Music with Seoul: 5 characteristics of K-pop music videos

For those of you who didn’t know, The Los Angeles Korean Pop Festival is happening this saturday in memory of the 111th anniversary of Korean American immigration. For many of you out there when thinking of K-pop, the Youtube sensation ‘Gangnam Style‘ will come to mind.

Nevertheless, nobody can argue against the fact that in recent years the Korean music scene has grown out of obscurity to become a recognised entity in the online world. Whether that be through cheesy music videos from bands you’ve never heard of, or through a flood of GIFs of pretty boy bands that seem more suited to a mid 90s cover of Smash Hits magazine.

Regardless of these thoughts, here is my list of 5 characteristics of K-pop music videos that make the genre so great!

 

1. OVERLY LARGE POP GROUPS

When it comes to the size of pop groups the word ‘small’ doesn’t seem to exist in Korean vocabulary. With the ever popular girls group Girls’ Generation (소녀시대) having nine members and the boy band Super Junior (슈퍼주니어) having twelve. The example below features the twelve member group EXO (엑소) and their hit ‘Growl’ which, even though it was shot in just one take has an awe inspiring 31 million hits on youtube.

EXO – Growl MV

 

2. CATCHY TUNES

The world of Korean pop is overflowing with catchy tunes. This one from the group Wonder Girls (원더걸스) is a classic from as far back as 2007 (that’s a long time ago in K-pop years), full of everything a great video needs..super heroes, flashers and funky dance moves.

Wonder Girls -Tell Me MV

 

3. SEXY DANCE MOVES

Ok ok..the horse dance in ‘Gangnam Style’ may not be the sexiest but believe it or not the hall of K-pop fame is full of them. This music video by 4Minute (포미닛) girl group member HyunA (현아) and BEAST (비스트)  member Hyunseung (장현승) is one of my favourites.

HyunA and Hyunseung – Troublemaker MV.

 

4. HIGH VALUE PRODUCTION

When it comes to high quality music videos nothing beats Korean pop. This music video is of Big Bang (빅뱅)’s ‘Fantastic Baby’ , one of the most popular K-pop groups of all time, winning the “Best Worldwide Act” award at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards. This video alone has had over 100 million hits on youtube and is definitely worth a watch..

Big Bang – Fantastic Baby MV

 

5. CRAZY PLOTS

And of course Korean pop culture wouldn’t be Korean pop culture without mind-blowing plots and tear-jerking ballads. Beneath all of the glamour, beautiful tunes and gorgeous stars there is often a sad story waiting to break out and force you to reach for the tissues. This music video is from the Queens of ballads Davichi (다비치).

Davichi – Don’t Say Goodbye MV

There, that’s it. I hope this blog post has given you the confidence to explore K-pop and realise its true klout in the world of global pop music especially on the youtube scene. Even if it hasn’t gone that far, you’ll now realise that there is more to K-pop than seeing an estranged older relative doing the horse dance at a family disco. At least be thankful for that!

Ben White joined Future Media team in 2013 and has plagued us with his obsession for Korean pop music ever since. After discovering his love from first watching the Pops in Seoul television show over seven years ago Ben is determined to convince the western world of the allure of the K-pop brand.

 

London Agency Week 2014

Future Media - London Agency Week

The newest recruits at the Agency got to spend 96 Hours in London to gain insights into the digital marketing industry and network with like-minded professional. This is part of the induction into the agency, 6 of the top digital marketing agencies were visited during this period. The new recruits would share their experiences through the next series of blogposts.

To share the experience on social media the Hashtag #FMLDN2014 was created. A total of 80 tweets including pictures were recorded under the hashtag top influencers of the hashtag were:
@Jackg132-28mentions
@Ad340soye-25mentions
@Qrious85-20 mentions

There where noticeable strategic brand placements on products and service around London which would definitely increase TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness) scores for the respective brands, the ones that stood out were MasterCard, with the branded plastics sleeves of the oyster card and Virgin who provided Wi-Fi during transit on the underground.

Here is a list of some of the apps that came in handy during the London visit.
Twitter, Google maps, Gmail, Tube map, Foursquare, Instagram, Tinder, Qr-code reader.
Embracing one of the trends of 2014 in digital marketing Social Mobile Location marketing (SoMoLo), we used location based social platform foursquare for check-ins and to get recommendations of places to visit in whichever area we where, we visited the Halcyon gallery on Bond street where we saw an original Andy Warhol “Mao-Zedong” and unlocked the Andy Warhol badge on Foursquare.

From the previous blogpost on the introduction to the new recruits there is a diverse cultural background and we got to experience a bit of each others culture we went to a halal restaurant for dinner and we all tried hummus- Hummus is a Middle Eastern and Arabic food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.

We also had some home cooked Vietnamese meal courtesy of our personal chef- @ThanhHoaHoang

Stay tuned for next weeks post on The Rise of Social Video – Unruly & Social Partners.

The Rise of Social Video – Unruly & Social Partners

London Agency Week

Unruly

Unruly home of social video-Unruly is the leading global platform for social video marketing and works with top brands and their agencies to predict the emotional impact of their videos and get them watched, tracked and shared across paid, owned and earned media channels.

