Google Taps Popularity of Asian Pop to Promote Its Hangout Service
Google is going East, into the candy-coated world of Asian pop idoldom, with its latest effort to attract users for its Google+ Hangout service.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant announced on Tuesday that it will kick off its “A-Pop Star Week” on March 8, leveraging the musical talent of Asia to try to recruit the region’s legions of pop-loving, tech-savvy youth to adopt the company’s group-video-chat platform.
Google has pulled in some top personalities from C-, J- and K-Pop for the exercise (Chinese, Japanese and Korean pop, natch). Participating talent includes Korean boy bands Shinee, Super Junior and 2PM, along with Japanese idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Taiwanese singer Wang Lee Hom and several others. Kyary’s career took off in 2011 after the psychedellic cutsie-doll video for her debut single “PomPomPom” went viral. It currently has over 44 million hits on YouTube. The young model-singer has said her work is inspired by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani.
Over the course of the week, one artist or group per day will host an open Google Hangout chat, answering questions submitted by fans in advance and being joined in the Hangout by a lucky five fans.
An event calendar can be found on YouTube’s recently launched Asian Pop Channel, which collects the region’s hottest 20 music videos of the moment.
Google has already recruited some of the biggest names in Western entertainment and politics to take part in scheduled forums on the Google+ platform. Last September, the debut of the trailer for Steve Spielberg's Lincoln was broadcast in New York City on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square, followed by a live Google Hangout discussion with Spielberg and supporting star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
And just last week, President Obama gave a 40-minute group interview with bloggers on Google+ following his State of the Union address.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson also unveiled the trailer for their upcoming comedy, The Internship, on the service last week, followed again by a Q&A – this one hosted by Conan O’Brien.