Seungha Heo is a Culture and Trends Manager for the video-sharing giant YouTube in Korea. Her career began as a news reporter for Arirang TV. It was an English-language Korean TV network whose target viewers are overseas viewers. Later on, Heo became an anchor for Yonhap News TV, a Korean news channel owned and run by Yonhap News– Korea’s leading news agency.
Now, she works for YouTube as a Culture and Trends Manager. Here are some of the things that she noticed during her stay on the video-sharing giant now that there is a global pandemic:
For people who are not familiar, Heo explained that MBTI is a personality test where a person is classified into one of the 16 personality types after they answered dozens of questions. When the lockdowns caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic began, Koreans had more time and desire to reflect on themselves. They also wanted to understand who they are. Needless to say, taking the MBTI personality test is one excellent way to do that.
In addition, the surging popularity of MBTI can be seen in different video formats. This includes videos that show how people who have different personality types react to the same life situations. Heo also found out that videos, where content creators personally take the test and reveal the result to their viewers, are more popular than the others. One specific favorite was when MAMAMOO’s Solar took the MBTI test and shared the results with her fans. A lot of her fans who learned that they have the same MBTI result as she were thrilled.
The types of videos mentioned above show how people use purchased real YouTube views to gain a sense of belonging and connection during times of isolation.
Among us, a currently popular online game was launched in June 2018. However, it only rose to fame in 2020 when YouTube creators and Twitch streamers began playing the game and sharing it with their followers.
In September alone, Among Us, videos garnered four billion views globally on the video-sharing platform. More than six percent of these total views came from Korea, making the country the top three popular games. Space Hippo is the most popular content creator in Korea who frequently posts Among Us videos.
Moreover, the surge in the game’s success this year partly came from its ability to let people socialize with others while they are socially distant. In addition, Heo said that what is more interesting about the Among Us trend on YouTube is the variety of videos that creators upload. Apart from the typical gameplay, videos about comedic sketches, animations, DIY videos, and even original songs are also videos.
According to Heo, more and more senior content creators in Korea build a stronger presence on YouTube. Part of the reason for their success is that Korean society is becoming more individualistic than ever. A significant number of young people are facing difficult times emotionally or financially. Unfortunately, some of them do not have enough safety net to support them. For this reason, they rely on these senior creators to get advice and inspiration.
There are two channels that Seo highlighted. The first one is Korea Grandma, which gained popularity in 2017. The granddaughter of the channel’s namesake decided that she would quit her job to spend more time with her grandmother when she discovered that the older woman has a high risk of developing dementia. Since then, the granddaughter and grandmother tandem have been uploading a lot of videos. One of their contents is a viral video where Korean Grandma revealed her secrets for living life for the first time.
The second channel is named Milanonna. The woman behind this channel spent decades in the fashion industry. In addition, she was a classmate of Domenico Dolce of Dolce & Gabbana when she was studying fashion in Italy. Milanonna mostly talks about fashion. But recently, she began a series where she answers the questions sent by her subscribers and gives them pieces of advice.
According to Seo, to understand this phenomenon, people have to go back to 2004. During that year, Kellog launched a marketing campaign in Korea where they asked consumers to vote for the new Chex cereal flavor they want. The choices were green onion and chocolate. Kellog’s expected that children will vote for the chocolate flavor. However, votes for green onion increased significantly after Humor University; an adult online community cast multiple votes for the green onion flavor.
Eventually, the cereal brand invalidated duplicate votes and declared chocolate as the winning flavor. But adult consumers did not accept the result. For this reason, they have been demanding that Kellog release the green onion-flavored cereal for the past 16 years.
So, when the much-anticipated green onion-flavored Chex cereal was already launched by Kellog’s in Korea last June, content creators quickly uploaded fun videos of themselves tasting the product that they waited 16 years for. However, pairing the green onion cereal with milk did not seem to be a tasty idea. For this reason, content creators tried pairing it with different soups like beef bone soup and chicken soup, which Koreans commonly enjoy with real slices of green onions. Several content creators tried to use the cereal as a substitute for an actual green onion to make side dishes such as green onion pancakes and kimchi.
Needless to say, the Korean community has contributed a lot to the content of YouTube. The popularity of Korean content creators is seen not only in their country but also globally. For instance, a lot of people are fond of watching Korean videos now, like mukbang.
Date: June 29, 2021 / Categories: News, / Author: Joy P