At Unruly there are specially designed software’s used to turn target audiences into engaged viewers and engaged viewers into customers and advocates.

Brands can predict shareability with Unruly Labs, activate the Open Web with Unruly Activate and prove social ROI with Unruly Analytics, a cloud-based dashboard providing real-time competitive benchmarks across 6 billion customizable data points.

@Mightybarnski also shared Dr. Karen Nelson-Fields 7 steps for social video success

  • Make it emotional- videos that elicit a strong emotional response either positive or negative are twice as likely to be shared, positive responses are 30% more likely to be shared.
  • Be positive.
  • Focus on personal triumphs and weather instead of cute cats and celebs.
  • Little branding.
  • Don’t under invest in distribution.
  • Exhilaration is the most successful trigger when recalling videos with 65% recall rate while hilarity is second at 51%.
  • Quality reach is key.

The group had the opportunity to use the unruly social lab to carry out a share rank test on the @PouPurrie Video which you can watch here:

In the Unruly social lab, videos are ranked on the level of various psychological responses such as(Exhilaration, Hilarity, disgust etc) and the level of social motivation such as(shared passion, shared emotional experience)

The famous viral video chart was created in 2006 by Unruly, the viral video chartis a list of the most successful social videos based on number of shares

While at Unruly we were informed that their employability skills are mainly behavioral and coded into the acronym PANDA (P=Passion) if you know the rest of the letters kindly leave the answers in the comment box.

After visiting Unruly media in shore ditch we walked through Brick Lane- where we saw some street art such as, Belgian artist ROA’s famous crane on Hansbury Street as well as other art installations.

We stopped at the famous Beigel shop- where we had a bite to eat and we can confirm that their bagels are pretty much one of the best.

Our final stop on Brick lane was the Spitalfields market, which wasn’t too busy because we were there on a Monday but we got an idea of what the place would feel like at the weekends.

Next stop was Social Partners

Social Partners- Grey London+ Gray EMEA

Located on a busy street and surrounded by sophisticated jewelry stores, The Social Partner is out next stop. Unlike Unruly that its office resembles a bee hive, The Social Partner building brings out the professional atmosphere with its elegant and beautiful office design. Welcoming us is an Asian guy named Kwai Chi – a representative for The Social Partner, and our journey was even more remarkable with another interesting experience.

We were taken part in a 3-hour presentation, in which a lot of information about the recent world’s trends was mentioned. However, the fantastic thing about The Social Partner was not its presentation, but the presenter himself. Imagine you’re sitting inside a 3D theater, putting the 3D glass on, and now enjoying our lively world from a totally different point of view.

What is the definition of social media in your opinion? Spending time hanging out with friends on Google Hangout, replying non-stop on you Facebook post, tweeting news that amuse you, or simply staring at your computer screen watching some dudes making vlogs on Youtube? All of them are drawn into a mere conclusion for normal social media definition: entertainment. However, the presenter Kwai Chi showed us a different definition for it: social media equals social marketing. Put it simple, making money.

Forget about wasting tons of trees, ink and especially money to produce brochures, forget about asking those sales for the quality of products since you clearly know they’re only telling how good they are and why you should buy their goods, it is Internet era, and we do things on the Internet.

Kwai Chi is one of the leading people taking advantage of those free social media platforms to build up their own brands. Starting making video about racism on Youtube, this Chinese guy soon recognized the power of video content thus he began making videos on reviewing household products, health gadgets, foods and quickly became well-known on the world’s biggest video channel. He criticized those companies for their products (according to his opinion) and then now ends up working for them. A huge number of products from various companies are now day by day sending straight to his home and his work is to making a review video for them. That’s how he makes money from what we called “entertainment”.

Curious already? Here is the introduction video of Kwai Chi

Furthermore, he analyzed the main trend of social media world nowadays, from Social Mobile messaging, Rise on mobile local (SoMoLo) to wearable hardwares (i.e: health monitor in an eraser’s size) and then introduced us other Youtube-er who also use social media for personal brand’s marketing strategy.

Pewdiepie – game reviewer, most subscribed channel on Youtube, and his work is to reviewing new games (of course) and swearing (sad but true). Yet the number one position on Youtube is him. This video is his review about the game Flappy Bird (this is a Vietnamese product, rise of the Asians!), you can have a look here:

Dude perfect – using social media for marketing. They combine interesting sports themed content with brand in order to promote them. Eating Pringles and doing a lot of nearly-unbelievable sports with Pringles box container and pingpong ball, Dude perfect has done a good job of increasing the sales of Pringles and polishing its brand name, along with Walmart (one small screen and that’s all, sad but true again). You can watch one typical video of them here:

Kwai Chi also mentioned about the rise of Asia. Heard about LINE? Yes, Japanese product, Brown the Bear and Cony the Rabbit. WeChat, Weibo? Here comes the Chinese. Asian countries are trying their best to catch up with their senior European countries in the technology competition. And those three products are the evidence of their efforts.

At the end of the day, we came back to our apartment with mixed feelings and opinions about what Kwai Chi presented, but we can assure one thing that if he can succeed with social marketing, we know we also can.