AKB48, you will soon. It's the brand of an all-girl musical group based in Tokyo (Akihabra, to be exact, the high-tech crossroads of Japan) that has had hit after hit after hit. The girls, in their late teens and early 20s, come from all over Japan and are featured in several teams that perform in the group's own Akihabra theater and on tour around Asia.
AKB48 is so popular, in fact, that Japan is about to issue a new stamp sheet featuring the group. Not that this stamp set needs any additional promotion, but the postal service is holding a contest and a few lucky winners will get group members' autographs on postcards.
The group hosted an MTV charity event earlier in the year to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross to help earthquake and tsunami victims. One of its most recent singles sold 1 million copies on the first day of release. No wonder Advertising Age calls AKB48 one of the hottest brands in the world.