Is the BTS Meal Really a Good Marketing Strategy?

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DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of Bike Bear.

You won’t be surprised if the next item you buy has one of the BTS members on it. For the past year, more brands are trying to get Korean idols to promote their brand. In this case, BTS (a famous Kpop idol group) has no exception. Being a famous group worldwide, BTS has since endorsed a few brands – one being Samsung’s S20+ and S21+ 

Since the endorsement with Samsung, McDonald’s took the opportunity of collaborating with them, making them the first western fast-food chain to collab with a Kpop group. McDonald’s wasted no time coming out with something that would attract customers – calling it The BTS Meal.  From the number of people queueing up to get their hands on this limited edition meal, it is safe to say that McDonald’s’ has a good marketing strategy so far. 

Besides the success of The BTS Meal this year, McDonald’s crafted other menu items a few years back that also increased sales for them. For example, the Nasi Lemak burger they released in conjunction with Malaysia Independence Day in 2017. It was so special because it relates to everyone. Combining a local dish with a burger might seem weird at the time, but it was the best decision they ever made. Many of their loyal customers couldn’t wait wait to get their hands on this exciting experiment. 

While the original plan for this release is only for a week, McDonald’s has decided to extend this promotional item for another one week due to the overwhelming response from its loyal customers. 

BTS X McDonald’s: The Collab

When McDonald’s first teased everyone with their new collaboration back on April 19, many fans were quick to retweet and shared with their friends. This photo quickly reached 144.5k retweets as of today. Soon enough, many people were sharing on Facebook and reposting this on their Instagram Stories. Facebook had 1k likes and 207 shares, while Instagram had 36k likes and 2.8k comments since then.

Mc Donald’s released a limited-edition value meal which consists of the group’s favourite items from the chain. The meal consists of a 10-piece chicken McNugget meal, medium fries, a medium-size drink, and two new dipping sauces (cajun and sweet chili). The price of this meal is RM15.70 in stores and RM17.83 online, with a limited edition packaging based on BTS official colours and their current album logo. 

Besides that, McDonald’s also released a commercial for this meal six days ago to promote this meal. In the video, BTS is seen describing the items in the BTS Meal. The commercial has about 2.4M views as of today. 

With many BTS fans scrambling to get their hands on this meal, here is one question to ask yourself: Why would McDonald’s want to proceed with this collaboration at a time like this?

Is it actually a Good Strategy?

I think it was good to collaborate with Kpop idols because they are a massive thing in this generation. I think every brand should consider including this sort of collaboration in their future marketing strategy. However, in this current situation, it is best not to encourage people to go out just to buy this limited edition meal but to encourage them to stay safe instead. I know that McDonald’s consider all of their customers’ safety, but I think it is not the best time for them to promote an item like this. 

However, some fans weren’t happy with what they bought. Even though there was nice packaging, some said it was a letdown after expecting something more like a BTS photocard that came with the meal, for example. Besides that, many people hopped on the trend and gave in to buying the BTS Meal regardless. 

What do I think about this whole saga?

It has been two weeks since the launch of BTS Meal, and those who bought the meal are actually reselling this packaging at a much higher price on apps like Shopee and Carousell. Not only that, a lot of other customers framed the packaging, reused it, and turned it into a DIY phone case and even a water bottle packaging instead. All in all, I feel that the whole BTS Meal saga is merely just a trend. It is a good strategy nonetheless, but in my opinion, most customers are buying this limited edition meal just for the unique packaging more than the food itself. 

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