From Band to Brand: The explosive success of BTS

BTS brand partnerships

Streaming through their map of endorsements, brand partnerships, social media following, and global hits whose popularity led to skyrocketing sales for brand partners, presenting the ultimate endorser – BTS.

The BTS discography needs no introduction, but here we stream through their ever-growing and always glowing popularity, social mentions that break Twitter records, along with endorsements and brand partnerships that are more than just beneficial, understanding how a boy band from South Korea became the ultimate brand endorser, globally.

Dynamite – The BTS Explosion

To understand how the brand evolved as a global brand favourite, it is essential to understand the gigantic footprint it has created in the world with their work.

After the group’s inception in 2010, a final formation, shift between genres, and a few moderately successful albums in Korea, the band achieved their commercial breakthrough when they started exploring the bars between emotional agony and uplifting delight of the youth.

BTS exploded in the 2017-2018-2019 period and gained global stardom. They are substantially responsible for putting K-Pop on the global map through international milestones. In September 2017, the genre had its first Billboard Top 10 debut with Love Yourself: Her by BTS.

Back home, within a week of Spotify’s launch in India in 2019, BTS was among the top ten artists in the country, ranked at #7. In 2019, BTS was the first group from Asia to surpass 5 billion streams on Spotify, and in February 2020 the boy band reached a new milestone, more than 8 billion streams on the platform.

Butter – The Smooth Spread

The Korean Wave spread faster than melting butter and BTS gained a cult following that any social media user wouldn’t be unaware of, #BTSArmy is too gigantic to go unnoticed. Further, BTS has appeared in Time Magazine’s ’25 Most Influential People On The Internet’ list in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

The band set an all-time 24-hour and YouTube Premiere record with Dynamite, garnering 101.1 Mn views in the first 24 hours, in August 2020. This record was then broken by (no points for guessing) themselves in May 2021 with the release of Butter, setting a new record of 108.2 Mn views in the first 24 hours. The band now holds the #1 and #2 record spots on YouTube’s All-Time Top 24 Hour Music Debuts.

BTS – Dynamite (Official MV)

BTS – Butter (Official MV)

The Korean Wave set a new global record of 6.7 billion K-pop-related Tweets in 2020. India ranks #10 in the top 20 markets tweeting about K-pop (ranked by Tweet Volume) and the top 20 markets tweeting about K-pop (ranked by a number of unique voices).

From August 3, 2020, when the news of the single ‘Dynamite’ was first released, until September 3 (KST), a total of 275 million Tweets were generated through keywords BTS, 방탄소년단, Dynamite, and hashtags #BTS, #BTSARMY, #BTS_Dynamite, #Dynamite, and more.

Also Read: From Screens to Cart: How Hallyu Wave fuelled the demand for Korean Products in India

The Korean K Pop wave, with BTS in the lead paved wave for K Commerce.

Map Of The Soul – BTS Stays Gold

BTS has been cited to measurably rejuvenate the Korean economy, creating jobs not just for themselves and the music industry, but also contributing to the spike in popularity of K-Pop items online. The Korean Wave has also observed high tides in India.

A Nykaa spokesperson told Social Samosa K-Pop and K-Drama led to increased demand in the country for K-beauty brands, and Google Trends highlights increased searches for Korean products from various industries in India in 2020.

Their global reach has popularized regional culture, and their diverse appeal, pop culture domination, influence on social media users, and earth-shaking reach have also lent itself to several partnerships and endorsements with global and iconic brands from several sectors.

Ideally, brand endorsers have been known to introduce their partner (brand) to a newer audience raising the awareness quotient and improving consideration while purchasing. But the endorsements by BTS have straight led to measurable conversion, an ambassador’s quality that is rarely known or seen.

BTS was named as Global Brand Ambassador of Hyundai’s SUV Palisade in November 2019; the boy band has partnered with the brand for several global campaigns and frequently appears in several video adverts.

#PalisadewithBTS – Hyundai Motors

The 2019 Fan Campaign for Palisade announced the launch of ARMYPEDIA (,’ a site that archives six years of memories that BTS have shared with their fans since their debut, through blog articles, photographs, and videos owned by their fans from around the world. The campaign also included several video adverts along with BTS arriving in a Palisade for the Grammy’s 2019.

“This is a great opportunity for Hyundai Motor to increase brand competitiveness among Gen Y and Gen Z” mentioned Wonhong Cho, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motor.

Hyundai received an estimated double the anticipated order volume for the Palisade, and the brand was backlogged to keep up with the demand, with prime models estimating a wait time of 9-10 months. Hyundai estimated total sales of the SUV to be around 25,000 but received orders for around 52,000 and the number kept growing, according to a media report.

In 2020, the partners collaborated again for a campaign promoting sustainable hydrogen energy, and Hyundai NEXO, a hydrogen-powered FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle). Each of the seven members of BTS penned down a message inspired by nature to raise awareness, along with video adverts.

Hyundai X BTS – For the Earth

In June 2020, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S20+ BTS Edition, in collaboration with the boy band. The launch included the smartphone in a BTS design, with exclusive stickers, pictures, and more, along with accessories such as Galaxy Buds+ BTS Edition.

The technology brand incorporated recognizable BTS symbols like the purple heart, band logo, photos of the members and decorative stickers in their design, and exclusive themes, wallpapers, and app icons.

Unboxing Galaxy S20+ BTS Edition – Samsung

The launch of the BTS edition was supported with video and static adverts. According to The Korea Herald, preorders sold out within an hour of its launch. Jin and JungKook have also appeared in an ad campaign promoting Galaxy Note20 In January 2021, Samsung further extended its partnership with BTS to provide unique mobile experiences.

The Strange Tailor Shop – Samsung X BTS

BTS partners with brands from diverse industries, whether it’s KB Kookmin Bank from Finance, Mediheal, the medicare, and personal care brand, or with Coca-Cola Korea from F&B.

McDonald’s launched The BTS Meal in April 2021, expanding the success of McDonald’s celebrity signature orders program. “The band has great memories with McDonald’s. We’re excited about this collaboration and can’t wait to share the BTS Meal with the world” said Big Hit Music, the label of BTS.

The BTS Meal – McDonald’s

BTS is also the first male pop group ever to collaborate with Dior, and as of April 2021, BTS has been chosen as Louis Vuitton brand ambassadors. In partnership with UNICEF, BTS also became the first K-pop group to deliver a speech at the United Nations. The biggest boy band on the planet has also since appeared in several campaigns by UNICEF and for philanthropic initiatives.

BTS Speech At United Nations – UNICEF

The Korean Wave is not just a wave anymore it’s a tsunami, and BTS has seeped through international boundaries and cultural differences, broken language barriers and the K-Pop band is pure gold as an endorser and brand partner.