. According to Phillip Kotler, “differentiation is the act of designing a set of meaningful differences to distinguish a company offers from the other offer“. In terms of JKT48 the definition of differentiation from Hermawan Kartajaya feels more correct. “All efforts that were made to create differences between competitors with the goal of providing the best value to the consumer” or Indonesian music lovers.
Quoting from their website, it’s mentioned that JKT48, like their sister group AKB48, is a place for Indonesian women to actualize their dreams. Together with the fans, want to make the only “original Indonesian Idol”. All members of JKT48 will reach their goals to become real idol. And to achieve it, they will be dedicated to their activities, not just singing and dancing, but also other talent or performances. The concept together with the fans intended by JKT48 conceptors as a fan community that is invited to actively follow the development of their idols in achieving their dreams and create a close relationship [between fans and their idol]. They really put fan as an important part in achieving success.
With interesting music concept and suitable voices JKT48 win the competition with differentiation. JKT48 managed to grab the attention of music lovers and gain meaningful sympathy with the success of their concert at 25th February 2012. Echoes of lyrics of the song “I want you, I need you, I love …” grew louder in the Indonesian entertainment world.
(posted February 28th, 2012 by mutekute at The Marketeers site, a magazine that specialize in discussing business and marketings)
JKT48 and Football Club Management’s Logic
Music entertainment industry developed rapidly in recent years, not only in terms of quantity that are increasingly diverse, strategic marketing and management patterns are now also very diversed. Classical [as in old ways] music industry was driven by a record label. But lately, marketing strategies and management practices in the music industry has evolved from being initially driven by record label to now the dominant primary motor, a privately owned musician management. Look at a figure like Ahmad Dhani who had a success with his Republik Cinta Management, Kevin Aprilio who is behind Princess, etc. Perhaps because of the rampant piracy that the producers and management now more reliant on income from stage shows compared to album sales.
Among the figure of producers/managers, the one that I think that very interesting is Yasushi Akimoto. In this writing I want to cover how Yashushi’s strategies and management style pattern with idol group, which interestingly, had a lot of similarities with strategy and management pattern of football clubs for over the years. For those not familiar with Yasushi, he was the originator of AKB48 idol group and also the other ‘sister’ of AKB48. For those who are not familiar with the term ‘idol group’, think of it as a ‘girl band’ though actually different…LOL… For more details about the role of Yashushi please find it yourself on the internet … that might take very long [if I had to explain it here].
- Geographical proximity with supporters
If you love football, how do you choose which team you will support? Most people would support a team that is close to them geographically. If you were born and live in Surabaya, certainly you will support Persebaya, isn’t it? Also the same with Malang youths who would prefer to support Arema Malang compared Persipura Jayapura. Perhaps this is the logic that is applied by Yasushi’s management in running the music business. The first AKB48 idol group which formed by Yasushi was established in Akihabara. By forming the local idol group, it is expected to draw fans in and around Akihabara. Then how to draw fans from other cities? Yasushi then form another idol groups in some areas in Japan such as Sakae (SKE48), Namba (NMB48), and others until Yasushi finally arrived in Indonesia with JKT48 to draw fans in Indonesia in general, and fans in Jakarta specifically. What about other cities? It’s not impossible, Yasushi will form BDG48 to attract fans in Bandung and its surroundings, or SBY48 to attract fans in Surabaya and surrounding cities.
- Supporters management
Football clubs are intimately associated with supporters. Persebaya identical to their Bonek, Persija with their Jakmania, and so forth. In forming idol group, Yasushi takes no half measures. Along with the establishment of idol group, they also formed a community of fans that they manage as well. So if we observe in video of JKT48 shows, we will see how the fans are very involved in every JKT48 stage performance. In this case, fans involved with chants that they’re shouting complete with lightsticks and wotagei. What is wotagei? Google it for yourself will’ya …LOL… This engagement and management of fans is what I think that made them had a similarity with a football supporters over the years. Community, chants/yells, and attributes. And like a football club that competed in their stadium, JKT48 also have their own stadium: JKT48 theater.
