Kpop seems to be everywhere. It’s permeated the online world and our culture in record time, but many still wonder: why are Kpop bands so popular today?
Far from being an accident or a fluke, this music genre has earned its popularity with the younger generations for many reasons. A combination of top-tier music production, careful talent nurturing, fashion, and next-level marketing have come together to create a revolution like no other: The Hallyu, also known as the Korean wave.
The Soft Boy Aesthetic
Just like K-pop is part of the Hallyu phenomena, you could say that the soft boy aesthetic is also part of the popular eboy aesthetic. The Soft boy aesthetics challenges many aspects of traditional masculinity and instead confidently embraces a man’s artistic tendencies and emotions.
The soft boy and eboy became popular across social media platforms like Instagram, Tik-Tok, and even Twitter, where the BTS army reigns supreme. Content creators across these platforms and all corners of the internet have even created thorough guides on how to put together soft boy outfits.
Celebrities such as Harry Styles and Timothee Chalamet follow this vintage-inspired fashion style, but it’s Kpop bands that truly channel it to the fullest.
K-pop bands use fabrics, colors, and styles to create unique ensembles that confidently embrace their feminine side. The layered jewelry, oversized shirts, and the classic jeans combo exude confidence and a romantic aura that their female audience finds equally adorable and irresistible. The Gen Z audiences on social media adopt this sensitive yet confident look that defies fashion and social constructs with tremendous success.
Fostering talents from an early age
K-pop bands are known for their catchy tunes and exceptional musical performances, but only a few fans know the secret behind them: obsessive attention to detail and years of preparation.
The studio production behind these next-level choreographies and talented singing starts years before the band enters the studio. Around ages 10 to 12, music studios hold super competitive auditions to recruit young talents into K-pop schools to teach them how to dance, sing and become celebrities. On top of their regular exams, they practice for rehearsals and weekend music shows appearances. Instead of group projects and presentations, they prepare for special group performances with other candidates.
These schools also create hyper-competitive environments where only a handful manage to land contracts with major Korean music studios. After that, it’s a life of work and constant dedication to perfect their craft with the band. The life of a K-pop artist is indeed glamorous, but it comes with a high price!
When it comes to marketing, nobody measures up to Korean music studios and their K-pop bands. Bands such as BTS offer their fans a sense of belonging and community, and they willingly partake in viral marketing efforts and campaigns to put their idols in the spotlight.
Take a look at BTS: they offer their fans exclusive behind-the-scenes look for their videos, practices, and interact with them on a personal and almost spiritual level. Their fans reciprocate by promoting their songs, voting for them on music awards, creating social media trends, and liking their YouTube videos as soon as they’re uploaded. The world-renowned BTS army is precisely that: a group of highly committed soldiers that follow their idols and support them on every front.
They willingly buy their merch, accessories, posters and attend their concerts to put the spotlight on them and make sure it stays there. It’s a well-oiled machine that moves with a singular purpose: turning BTS into legends.
The marketing team behind BTS has also mastered the art of brokering brand deals. By endorsing companies, products or becoming brand ambassadors, they’ve exposed the band’s talent to millions more.
The McDonald BTS meal, for instance, proved itself as one of the most effective marketing strategies in the past decade. The BTS army and regular K-pop fans managed to topple Taylor Swift and Beyonce in terms of global sales, making the Korean band just that much more popular. BTS has also collaborated with Puma, LG, Coca-Cola, and SK Telecom in other viral marketing campaigns, allowing the talented Korean band to reach millions across the world.
K-pop bands are part of a global phenomenon that is changing our culture as we speak. Through talent fostering, top-tier marketing campaigns, and next-level musical productions, they’ve managed to put Korean bands in the spotlight. But I believe the secret lies in something more personal and intangible: the ability to connect and win over their audience’s hearts and minds.
K-pop bands such as BTS have a way of connecting and sharing with their audience, unlike anything we’ve seen so far. They share their dreams, goals, and struggles with their fans, allowing them to create a deep, genuine bond between fans and idols. This magical connection is the glue that holds all the massive logistic effort that goes behind the show’s curtains.