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Jakarta Post

Girl bands and the phenomenon of cute economics

  • Yanto Chandra

Leeds, United Kingdom   /   Wed, May 23 2012   /  07:55 am

Sleek, slim-legged, edgy and — most importantly — cute. Packed with sugar-sweet pop tunes (e.g. “Dilemma”, “Love is You”), unbelievably cute slogans (chibi 3 times) and cute dance routines the members of Indonesian girl band Cherrybelle have cute down to a science.

Unmistakably, Cherrybelle is the latest phenomenon selling all things cute in Indonesia. They entered the pop market at the right time, following the more established large pop girl groups like the 9-member Girls’ Generation from South Korea, or the 92-member AKB48 from Japan. They have hooked millions of hearts across the country in relatively short amount of time proving one thing — cute sells.

Originating from Japan, cuteness (or kawaii, ke ai, or guiyuhwoon in Japanese, Mandarin and Korean, respectively) has transformed everything from product design, music, fashion, food packaging and serving...