- Player transfers
‘Player transfer’ also applied by Yasushi. Really looks like a football club, isn’t it? Similar with the concept of player transfers in the football club, Yasushi did an exchange between idol group member under his management. For JKT48 itself, a few times ago, there are 2 ‘players’ that are ‘transferred’ from AKB48. What is the purpose of this transfer activity? Maybe just to refresh. Also for more profitable commercial purposes of course. So do not be mistaken by buying expensive football player like Samuel Eto’o will actually make the club went bankrupt. We also need to consider the increase of fans and sponsors of these expensive signings.
Sponsorship is also an important element in funding the football club. Because the truth is, private companies also need the ‘image’ and media promotion. This is also true in the field of entertainment. Of course we know how KFC [TN: yes, it's that Colonel Sanders] released an album [from other musicians], how Simpati took Agnes Monica [as their brand ambassador], and many more forms of corporate sponsorship and cooperation among the entertainers. And if we observe, JKT48 had a success in attracting domestic products sponsors. The name like Pocari Sweat, Laurier, Biore, Yamaha Mio J, Sharp, Pocky, etc. All of those products had successfully lured by Yasushi and managements. In fact, the age of JKT48 when the advertising contract was signed was not yet 1 year old. Terrific, isn’t it? Not enough with the product sponsor, JKT48 sponsorship cooperation model is also integrated with the television show. First at Global TV, there’s Reality Show ‘JKT48 School’. If I observe, maybe this JKT48 has certain contracts with TV channels from MNC group. Because they often invited at entertainment show from MNC group.
- Loyalty to club and player formations change challenge
This is the point that I think a big challenge for Yasushi and his JKT48. ‘Player’ formation changes are also performed in this group idol. We certainly know how Cherrybelle replace two of their personnel. Princess replace one of its personnel. Interestingly, JKT48 take turns in replacing its personnel! In the logic of football clubs, the supporters loyalty is just for the football club and not the players. Whoever the player is, supporters will still support their favorite club. Even if their favorite players move to the other clubs, in fact. The Gunners [Arsenal Football Club Fans] will not turn to support another club despite their best player move to Barcelona and Manchester United, isn’t it? Does this logic also applies to fans JKT48? and what breakthrough that Yasushi Akimoto would made? Will He make the idol group turn into public companies and sell its share to the public?
(posted December 12th, 2012 by jamalmtq in his blog)
The Thing That Hidden In JKT48
A new hysteria of old phenomenon, the presence of a group of female singers and dancers gathered into one, they said they are not girlband but idol group. Though I don’t know where the difference is..
Why did I call it an old phenomenon?
Because a singing group has been present for a long time [in the entertainment industry], the one that I remember the most was Westlife, Spicegirl, The Moffatts, Backstreet Boy. While from our local [entertainment industry] there’s ME with Indra Bekti as one of its member.
The concept of the music business has long existed actually but now has evolved: see MTV at the 90s era and compare it to now. In today’s digital age, the distribution of music (audio/video) and more evenly spread across many channels.
Internet is one of the causes. Youtube is one of the channel in promoting the musics video, Ring Back Tone even said to become one of the main source of income of each musical artist, to the extent that KFC at fast-food business realm was extending their reach into the distribution of music CD sales.
Well, now there is another [group] known as JKT48. I see it not as a music lover but from the perspective of a marketer. It should be admitted, JKT48 is not just a singing group who want to creates [an art] but also a business; that really attracted my attention.
The 48 Corporation was started by Yasushi Akimoto in Japan with the name of AKB48 and then become a multinational ‘firm’ with the formation of JKT48. In Japan itself there are also some regional branches that have been established:
[Diagram showing the constellation of 48 group family under Yasushi Akimoto]
Usually people will be surprised to know that the members of JKT48 amounted to 48 people, how do they split the commission between each member? Keep calm, they certainly do not carelessly take 48 people as members. I think this is the secret of their successful business.
In each region, for example JKT48, has a theater that held performances almost every day. Perhaps theater is the main source of their income, with almost every day for performances of course they would need a lot of human resources. So no wonder that JKT48 has 48 members.
[A picture showing the front lobby of JKT48 Theatre at FX Mall, Sudirman - Jakarta]
In addition to theater, their income comes from the sales of merchandise. They sell some members photo-pack with a certain price, when I take chances to ask to question to one of their fans, and they claimed to have spent around 1 million rupiah for JKT48 merchandise .
It’s one of the things I admire from the Japanese people when doing business, they are very careful and consistent in maintaining the image of JKT48. Although I think, they’re a bit too much, for example, to reset all [social media] accounts of the members on the Internet after joining JKT48.
