Analyzing Successful Girl Groups, The ‘3S Strategy’
sistar, t-ara, fx, 4minute, taetiseo, 2NE1, GLAM
To be a successful girl group, ‘3S’ has become the most important factor.
Analyzing the first half of this year, popular girl group’s attracted people’s attention with “sexy”, “strong” and “street fashion.” On the other hand, groups with cute and innocent charms weren’t as successful.
‘Sexy’ is the most important factor to be successful in a girl group. A skirt with a deep side slits and revealing leg lines is a big factor in popularity. SISTAR is a typical example. SISTAR’s song, “Alone” is about losing a lover and being lonely. It became a hit song because of its sultry and sexy concept.
However, it did not mean that SISTAR was weak. Their main concept was ‘femme fatale’, like other girl groups. With charismatic energy, SISTAR became successful. It is SISTAR’s ‘strong’ strategy. 4minute also fought with all the biased opinions against girl groups. Shouting in high pitched voices, strong lyrics and featuring many “edgy” objects in music videos such as snakes and skulls made them noticeable as well.
Many girl groups showed their dynamic energy. T-ARA shuffle danced in their song, “Lovey-Dovey”, 4minute showed charisma and power in “Volume Up”, Wonder Girls showed off their “crab leg” dance in their song, “Like This” and f(x) showed off a fun melody in “Electric Shock.” All these groups showed off very powerful and charismatic performances. The only group that appealed with their cute and girly style was Girls’ Generation’s unit group, TaeTiSeo.
As the music became powerful, the fashion became simple. Instead of showy and unrealistic fashion items, fashion pieces that were easy to imitate became popular. T-ARA appealed their vivid and energetic style with baggy t-shirts, Wonder Girls wore athletic shoes and casual clothes instead of high heels and f(x) chose outfits that people could wear to the club.
The reason why girl groups changed their strategies is that in a girl group’s success, female fans are also vital. Since girls are usually the main factor in the K-POP market, without their support, girl groups cannot survive. Furthermore, instead of an innocent teaser with overdone Photoshop editing, a more fierce and powerful appearance would probably be better when trying to communicate with fellow female fans. GLAM, who is about to make a debut, showed one of their member’s head spinning and other members drinking beer on the street to show that innocent and being modest is long gone.
Following that, GLAM’s associate said, “This is a phenomenon of female changes in society,” and added, “As women start to compete with males, women between 20-30 who are the main consumers of pop culture are no longer wanting to pretend to be innocent and weak. Sexy is no longer a taboo in this society. In this situation, cute and innocent make girl groups look old and boring.”
Singers are also welcoming this change. SISTAR’s Bora said, “Usually male idol group’s female fans won’t shout for girl groups, but now they cheer for us. It makes us happy that they cheer for our straightforward expressions.”
It is expected that the ‘3S’ strategy would be vital within the next half year. 2NE1, who are the leaders of strong image are waiting for their debut on July 5. Dara is now showing half-shaved hair and advertising for 2NE1’s dramatic change. Also, SISTAR will be coming back with their new song, “Loving U” and will present their lively and sexy style on June 28.
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