Not excited about the Olympics? Kpop to the rescue!

Okay everyone: 2 days until the first Olympic events begin in PyeongChang and 3 days until the opening ceremonies (at 6 am Friday morning EST: information to stream the opening ceremonies). Personally I am SO EXCITED, but I may be in the minority here. Rumblings about the lack of enthusiasm around the Olympics have surrounded the event in recent years. In my case, it's fair to say that if the Olympics were being hosted elsewhere, my interest would decline. (Check out my previous post to read about my trip to PyeongChang).

Well, I can't write anything about Korea without referencing Kpop it seems. Nike and Kpop have combined in the video below to get us all hyped for the Olympics, because Kpop + corporate sponsorship + singers + athletes + timely release before the Olympics is a successful formula.

Nike is capitalizing on the Olympic buzz with "Run It" by Jay Park featuring Woo Won Jae, Jessi and Korean athletes in this new song/campaign. (Personally I'm onboard as soon as I hear that "GRAY" whisper in the beginning). This is a well-timed release for everyone involved.

I LOVED this video but kept asking myself: Why? The song, although I enjoyed it, is a style we've heard before...nothing revolutionary there...I watched the video again and realized: the setting and visuals are far better than the song. This is why it is refreshing to watch. (Sorry AOMG & everyone else).

To me what elevates this video is that along with flashy celebrities, the scenes accurately depict aspects of everyday Korean life. Starting in the convenience store with that boy dancing and the ajumma at the cash register: Her outfit! The cluttered store with crates of eggs piled up (계란한판: a crate of 30 eggs that people also refer to when you turn 30 years me right now - yikes!). The Jindo (Korean dog) being shown within the first minute. Soccer players (including Park Ji Sung) playing on the streets surrounded by 5-6 story apartment buildings that look identical to each other. I really thought, "Wow, this could have been filmed right outside my apartment." Skating and running under the bridges and overpasses that (I'm guessing) are along the Han River. Running through the traditional market near the end. It's unusual and refreshing that a Kpop video showcases typical streets in Korea. Whoever produced this video strategically wanted to show a colloquial image of Korea and I think it was a home run.

I wish that Kpop videos included more realistic references to Korean life. Kpop often exists in an untouchable fantasy world, or artists film their videos overseas to spotlight other countries. The formula is obviously a successful one, but Kpop has achieved enough success abroad that I think fans would be interested in seeing more of the "real" Korea. (Can the next TWICE video just be all of them going to GwangJang Market or something?!)

I'll leave you with this music video by Gary and Jung-In, "Bicycle". This video feels like a love letter to the Han River, and successfully captures the atmosphere of a Spring Day in Seoul. Kpop gods if you are listening - MORE OF THIS!


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