JKT48 really utilize social media to its fullest; imagine each member has a Twitter account with tens of thousands of followers, every JKT48 official activity documented through Youtube. Not just that, it appears they have content-planner in social media, at least the template used every member.
They said JKT48 like an academy, each member is considered in the process of learning and one day they will ‘graduate’ or got out of the group. I think the use of academy analogy is pretty smart because the word ‘graduate’ had more positive perception than ‘excluded’.
We’ve just only discussed how JKT48 doing their business, not even yet about their incredibly loyal fans. JKT48 fans is unique, even to the extent that ordinary people can not understand: D
[A picture showing a flower arrangement sent by the Forever Alone Bros, and another picture showing the fans doing wotagei]
Not only in the external side, even the internal of JKT48 was also well planned. Please corrects me: JKT48 consisted of J, K and T group. Each group has a captain, and JKT48 has one ‘center’. Every member had a right to compete for the position of captain and center. It is said that this is what makes Cleopatra ‘graduate’ from JKT48.
[A picture of cleopatra pre-graduation :(]
One thing that always made me saluting those Japanese are their unity (if not their nationalism). If you notice it, JKT48 started to push into Indonesia entertainment industry through the MNC Group medias; their merchandise is managed by Rakuten; the agency that regulates JKT48 was Dentsu. These are Japaneses-flagged corporate! MNC is not from Japanese tho’..
Mention all brands that JKT48 had ever starring, you will realize that everything is a Japanese company!
I’m not a dedicated fan of them, but I really like the way they do business. If Indonesia can afford that, it is not unlikely we will become glorious.
Ah ~ my writing was already too long, I’d better get back to the learning table and finish my job.
(Posted February 9th, 2013 by akhmadamal in his blog)
The Recipe For JKT48 and Indonesian Musician to Become Successful?
Last Tuesday I got a question in twitter regarding JKT48, the question is like this:
Q: Bro @widiasmoro, can I ask your opinion about JKT48? JKT48 bring and “idol you can meet” concept. presumably, what kind of challenge that they will face & how to overcome it so they could be successful?
and followed with the following question from the same person:
Q: @widiasmoro JKT48 had a theater, a place where they perform for almost everyday. I think if that concept success, maybe other musicians could adopt it. Thank you.
I’ll try to respond it via this blog.
From what I see, this JKT48 is product with a long-term concept and carefully-planned idea. Supported by a team that do the whole work from behind the scene until the presentation on stage. JKT48 isn’t just a group of young girls swaying on stage. I’ll say sorry as much as I can first, I don’t even know their names, let alone their faces, maybe it’s because they’re all look the same. But they’ve attract enough attention from me. *cough*
Then, what’s their challenge to become successful? That depends on the definition of successful for JKT48 team. Or to be detailed, what’s the definition of success for every members that swaying on stage? Is their fame right now are enough for them to feel satisfied and enjoy the success? Or they actually wanted to have solo career and become independent from JKT48’s shadow? The definition of success here had to be defined with their own kind of success that they want.
Next, the question about creating business model of JKT48 as a formula to be implemented to every musician. I saw there’s nothing new from music selling concept of JKT48, even thought the one who implemented it this time are actually an advertising agency and not a musician labels. Then what was the music selling concept [that they've done]?
- Strong products. Every commercialized music are a result of careful and well-done planning. JKT48 isn’t just about music but a whole elements of entertainment. This products had been carefully planned ever since it’s creation. How the sound would be, who are the targets, and when to sold it. Every things had been considered. Just like when a musician found an inspiration to write a song. They patiently and diligently analyze every sound and the corrects lyric to create a musical works. When that works finished, they showed it to the musician labels who then would create the marketing plan for it.
- Perform, perform, and perform. Since music needs to be performed then the musician would need a stage to perform it. JKT48 had a luxury with their own exclusive stage. Other musician could also had that kind of place in every stage in the whole world. Provided they could to cast aside their ego for awhile. Performing in neighborhood banquet is also a performance, you know. As long as you consistent in giving an entertainment, more people will be sure to know about your music.
- Gimmicks. Music needs a tangible format. A gimmicks that can be remembered and tekan home. That’s why Gramaphone was created so that people could listen to music anytime and don’t have to wait for the stage performance. After the Gramaphone, the industries grows into creating vinyl, cassette, CD, and now those tangible format could be in the form of merchandise like shirts, stickers, and other trinkets that associated with the music.
