Kia’s sponsorship of K-Pop girl supergroup Blackpink could prove more lucrative than when first announced at the start of the year. The foursome are tipped to become megastars not just in Asia but across North America and Europe in 2019.

Blackpink have been breaking all sorts of view records on YouTube and are set for sell-out stadium dates in the UK and US. For a car brand known for good value but sensible transport, the pairing of Blackpink with the Stinger and other Kia models might increase the cool factor.

However, Blackpink’s stardust has yet to fall on the South Korean OEM. A dedicated Kia Instagram account, “kia_on_beat” has so far picked up only 25,000 followers. By comparison, the group’s official account stands at 15.4m, not to mention the millions more following band members individual accounts. 

Car makers are becoming more sophisticated in their use of social media, seeking to emphasise the experiential and lifestyle aspects of brands as much as dynamic or practical qualities.

Mercedes-Benz is currently running an Instagram and YouTube campaign for the new B-Class that shows an exasperated child asking Mercedes voice recognition system (MBUX) to find a hotel for her publicly making out parents. It comes complete with a suitably non-automotive slogan “justify nothing”.