BTS’ J-Hope accidentally gives Jack in the Box free marketing boost with new album
J-Hope of BTS is releasing a solo album this month titled “Jack in the Box” — not to be confused with the fast-food chain of the same name.
But hey, if a coincidental connection to one of the brightest stars in pop music helps sell a few extra hamburgers, who is Jack in the Box to complain? In that spirit, the company recently created a marketing campaign inspired by J-Hope’s record.
According to a report published Wednesday by Billboard Pro, Jack in the Box had no idea it would soon share a name with the South Korean rapper and dancer’s debut solo album. After noticing #JackintheBox trending on social media because of J-Hope’s album announcement last month, however, the restaurant instantly moved to capitalize on the accidental crossover.
BTS member J-Hope’s forthcoming solo album, ‘Jack in the Box,’ reflects the rapper’s ‘aspirations to break the mold and grow further.’
“We really wanted to surprise [fans] and show we heard them,” said Morgan Higgins, senior manager of social media and consumer public relations at Jack in the Box, in an interview with Billboard. “We saw this authentic social connection.”
In celebration of J-Hope’s new single, “More,” and in collaboration with J-Hope’s favorite beverage, Sprite, the restaurant chain swiftly offered customers an opportunity to redeem a free soda with any meal ordered through its mobile app.
“The one and only J-Hope is kicking off BTS solo season with an album that just so happens to be named after the best and most beloved fast food restaurant in the world — us!” Jack in the Box said in a June 29 press release.
“Our bias might be J-Hope, but we hear J-Hope’s bias is in fact Sprite, so this Friday we’re celebrating the release of his first single off of the best named album of the century by giving his fans a taste of his favorite drink.”
After BTS said they’d be taking a hiatus to work on solo projects, a representative said they will remain active in ‘various different formats.’
And the promotional push didn’t stop there. The official Jack in the Box Twitter account also got in on the fun by tweeting, “I knew J-Hope was my bias for a reason...can’t believe he wrote an album in my honor.”
Another tweet featured a version of the pointing-Spider-Man meme labeled “me” and “J-Hope.” Combined, the posts have amassed more than 400,000 likes on Twitter.
Jack in the Box’s latest marketing ploy is reminiscent of BTS’ previous brand deal with McDonald’s, which touted a 10-piece McNugget meal named after the septet.
The BTS-McDonald’s collaboration comes with merch options and two new sauces — but U.S. fans are bummed that they don’t get the meal’s ‘full glory.’
Unlike the McDonald’s promo, however, this particular campaign wasn’t a real collaboration between BTS and Jack in the Box. But Higgins told Billboard that the fast-food company is “always looking for partners.”
“Never say never.”
The highly anticipated arrival of J-Hope’s “Jack in the Box” comes shortly after members of BTS told fans that they intended to separate for some time to pursue solo projects. But their record label, Bighit Music, quickly clarified that the group would “remain active” amid the musicians’ solo endeavors.
“Jack in the Box” comes out July 15.
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