Did I miss something here? JKT48 and other musicians implement an “old song” that have been sung in music industry from its beginning. So whether this things should be adopted again or not are a good question that had to be asked to the musicians.
The new paradigm in today’s music industry is that the internet technologies makes it all feels reborn. Though, it isn’t like that actually. Maybe it’s right that internet has cut out many path in enjoying music and make it easier today. But the idea is still the same. Musics listened and enjoyed for an entertainment. Does the music that we give had entertained enough people? Maybe that’s the first question that had to be answered.
(Posted March 13th, 2013 by Widi Asmoro in his blog)
Marketing a la JKT48
A products be it a food, accessories, or music groups definitely has its own marketing techniques. Marketing techniques is a sales technique or the way someone is selling [those products]. In this post I will now share marketing techniques that are used by JKT48
The great technique that are used by JKT48 is the gathering of mass/fans which is not an easy process. But, probably because the members of JKT48 themselves are so many, that there’s a lot of fans that can be gathered anyway. After a lot of fans gathered, they (both JKT48 team official or member) try to form a loyalty from this fans, loyalty can be established through getting the members to get closer to the fans, that made the fans felt that they had a bond with their idol.
If a loyalty had been formed, anything that “sold” by JKT48 will definitely be well-sold. Doesn’t matter of the price, if the “bond” has formed the fans definitely will try to get whatever they want. The fans were actually also a spearhead in JKT48 marketing, because “advertising” from word of mouth is actually the most effective advertising
That technique was used not only by JKT48, many well-known clothing brand emphasize buyers loyalty on their sold products. Of course this techniques can’t give instant results, take a look at the process of JKT48 that previously did not have a permanent theater, now had a place in the FX mall.
So the conclusion from JKT48 style marketing techniques is at first they would gather the people who are their marketing objectives, in this case the fans. Not only that, official JKT48 sell knick-knacks from the show that felt mandatory [to be bought], so the fans JKT48 are urged to purchase it. After all, when the fans bought “stuff” that being sold by the JKT48 be it the theater performances or those “swag”, there is a sense of pride for the fans [who have bought it]
Actually the techniques that was used by official JKT48 is a good thing because any sales would sell because they had a stable market. And the absence of the rival are actually made JKT48 more advanced until now.
(Posted March 18th, 2013 by ilhamssyah in his blog)
More Than 70,000 CDs of JKT48 Sold
Heard the news that more than 70,000 CDs of JKT48 have sold well last Saturday made me interested to know more about this group. I try to consider it further by interviewing Pitra who had been diligent enough in following the development of this adapted group of Japan’s AKB48.
The JKT48 presence in Indonesia has been around 2011 and this time is not the first CDs that released to the market. Previous CDs titled Heavy Rotation had been marketed since February 2013 and reportedly sold more than 70,000 copies. This CD is full-album CDs that contains 10 songs and released in two versions. The new released CD is single CDs with three songs and titled River. Sales record that could be estimated was 3,000 copies per day for just two-day sales. Both CDs were released by record label Hits Records.
I try to not get stuck in endless debate about JKT48 which said trying to sold the sensuality and sexuality of teenage girl in this writing. After all, when it comes selling sexuality in music business, it could be found in many musician and I have discussed it in this blog. And I also saw that music business isn’t always about selling music, music business also sells cassette, CD, and other tangible things. For that last sentence I’ll explain it another occasion.
Back to JKT48 matters. A casual chat with Pitra made me come to some conclusions as:
- JKT48 formed as a brand strength and not to highlight the individual personnel inside it. It will certainly be perceived as safe for investors to invest their capital because they could reduce the risk of the forming of a cult for one or few individual in that group personnel. To make it easy, it’s just like Take That boyband that even if Robbie Williams got replaced by Widi Asmoro they would still call it Take That.
- JKT48 creates value and reason to buy for things they produced. My previous writing about JKT48 briefly mentions about those fans who think JKT48 members is like their sisters who need to be defended. I think that this is a story that makes the reason for fans to buy JKT48-branded products and diligently come to their concerts. The fans who were mostly teenagers under 18 to 24 years old are experiencing peer-presure. Citing Santor, Messervey, Kusumakar, “Peer pressure is defined as the social pressure to adopt certain behaviors in order to fit in with others”. This condition forced them to follow what is being favored by teenagers at his age to be accepted and accidentally teenagers at his age currently are in love with JKT48.
