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Can you make an army?

Korean boy band BTS has amounted to international recognition and success.

In 2020, BTS was one of two artists to sell half a million copies of records in the United States, the other being Taylor Swift. The boy band has garnered an estimated $3.6 billion to the Korean economy every year while simultaneously captivating the charts and hearts of fans worldwide. I think most of us are wondering, how this is possible? A 7 member ensemble originally from Seoul, South Korea achieving rising global attention and fanbase in spite of the evident language and culture barriers. Most of BTS’ fans do not speak Korean. So what has lead to this international reach? The short answer is BTS’ attention to the consumer experience, their devout fanbase, self-named Army

How did they do this?

Through the dedicated use of their social media account and strategic viral music videos, BTS has built a loyal community. Unlike previous K-Pop bands who focused on reaching television shows in Korea to gain popularity, BTS often live-streamed on Instagram to foster their relationship beyond the borders of South Korea. The band also invests in their video production to entertain viewers and elicit conversations about serious themes while simultaneously promoting their music and brand. By evoking unique themes in their music such as self-love and mental health, BTS has created an online community engaged in sharing, inspiring, and supporting each other.

When you think of the word “viral” these days, it’s not always synonymous with positivity. More likely than not, you recall viral clips from Kayne West interrupting Taylor Swift to Kendal Jenner’s “canceled” Pepsi ad. But BTS has found a way to tie virality with positivity every time. Just the newest single “Butter”, broke the record for most views in 24 hours by reaching 108,200,000 views on YouTube®. Their commitment to facilitating a positive online community has resulted in the growth of international reach and a positive return towards their brand. Whether it’s their range of light entertainment via dancing and story arcs or the powerful message of loving yourself, BTS has crafted a powerful duality that has accumulated an unbeatable noise called the Army. 

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