The Global Impact of South Korean Popular Culture
In recent years, the power of Korean culture has expanded globally.
From music, drama, to variety shows — it takes different forms, but all are creatively packaged so that it will win the hearts and minds of the global community.
Korean culture has also been implemented in the daily lives of people from different circles. We can see Korean influence in our fashion, makeup and skincare choices, the wide array of Korean food available, and even in marketing materials for different brands.
To provide you with a better understanding of how powerful this Korean wave phenomenon is, check out the explanation down below!
Food & Beverages
Subway is a fast-food franchise from the United States that is often featured in K-dramas. In South Korea alone, Subway has over 400 outlets!
“Crash Landing on You", "Descendants of the Sun", "Doctors", "Goblin", "Good Doctor", "Defendant", "The K2" and "The Prime Minister and I ” are a few examples of popular K-dramas that shot their scenes in one of the outlets of this fast-food chain.
Soju is the most popular alcoholic drink from Korea. This drink is clear, colorless, and has different alcohol levels. Although the traditional ingredient for soju is rice, most soju producers use additional ingredients or substitutes for rice such as potatoes, wheat, or tapioca (dangmil). Now, you can find many varieties of fruit-flavored soju to choose from instead of just the original.
All Korean fans will know this famous snack. Tteokbokki are rice cakes and fish cakes smothered in Korean-style sauce that often appears in Korean dramas. This rice cake in Indonesia is somewhat similar to "Cilok", but the texture is smoother and denser, and chewier.
For people who don't like spicy foods, the tteobokki sauce can be a little spicy for you — even if you order the mild option. How come? Because most Korean people love spicy food, so the mild version can be spicier than usual.
4. Banana Milk
Banana Milk is becoming one of the most popular Korean drinks. Just like the name, this drink is basically milk with banana flavor. But although it may sound like it’s nothing special, nearly one million bottles of Banana Milk were sold out in one day in South Korea!
Banana Milk has actually been around for a long time in Indonesia. But the popularity of this drink has skyrocketed because it often appears in Korean dramas.
5. Corn dogs
Last but not least, corn dogs! Corn dog is a combination of hotdog and cheese stick covered in sweet rice flour then fried with a number of toppings and sauces. This food has skyrocketed because of the drama 'Start-Up' which has been really booming lately. This food has become a hot topic thanks to the characters Nam Dosan and Han Jipyeong.
Fashion & Beauty
Contemporary fashion and beauty have kicked off in Korea — big time. Seoul Fashion Week is one of the biggest fashion events where you can see stylish Koreans toting a variety of colors, patterns, and silhouettes, with apparel ranging from casual streetwear to formalwear.
Meanwhile, in South Korea’s beauty world, it’s all about having clear, glowy skin. The famous “10 step skincare routine” took the world by a storm. With so many fantastic Korean skincare products on the market, it’s no wonder K-Beauty has garnered so much international interest.
At the end of 2020, the Korean drama "Start-Up" became so popular that it created 2 camps, namely the Nam Do San team and the Han Ji Pyeong team. Nam Do-san (Nam Joo-hyuk) and Han Ji-pyeong (Kim Seon-hoo) are depicted competing with each other to win Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) 's heart in the midst of their competition of launching a startup.
This Korean drama successfully took the audience on an emotional journey. Everyone is busy talking about this in their social media, and everyone is excited when a new Start-Up episode aired on the weekend. This opportunity is used by several brands in Indonesia like Holy Wings and Brown Tiger to make a viral promotion strategy and content around this trending topic.