- It’s not only about the music. JKT48 is a whole entertainment package to heard, seen, touch, and also felt. CDs and merchandises become tangible gimmick to take home as a memento for watching JKT48. The intangible one like touching also put into this entertainment package. Wait, get your mind out of the gutter first. The other gimmick from JKT48 brands are the selling of opportunities to do handshake. Why then the handshake could become a commodity even though you could get it free? It’s just like drinking water that sold freely, but then when it’s packaged the price become expensive. The “rare” sense that created by this package that makes the fans willing to spend their money to get a chance to shake hands even though only 10 seconds. The fans were given an imagination to be able to play with JKT48 brand. I’m trying to rationalize this with Maroon 5 as example, which girl who wouldn’t want to shake hands with Adam Levine? And what if those handshake chances are commercialized? Coboy Junior (CJR) also did the same and if I’m not mistaken, they set the price to 500,000 Rupiah [around 50$] for chance to do meet & greet.
JKT48, or in this case Dentsu, are not reinventing the wheel. They’re just concocting from what’s already there into one through JKT48 brand and again, the luck factor here play a role bringing them to be widely known and loved while hated at the same time. Then would everything that JKT48 did could be replicated and applied to the other groups or musician?
The 70,000 number of JKT48 CD copies that were sold in relatively short period of time is quite fantastic. Noah band that uses KFC distribution channel had sold 1 million copies of CD in three months term. Unfortunately there has been no official statement from ASIRI [Indonesia Recording Industries Association], the association that monitors the sales of CD by counting the sales number of customs band in every CD.
Almost at the same time, last week Cherrybelle also just released their new album. Both JKT48 and Cherrybelle departs from the same genre box-girl band. I haven’t heard sales figures claim as fantastic JKT48 from Cherrybelle. Fortune is already set [by god] indeed, but the strategies in how to steal the attention of music lovers to fall in love with music that you offered had become a challenge for every musicpreneur! [TN: a bit word play here, it's from music and entrepeneur]
Learn from JKT48 Concept
I’ve wrote about JKT48 for few a times in this blog, be it purely as a fans, or because I’m actually impressed with their unique marketing method. Last February, I’m just that curious with the fans reaction, that I ended up creating some short survey with them [JKT48 fans] as the respondents.
After the survey had finished, my study for their strategies is still continued. I’ve had a few discussion with a few friends with advertising background, whom also following the growth of JKT48. The following are a few points that I grasped from from what they [JKT48] have been doing or from a few that we’ve discussed.
The interesting point of AKB48, and adopted into JKT48, are the creation of a story, complete with a surprise. In AKB48 for instance. The story about their most popular member, Maeda Atsuko, looks well crafted. Starting from the announcement that she will graduate, that left other members shocked and cried because none of them knows about it. Until AKB48’s biggest concert at Tokyo Dome with one day that you could saw specifically created for Maeda.
In JKT48 itself, even though not on massive scale as AKB48, that kind of story has started to be build in the last few months. Surprise were given at the of the show that considered special. Rumors were blown with [the announcement about] a new single, but the single in question made to remain mysterious. Fans were left with their curiosity so that the discussion in social media keep going on and on. Then, at Heavy Rotation special concert it’s finally announced that said single was River, just to give example.
Or when suddenly they announced that JKT48 Trainee show will end. Suddenly the tickets reservations for the last show at last Sunday goes up to 5.000 applicants. Whereas before, if you want to watch JKT48 Trainee show, you could do it easily, since there aren’t that many people that do the reservations.
A story will always be raised in every event, for the sake of luring out fans curiosity to watch the next shows and surprises. The more curious [the fans], the more [JKT48] discussed in social media.
There’s somebody that ask me a question, could this JKT48 group survive for a long time? What would happen if their most popular member left, would this group be disbanded? Its common to hear that when a musician group got into internal quarrel, not long after that they would disband. or when the main vocalist of a group left, even if that group had already replaced him with another vocalists, something would still felt different. This kind of group actually very dependent on its individual. Then would JKT48 turned out to be like that?
