Pokemon Collaborates With Pop Stars for Co-Branded Music Videos and Tie-In Merch
Pokemon is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has brought in some musical stars to help make us feel very old.
As part of the P25 project, pop star and “American Idol” judge Katy Perry just put out a Pokemon-themed music video for the song “Electric,” which came with a limited edition co-branded line of merchandise on the P25 Music project’s store.
P25 Music merchandise available. Hoodie, t-shirt, and canvas bag celebrating the Katy Perry song 'Electric'.
— PKMN Style (@PKMN_Style) May 14, 2021
Other artists are getting involved, too, like Post Malone and J Balvin, who also did that robust merchandise collaboration with McDonald's.
This seems to be the way that artists are merchandising and advertising themselves these days in the absence of touring. Co-branding opportunities allow them to stay relevant and in the public eye without having to sell out arenas or top festival posters.
The whole merchandise bundle idea has been in place for a while, too, as sales of physical albums dwindle. If artists could sell a T-shirt that came with an instant download, or even a vinyl copy, it boosted their status on the charts and count as album sales (at least until Billboard switched up the rules). So, for artists, promotional products are even more important than just items to stock the merch table with.
For Pokemon, adding big names like Katy Perry attracts fans that otherwise might not have thought about buying a Pikachu T-shirt. But if you put “Katy Perry” on it, and it suddenly is a T-shirt that ties into the theme of the music video, it sells.
Pokemon doesn’t need that much help selling its P25 promos, though, at least if you consider the Pokemon cards it sent to McDonalds restaurants, which ended up on eBay by the box-full.