K-pop and The Rise of Soju
Korean pop culture is conquering the world. Also known as the ‘Hallyu Wave’, Korean pop culture refers to Korean pop bands, Korean dramas, Korean films, and Korean songs. Korean idols especially, have been a craze among the entire world.
With the Hallyu trend taking over us, the popular Korean drink, Soju, follows too. People’s favourite idols have done advertisements for Soju, and some of their beloved idols’ faces are on the Soju bottles too. Tourists look for Soju when they travel to Korea as they have also seen the drink in dramas, in Korean idols’ Instagram accounts, music videos and more.
So how has Korean pop culture influenced the rise of Soju?
1. Soju Advertisements
Soju brands have engaged many popular singers, idols, actors and actresses to model for their brand. These idols have enticed fans to purchase the Soju bottles, whether the fans are Soju drinkers or not. International stars BTS have advertised for a Soju brand, and mentioned that they love Soju. A fan has even bought one of the members a bottle of Soju at a fan-meeting before!
2. Korean Culture
As the Hallyu wave takes over the world, many foreigners have been wanting to experience the Korean culture first-hand. From visiting South Korea, to trying South Korean Food like ramyeon, kimchi, Korean Barbeque, and people are now loving Soju too.
Korea has a strong drinking culture, and they enjoy drinking alcohol in different ways. One example is to make a ‘Soju-bomb’, which refers to a shot of Soju being dropped into a glass of beer. This interesting way of drinking Soju has attracted not only many Koreans, but people from all over the world.
3. Korean Dramas
Many of you should know the Korean drama, Descendants of the Sun. It was the biggest K-drama phenomenon, entering the 30 per cent range in drama ratings, which is an incredible feat.
The drama features various funny drinking scenes of the main characters, where they drank Soju for 3 days straight. Fans have been influenced by how refreshing the actors often portray Soju to be, and this has also increased the popularity of the Korean drink.
Korean dramas romanticise soju drinking. A lonely main character facing life problems drowns him/herself in Soju and magically becomes happier the next day. A group of friends have the time of their lives while drinking Soju and eating grilled pork belly. Relationships form after a night of Soju drinking. Koreans drink Soju in bright red tents while the ahjummas bring out hot piping food to pair with their drinks.
These scenes in Korean dramas have caused many of us to develop a fantasy for Soju, enticing viewers from all over the world to drink more Soju.