Blackpink's Rosé attended the Met Gala for the first time this year. The K-pop star dazzled in a Saint Laurent outfit that looked chic at best. As much as I would like to give commentary on Rosé's looks, I think I should leave that to fashion pundits who are enthusiastic about the annual fashion event that returned after last year's hiatus. I would talk about something else and it has Rosé in it left, right, and centre.
Rosé was spotted holding an iPhone at the Met Gala and it might have miffed Samsung, and although it didn't seem intentional, it shows how endorsements in the tech industry work. Coming from the same land, Samsung signed Blackpink as its ambassador for Galaxy phones some years back. All four K-pop performers - Rosé, Jisoo, Lisa, and Jennie - made headlines with their smashing performance on their hit number "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" at the Galaxy A with Blackpink event. Samsung was milking Blackpink's global popularity to promote its phones that were coming back then.
I was amused to see how conveniently the claims and promotions made through endorsements, which feature global icons such as Blackpink, turn out to be nothing but a sham. Not just at the fashion gala, Rosé posted a mirror selfie on her Instagram and she used an iPhone 12 Pro Max for that. Nothing wrong, but what went wrong between Blackpink and Samsung?
Both Samsung and Blackpink never said anything about the end of their contract. But the occurrence of iPhone models in photos by Rosé and Blackpink members, except Jennie, who owns the "Jennie Red" brand for some Samsung phones, show the contract may have expired. Rumours were rife that Jisoo unknowingly showed off her iPhone at several events despite being on a contract with Samsung that required them to promote its Galaxy phones.
Back when Blackpink and Samsung began their collaboration, all four K-pop artists, Rosé, Jennie, Lisa, and Jisoo, did their best to excite their fans about Samsung phones. They, in fact, refused to take selfies with Blinks (the name for Blackpink fans) who used an iPhone. The blockbuster single "Kill This Love" by Blackpink may be one of the best examples of product placement, at least for a gadget. The entire video song shows all four Blackpink members using, wearing, or flaunting at least one Samsung product, such as Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy S10+.
That was the extent of the contract Blackpink signed with Samsung. Back in 2020, Samsung also launched special colour variants of the Galaxy S20 series phones to engage more interest and kind of honour the partnership it had with Samsung.
But like all endorsements, this one too seems to have bit the dust. There has been enough criticism about celebrity endorsements because of how fickle they turn out to be sometimes. And this does not impact this well-established marketing strategy that nearly every brand uses to promote their products.
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