TV Still King

One of the surest ways to success for a new singer in Japan is to be featured in a TV commercial.

The Korean singer Iconiq, who is based in Japan and released her debut album there last week, has more of a boost in this endeavor than most of her peers.

In January, she was chosen as the new face for Shiseido’s cosmetic line MAQuillAGE, which caused quite a stir in the show biz media because of her unconventional looks, characterized by a severe buzz cut.

The synergy didn’t stop there. Three days after her album Change Myself was released March 10, she started appearing in not less than seven TV commercials for seven different companies. This is supposedly a record of some kind.

Certainly, her management made a deal with whatever ad agencies were involved because the publicity potential is huge for the singer. Also, her album does appear to be selling well, having debuted at No. 3 on the Oricon chart.

For advertisers, they probably get a cut-rate on Iconiq’s services. Reportedly, she filmed all seven ads in one marathon, 26-hour session. The companies include All-Nippon Airways, Starbucks and Maserati.

It is not unusual in Japan for one celebrity to appear in ads for multiple companies at the same time, though there is some debate over the effectiveness of such a scheme.

Advertisers say they can exploit the “face value” of a particular topical personality, but some critics say that such broad exposure is usually self-negating. Viewers tend to remember only the most striking ad.