In just a few days, BTS fans the world over will come together (online, that is) for what the group has called Bang Bang Con, a take on conventions that have become so popular over the past several years for large groups of people interested in one topic. In this case, everyone is fascinated by and enthralled with the Korean vocal group, and they’ll be tuning in at the same time to watch some never-before-seen footage from past shows.
Bang Bang Con, announced last week, is set to take place April 18 and 19, and during that time the band will show full concerts from various tours, with something of a setlist/schedule hybrid showing which performances will be shared when. All of this content will be posted to the outfit’s YouTube page, making it easily accessible for the millions who will likely want to watch their favorites perform once again.
When BTS first announced Bang Bang Con, the name of the event spread across social media like a wildfire, and it was not only a trending topic, but also one of the bigger news stories of the day (in the entertainment vertical, of course). Fans were thrilled and were quick to put the dates and times on their calendars.
While it may be something that countless ARMYs (the name BTS fans have given themselves collectively) are looking forward to, Bang Bang Con is, at its most basic description, nothing more than the release of old live footage. Dressing it up to make it more than it really is helps it feel much more special, and it shows once again that BTS and BigHit Entertainment, the company that serves as their record label and management, are marketing geniuses.
If BTS had simply announced that they would be sharing concert footage that fans had never seen before, plenty of their followers would be happy with the news, but packaging several visuals together, setting a date and time, and giving it a brandable name makes the entire endeavor much more exciting. The marketing elevates what many other acts have already been doing during this pandemic to keep fans entertained, and what countless artists have done for years. There is no shortage of live videos on YouTube, even high-quality ones, but simply airing visuals that may have been prepared some time ago for possible distribution on the platform gives BTS listeners (and watchers) something to look forward to.
BTS is doing their fans a great service with Bang Bang Con by giving away what will surely be top-notch content for free, and their decision to do so should be applauded, but what other musicians really need to pay attention to is their ability to make more out of this release.
Not every group or solo act has the clout to grab headlines and trend worldwide when they announce something like this, even if marketed beautifully, but Bang Bang Con is yet another in a very long string of incredibly intelligent moves by the septet and the giant company that backs them that proves they are thinking outside the box.