Vietnamese singer Noo Phước Thịnh has a new MV out. From watching the music video, you can tell that Noo Phước really really loves Japan. It's either that, or he really really loves that Japanese sponsorship money. Really Love You is clearly a promotional music video for Japan; or more specifically, it's a promotional ad for Vietnamese tourism to Japan. Musical advertisements, aka CM's or CF's (commercial films), are fairly common in the Asian pop music industry. Look at Kpop for example. They make music videos for cellphones and cars all the time.1 Big Bang? Done it. 2NE1? Done it. Girls' Generation? Done it. HyunA? Done it. Some people call it selling out. I call it selling in.

Why become a pop singer? The goals of a pop singer are to become popular, entertain, and hopefully make money, right? When a company asks you to film a music video to promote their brand, you do it. Take that money!

In the US, musicians are often considered sell outs for promoting specific brands. In Asia, I don't think the same sentiment applies. In fact, endorsement deals are usually a sign that you have arrived as a pop star. They are like stamps of approval. Endorsement deals often mean more exposure and more popularity for pop stars in Asia.

I call it selling in because I see it as a net positive for everyone. Pop stars take money from companies and create content, which would not have existed without financial sponsorship, for consumers and fans to enjoy. Companies win because awareness and interest is generated for the sponsor. Fans win because they get more content to consume. Pop stars win because they earn money. More money going into the Vpop scene means more growth. A lot of people say Vpop will never be popular because there isn't enough money in it. To those people: I ask, "Are you sure about that?"


  1. One of the first Kpop videos that I ever watched was Lee Hyori's Anymotion - an advertisement for Samsung Anycall cellphones.