B.A.P aren’t a group I follow musically but they are one I try to watch out for because of their clever rookie branding, so I was interested what their next release would bring now they are out of their rookie year and have established their image.
Warrior began B.A.P’s branding as a single entity, all looking almost the same, building their image as a strong and unbreakable unit.
One Shot allowed the members more freedom in their image. This allowing the fans to see more of the members own style. The concept however built on their image as the ultimate strong team, risking all for each other, and in my preferred ending dying together as a unit.
Alongside that B.A.P have their mascot, the Matoki, which first appears in the Warrior mv. In Warrior he very much resembles the dj Joel Zimmerman more commonly known as Deadmau5.
The name Matoki comes from the Korean word for rabbit (toki) and the planet from which B.A.P and their mascots are said to have originated from (Mato). Mato is a planet which is unsurprisingly shaped like a rabbits’ head and each member has a Matoki that represents them.
Here’s the Matoki in action.
So armed with a strong team branding and a handy set of mascots in tow once completing a successful rookie year what were B.A.P going to do next?
Drop it all on a risk.
After building such a strong image it should be completely plausible that a group can drop their concept and do something that apposes everything they have built because their fan base has been established. It should also allow them to bring in new listeners that their previous tracks may not have appealed to.
Coffee Shop shows a romantic side to the B.A.P members, both in lyric and concept. Bathing them in the coffee tones of the sun and surrounding them with scenes of US cities such as San Francisco and New York this track has the members growing up instantly.
There are many solo scenes in the mv, breaking the ranks of the team and pulling the group apart. It allows fans to really enjoy each member as an individual with their own style, something that the previous two hits didn’t do.
One of my favourite little concept points in the mv is the book Young Jae is reading on the beach.
This book is The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom and is about the life and death of an amusement park maintenance man named Eddie. In heaven he encounters five people who were a big impact on his life while he was alive.
Because of the book and it’s main character the ferris wheel you see just seconds before seeing Young Jae reading is extremely poignant.
The themes in the book also somewhat echo what you can take from Coffee Shop, that there are no random acts in life, sacrifices are part of life and everything happens for a reason.
I feel abandoning their bad boy strength and unity to show a softer side was a good risk as Coffee Shop is a beautiful mv.
Though, just to offset the risk the concept pulls back the unity of the B.A.P team in the final shot. Ending the mv with the strong group feeling that has been with them from the beginning.