I couldn’t say “yes” yet. but from what I observe, AKB48 brand in Japan could hold their ground since their formation for the first time in 2005. Even when their most popular member Maeda Atsuko graduate or leave the group (which I assumed also helped to support the popularity of AKB48 lately), AKB48 brand apparently still hold their ground. There’s no sign that they were left by their fans.
Towards Maeda Atsuko graduation, Team 4 AKB48 who already independent [from other team] suddenly disbanded and dissolved into the 3 main teams. A few young member members suddenly got pushed and introduced in many ways. There’s Paruru (Haruka Shimazaki) who suddenly elected as center, appeared in many video clips, and even plays in Majisuka Gakuen 3 series with other younger generations. Their faces were exhibited as often as possible to attract new fans. And in the end AKB48 brand could stay alive with young faces emergence.
I’m sure that JKT48 would do the same thing when one day Melody, Nabilah, Kinal, Shania, or other member had to graduate and find other opportunity [for themselves]. The managements would have already prepared the next generation members to anticipate in succeeding them.
I used to be one of those people who didn’t believe that the official merchandise couldn’t sell successfully in Indonesia, because in the end people will try to find the bootlegged items. Until I experienced with myself the selling system by JKT48 management.
See those fans enliven merchandise booth in theater is already remarkable sight. See the fans exchanging their photo pack merchandise collection, and even resell it in high price, for the sake of watching the theater is also a common sight. Even miraculous things like T-shirt merchandise designed by the member themselves (which, honestly, I think the design is ridiculous) sold really well because of the fans.
In my previous post, I tell the stories about how I queue to bought River single CD that released last week. Queuing that unexpectedly took almost 5 hour. Tiring and resentful experience of course. But everybody there doesn’t seem to care about it anymore. All of it for the sake handshake ticket gimmick in the upcoming June 1st [Handshake Event]. Also for the sake of this handshake some people bought 5 CDs, 10 CDs, even 50 CDs.
The purpose of buying the song is no longer to enjoy the song, but to collect the gimmicks. Because if just to enjoy the song, shortly after the single was released, the MP3 is already circulated in the internet realms. Fans didn’t bought the CDs because they like the songs anymore, but because there are other interesting things that become the attentions of the fans.
A friend of mine had also asked me, “are those [people] really their fans or not? did those fans created by Dentsu [as part of their duty] as JKT48 agency?” I explained to this friend of mine, as far as I know, JKT48 fans are truly original and organically formed. There’s many of them that supports [JKT48] members with various ways. Be it just come to the live shows, watch the theater, buy the merchandise, or even giving gifts and [friends]letter as a proof of their support.
Initially I thought that the majority of JKT48 fans are also AKB48 fans from earlier. As it turns out from the survey that I conducted some time ago, Most of them didn’t really know about AKB48. Even if they knew, they didn’t actually listened to their songs.
The existence of permanent theater in FX was actually the main attraction. New fans emerged after hearing interesting stories from their friends who had been to the theater. Theater has become a sanctuary for them. Cafe and foodcourt on FX became a gathering place before and after [watching] the theater. Things that was discussed? of course about JKT48
I initially thought that this organic growth of fans are only happening in Jabodetabek [TN: usual acronym to address Greater Jakarta Area, that consist of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi], due to its proximity to the theater. But remarkable thing happened when a few months ago JKT48 performed in Yogyakarta. I wasn’t there, but from the fan-video that circulating on YouTube, the enthusiasm of JKT48 fans there are amazing. Hundreds of lightstick were lit, filling the concerts stadium. They even shouting the chant mix perfectly in unison when the song sung. Incredible.
I am sure that, beyond the survey results and observation that I write in this post, there will be many remarkable things that they will do in the future. Something so surprising, that makes even the fans could just be amazed. I will still following the growth of JKT48 and their strategies. If there’s any new findings, I’ll be sure write it down in my blog.
(Posted May 14th, 2013 by Pitra in his blog)
TN: Not wanted to lose from the others, last year, Angga had also created two article regarding JKT48 from business perspective in this site. And one more thing, just like what he said in his blog, Pitra had created a slideshow in English language that shows the results of the survey that he did a few moths ago. Please check all of those out, it gives you some great insight! You could also found the scientific journals that discussing the peer pressure mentioned by Widi Asmoro if you google it. Last, feel free to give your thoughts about the contents of all of these articles in comments section! :))