April 22, 2015
…or join them. What arguably ranks above undying love for dreamy K-Pop stars? LINE’s cuddly friends and their far dreamier peepers. And judging from the queue outside LINE’s latest store and cafe at the hip neighbourhood of Garosu-gil in Seoul, it’s clear we aren’t alone on this. Come on, they’ve got macarons.
It takes some sort of dedication to stand in line in the cold, all wrapped up in scarves and beanies, but any brand worth its salt deserves that. Nope, we’re not talking about an It-bag or a celebrity sighting – more like towering plushie mascots and rows upon rows of notebooks and pens, with all the appeal because they happen to be plastered wit h the familiar faces of LINE characters.
Fresh off pop-up stores in Taipei, New York and Chengdu – and even an official one within the Everland theme park – the company is doing its best to appease hungry fans, who wouldn’t mind owning pillows, cups, plates, balloons and sweaters, in every incarnation, as long as they can take a piece of Brown, Sally, Cony and Moon home. It’s quite a treasure trove for those looking for exclusive collectibles too; an exhibition space showcases collaborations with premium brands, which include Swarovski jewellery, Muurla enamel kitchenware and coveted Bearbrick toys.
And if all this sounds way too tiring for your attention span, it’s just as easy to grab a cup of hot coffee in the same building. The LINE Cafe serves drinks, sweet tarts and exclusive Brown and Sally macarons that require at least 20 snaps from different angles and an Instagram upload, before they can be eaten. We know what you’ll be doing the next time you head to Seoul.
LINE FRIENDS Store and LINE Cafe, now open at Garosu-gil, Seoul, Korea. line.me
I’M STICKIN’ WITH YOU
You can’t expect our spirit animal to be as simple as a dog, cat or even the tiger, right? In fact ,the most familiar sight at the NYLON office isn’t an inspired rendition of Katy Perry’s “Roar” (we’re more Team Queen Bey), or the full jungle madness on Mean Girls (we don’t bite). Rather, it’s the occasional inquisitive peek over our desks. Swap out the neat grid layout for the African savannah and there’s just one animal that does the exact same thing: a meerkat. So when it came down to designing some LINE stickers of our own, of course we had to go with the meerkat, chubby cheeks and all. No shame in stickin’ with this one.
NYLON x LINE Stickers, available free for download at the LINE Sticker Shop, for a limited time only.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
As they say, it’s all about making a good first impression. And LINE certainly makes a fun, lively one, what with selfie apps, cute characters, wallpapers and sticker-filled messages being the most identifiable parts about the brand. This time though, it’s serious business.
Rest assure, in no way is the lifestyle brand about to shed its bubbly personality. Instead, they’re expanding their service – the new LINE@ lets users create @ accounts to communicate and promote business content. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a start-up label or a global company, the service allows you to work smart, and use social media more effectively.
You can connect to users who have become friends with your account – definitely more personable this time – as the app allows batch messages, one-on-one chats, posts to the LINE Timeline and Home pages, along with statistical information about an account’s reach. It also allows you to hold multiple accounts, and add multiple administrators too.
Better still, it doesn’t just apply to businesses – if you own a store on Etsy, you can use their research function to gather opinions from your customers; if you’re on YouTube or Vine, you can choose to alert your followers to new videos; and if you’re a blogger, you can use the app as an alternative to mailing lists, or as a place to gather ideas.
• Use your LINE@ account to send batch messages to users who have become friends with your account. These can be timed as well, according to your promotion schedule.
• You can also receive individual messages, and engage in a one-on-one chat with users.
• Easily post notices, events and updates directly onto the account’s Timeline and Home pages.
• Get updated with statistics about your account, including daily added friends, block rates and responses to Timeline posts.
The LINE@ service offers the option to subscribe to a free or paid plan. Free plan users can send up to 1,000 messages/month, while for a monthly fee of US$50, paid plan users can send up to 50,000 messages/month, and enjoy rich-text messages. The LINE@ app is available as a free download on iTunes and Android. at line.me/en
LINE x UNICEF
LINE has partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and together, they’ll be raising funds by way of selling plush toys and mugs featuring the brand’s flagship character, Brown. The meaningful collaboration will also see the mobile platform developing and selling digital LINE stickers, and they hope to raise at least $4.4 billion over the next three years. The funds will be used for children’s relief, especially for the health, nutrition and basic education of children in developing countries. Follow LINE on Facebook and within LINE messenger to keep updated!