Jul 7, 2011

SUPER JUNIOR - Promoting Korea to 6 Billion People with 10 Voices

Korean pop culture’s fever that started in the end of 1990s in Southeast Asia has now gone beyond Asia and is spreading in Europe. So many news media including newspaper and internet news articles are reporting about Hallyu announcing the enhanced status of Korea. We found out about proud men of Korea, Super Junior who was recently called a moving enterprise and is setting records at every moment.

Since before the debut, Super Junior received a lot of attention for having the most number of people in a group. With their perfect choreography, they captivated the public’s eye and they are garnering attention for their future moves. The word “celebrity” (yunyaein) using the Chinese characters演 display yun, 藝 talent yae, and人 person means a person who displays his or her talent. Just like how the word means, they are celebrities. The word “celebrity” includes singers and dancers and Super Junior satisfies all of those categories. Recently, their fourth album title track “Miinah” which was released last year set a new record when the song stayed at number one for 54 weeks on Taiwan’s biggest online music site KKBOX’s Korean Japanese music Top 100 weekly chart. They showed off their power by becoming the first artist ever in the history of Taiwan’s music chart to be number 1 for a year and setting a new record for staying on number one for the longest time. They broke their own record of being number one for a total of 36 weeks with their third album title track “Sorry Sorry.” They cannot have set an amazing record simply because of their music. What are their appeals?

Enchanting people’s hearing.
The group had various unit activities such as Super Junior M which targets Chinese speaking countries, Super Junior K.R.Y. which shows its diverse emotions through musical and drama OST, and Super Junior Happy who sings Super Junior’s unique, cheerful and fun music. They worked hard as singers continuing to try various types of music. They received some criticisms that they only sing hook songs that people can remember easily with its repetitive melody and simple lyrics. However, in an album that usually contains over 10 songs, there are only few hook songs. There are many high quality songs that definitively show their development. But because the response on hook songs is great, they rank high on online music charts and receive more press. Moreover, nowadays when things change fast and people get sick of things easily, the music industry’s main source of income has become mp3. Thus, the management companies are reluctant to release albums which will end up in financial loss and the companies end up using hook songs as title tracks to gain popularity easily. Although it’s the trend in the music industry that mp3s equal financial gain, Super Junior accomplished an achievement of being number seven on the world album chart with their fourth album Miinah. The album ranked higher than the albums from world pop stars such as Usher, Black Eyed Peas, and Ke$ha. Also, even though the group did not hold any promotional activity in Japan, their first single album became number two on the Oricon weekly chart, breaking the record in having the highest album sales for a debut single in Japan. England’s BBC praised highly of Super Junior who stands tall as the main characters of Hallyu K-pop dubbing them a Korean brand that will replace Samsung.

Captivating people’s sight.
Nowadays, there is no clear distinction between singers and actors that one can see singers in movies, dramas, and on TV. In Super Junior, there is a member who stands next to actors with his looks and acting skills that are comparable to any other actor’s. Siwon debuted as an actor before becoming a singer in 2005 with Eighteen Twenty-nine. In 2007, he was chosen as the lead alongside Andy Lau in Battle of Wits. Recently, he played a new elite agent Kim Junho in Athena: The Goddess of War leaving short yet strong impression with viewers. People were able to confirm his potentials. There are also Kibum, Donghae, and Heechul who appeared on TV showing diverse characters. As a group who has great looks, the movie The Attack on the Pin-up boys was released with Super Junior as the lead. Also, Super Show 3D movie was exported mesmerizing audience with their performance and choreography.

Satisfying five senses.
Super Junior who faithfully worked as celebrities to satisfy viewers’ demands. Their advancement in variety programs is amazing where they can show their skills as celebrities. Wherever they go, they make viewers happy by either become supporting actors, MCs or guests. Teuk Academy comprised of Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Shindong especially present laughter and are willing to look funny. Compared to other celebrities who only appear in commercials and sometimes come out on talk shows resisting looking funny, Super Junior approaches their fans with friendliness. Even though they are being underestimated on their achievements in music due to their talents as TV show personalities being emphasized, they are a group that the world market takes notices of and are being dubbed a moving brand and a moving medium sized enterprise. They try a new genre each time and give diverse spectacles that the public can look at. They want to communicate with their fans and try to make contact with the public on TV, stage and with their personal space such as SNS.

Super Junior is a Korean male idol group comprised of 13 members who are managed by SM Entertainment. Excluding Hangeng who is involved in a lawsuit, Kangin who is in the army, and Kim Kibum who is focusing on his acting, they are currently working as a 10 member group. They are enhancing the nation’s prestige and are promoting Korea in other countries, but their work is still fruitless. We look forward to them going beyond the idea of a group to becoming the national brand to return home in glory in the future.

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