Chapter ② : Mysterious “Alien Visitors”
Even the most experienced fans have never seen market strategies, unexpected leaders on the market
Time is a ruthless thief, stealing your oppa, and stealing my oppa as well. In 2001, Taiwan’s TV drama《Meteor Garden》made the idea of an “idol” establish a foothold in the Chinese media circle. Also at that time, South Korean idol group HOT has already disbanded, the media overwhelmingly published headlines about the three members who dropped from the group, and who was also getting criticisms from the industry and fans, and getting crowned with “charges of disbandment” bent solely on profit. But hidden behind complicated reasons, and following the passing of time and fading of memory, it became a story that was not to be ignored. Years later, similar circumstances happened in a row to two of their “hoobaes” – Han Geng announced his withdrawal from SJ, unilaterally requesting from the company terminate the contract and let him return to China; TVXQ’s three members, Kim Jaejoong, Kim Junsu and Park Yoochun made an appeal, requesting a termination to their “slavery contract.” Such news really bring the listener to tears and hurt…..we made a promise that we will be each other’s angel for life, how come you give up just like that?
Whenever SM-Entertainment suffers from a “critical hit,” it is inevitable that a few blood cells are destroyed, combat strength (reputation) dropping dozens of degrees, but the thought of there being still a lot of young warriors still eager to advance to the front in waves upon waves, their hearts becomes consoled again. Ten years later, resources about idols in the entertainment circle are no longer scarce, each region all has the qualifications and production rights of idols. There is a ring of competitors everywhere, new forces suddenly coming to the fore. Now-a-days no longer pointing to one’s country, and in the future for fear of what is done cannot be undone, SM executives rely on the constellations, highlight on secrets, assess the situation, work overtime to refine promotional plans of long-awaited cases for new celebrities, and finally, establish a sufficient amount of zhènshè wǔlín’s secret book of martial arts to shake the industry.
First off, assemble the 12 pure and bright “aliens” and can summon the dragon.
Trans cr: Icingonyou © 2014
Name: Wu Yi Fan
Date of Birth: November 06, 1990
Height: 187 cm Weight: 73 kg
Role in the group: EXO-M’s leader, Appearance, Linguist
Personality: Cold exterior, warm interior, responsible, motivated, loyal, knows when to be thankful, filial, warm, shy at times, stoic at times, cute at times, animated at times, and also quiet at times.
Talents: RAP, language (Chinese, English, Korean & Cantonese), basketball
When Idols Become Fixed Products – Fans Stay, Idols Come and Go
According to SM’s experience, to create one top-quality idol, is never as cost efficient than to create a group of top-quality idols. In their experience handbook, “group products” including HOT, Shinhwa, TVXQ, SNSD, SUPER JUNIOR, SHINEE, F(x) all are successful samples that has contemporary significance. SM’s golden standards in the idol creation field is established, exactly through the influences these large scale groups have on the market. in their production lines, there is a more appropriate word than “idol”– products. Also these products need to be better than other companies, such that in the production process there must not be any carelessness. Therefore, they maintain such high production stats and standards, to make their market share bigger and bigger. However who can guarantee that a product will never lose its popularity (wear out) once it is on the market? Even when the most basic element of these products is “human,” it is still very difficult to avoid the parabolic fate of becoming a product that is no longer in demand. This is only a natural phenomenon. However if I was to group these products by stages, group by group, while maintaining vigor and vividness, will the overall trend still be low? So, when everyone has already accepted such preferences, used to these preferences, subconsciously viewed these idols as products, in the midst of new and old industrial systems they actually must come in full circles, it is very difficult to find a personal breakthrough. What is known as “fans are the same, while idols come and go”, is it not the reality of the situation?
Trans cr: Icingonyou © 2014
Precise Marketing and Effective Promotion – Everything is a Surprise
By the end of 2011, SM officially announced – 2012 will bring a new group of exotic young men who “come from a different planet” and “are equipped with special powers.” If you followed SM Entertainment’s every move seriously, it is not very difficult to discover that, in regards to the news about the debut of a new group in fact has already been widely circulating for about a year or more, versions upgrading from 1.o to 3.0, and as long as the authorities were willing to disclose, relevant discussion will be have continue to spring up. However for a long period of time, they were always covered in a thick layer of a invisible cloak. They said, 100 days from now, we will take off the invisible cloak, but, the process and way of the reveal was never done before and never heard of or seen before.
“Because SM this brand has already became a staple, they believe that to attract fans’ attention is not difficult, after all, many fans even before experiencing the groups’ induction into the industry, have already become attached to their artists in this family. And if you prefer Korean Entertainment, especially K-POP, then you cannot ignore any of SM’s strategic moves.” This was said by one of the industry’s workers who were unwilling to reveal his name. He believes that, it can be inferred from initial plans, the group of audiences that SM first aimed at was not those who did not enjoy wider non-Korean Entertainment,but rather at the relatively fixed large fan bases of Korean Entertainment.
For as long as 100 days of the debut countdown, was the time set a bit too big? It is truly unprecedented. Within 100 days, in the midst of fans’ anticipation, curiosity and anxiety, they continuously delivered a total of 23 teasers, which were interspersed with some fragmented video images, building up to a bust of mystery. Within 100 days, they just tell you a few basic things about the “arrival of aliens”: they are “fresh meat”, they can sing and dance, there is a favorite type for everyone in the group, and there is a total of 12 members. Assemble the 12 “aliens” and can summon the dragon
“The SM family has been pushing forward idols for many years, generally touching a few laws, such as within a certain time frame, they will push forward some type of group. For example SHINee, is a very typical boy group, which to some degree is running along the lines similar to that of TVXQ. This is why after SHINee, SM was pushing for another group, which will make everyone wonder what kind of style this new group will be going. Initial feeling is a bit similar to that of SJ, possibly going down a relatively peoples’ (friendly) direction, being that the number of members are about the same, but just more younger. However the launch was nothing alike, such that they are very mysterious, and with an image that is very new, this is why the feeling is very different.” Reporter Xiaohan who has been working in the industry for already five years recalls the moment when he just received a message about EXO’s debut, in the Korean Entertainment column of 《当代歌坛》, stated frankly that everything was unexpected.
Trans cr: Icingonyou © 2014