In these weeks, some article about JKT48 were published in Japan. Surprisingly one of these was from Nikkei Sangyo Shinbun, a sister newspaper of Nikkei Shinbun (The Nikkei) that is the famous business newspaper in Japan. Nikkei Shinbun itself, and its business magazine also mentioned about JKT48.
This is the translation of the article on Nikkei Sangyo Shinbun on Aug 9th. For overseas JKT fans, just for your information. Here you go!
The popular idol “AKB48″ ‘s Asian sister group are extending their place of activity. In Indonesia “JKT48″ had started promotion cooperating with “Lawson”, one of convenience store chains. They also appeared in 9 companies’ CM and advertisement, they are accelerating to cultivate local fans market. Now the demand of entertainment is increasing in Asia, they may become a pioneer that origin is from Japan.
“Selamat sore, semuanya. (Good afternoon, everybody)” in the evening on July 31st in Jakarta, when Muslim people’s fasting would finish shortly, 6 JKT members called out at the eat-in space in Lawson and more than 30 fans gathering shouted with joy.
Midi Utama Indonesia who is major local distribution company, who are Lawson licensed and managing Lawson stores, had been cooperating with JKT. They sell and develop original made T-shirts and foods which took ideas from 6 SENBATSU (selected) JKT members, besides hold in-store events as well.
Who is JKT48 at all? They were organized in Nov 2011, and they are the first overseas sister group of AKB. Mr. YASUSHI AKIMOTO took part in producing them, and their local office work and management are run by DENTSU Indonesia.
They debuted with the song “Heavy Rotation” Indonesian version. In Jan 2012, their entertainments activities got into stride. Their first album that was released in this Feb had the 1st rank in the ranking list by “Disc Tara”, who is a major local CD shop. And their next single CD also had 2nd – 3rd rank.
After 2nd generation members joined, now 51 members are belonging to JKT. Since last November, AKB’s popular members, TAKAJYO AKI and NAKAGAWA HARUKA, have been studying in JKT. And in this July, NOZAWA RENA, who is a starting member of JKT, was double positioned in AKB too.
NOZAWA talked about the surrounding changes, “recently, groups with JKT modeled fashions are increasing”. JKT appeared in CM and advertisement for 12 goods from 9 companies one after another, such as POCARI SWEAT from Otsuka Pharmaceutical. Then, people’s interest increased such as the number of “Like” for JKT in Facebook reached to 1.17 million, it became 2 times more than that of Cherry Belle who is a popular “Korean taste” group in Indonesia.
For JKT, their big challenge was localization. In South East Asia, the popularity of Japanese brands such as cars and electric goods are deep-rooted, meanwhile in terms of contents such as music, South East Asian peoples intention for local contents are overwhelming. According to the investigation about the demand rate for contents in main cities, which was announced officially in May by HAKUHOD, in Jakarta their demand rate for their own country’s music is 90.9, actually it is far from Western countries’ that is the 2nd place (31.3). Japan is just only 2.3, below Korea (6).
JKT has already been recognized by Major local companies. A representative from Major local telecom company said the reason why they cooperate with JKT for their advertisement campaign, “’because we can firmly catch the age groups who are sensitive to fashion and who have ability to master how to use smart phone and SMS”, JKT appears in Indosat’s CM, moreover Indosat sells JKT games, sound, and pictures via mobile phone. This time, Indosat sponsored JKT’s first concert tour in 5 cities, and totally 15 thousand fans gathered finally.
Cooperation with local partners also continues. In July, JKT had agreed to Maxima Pictures, a Film production company, to manufacture a JKT movie aiming to be released in 2014. Their activity are extended to the movie field too.
AKB’s hot wind which was born in Akihabara, Tokyo, is blowing in Asia. Whether girls dancing for joy can made Japan origin entertainments to root or not? Companies’ hot looks are casting them.
Original article was by Mr. Watanabe, Nikkei Sangyo Shinbun, Jakarta Edition
Translation by Japarta