-Groups keep debuting but colors are limited -Fan fights lead to alternatives like glow-sticks
Idol groups keeps debuting but it isn’t easy choosing a color for each of them. The photo is of Taiwanese H.O.T. fans who visited Korea in 2001 as they cheer H.O.T. on with their white balloons.
“B2ST doesn’t have a balloon color.” CEO Hong Seung Sung of Cube Entertainment is in a quandary over B2ST’s balloon color. Each idol group usually has a balloon color that symbolizes who they are, but with the increasing number of idol groups against a limited number of colors, it’s become very difficult to choose a color.
Balloons are the representative item that fans use to cheer for idol groups. At concert venues, fans flock together with balloons the color of ‘Our Oppa’ in their hands, ready to cheer. On stage, just looking at the color of balloons helps singers determine how many fans of each singer comes to the performances.
Using balloons to cheer began with first generation idol group H.O.T.’s white balloons. More and more idol groups began to set an official color for their fanclubs with GOD using sky-blue and Shinhwa choosing orange. While first generation idols used primary colors, second generation idols are mixing a variety of colors so that they do not overlap with each other.
According to SM Entertainment, TVXQ’s color is ‘pearl read’(a red that sparkles), SHINee’s color is ‘pearl aqua green’(a slightly bright green that sparkles) and Super Junior’s color is ‘pearl sapphire blue’(a blue that sparkles). Though fanclubs are usually who decide their balloon colors, entertainment agencies will sometimes step forward to make the decision.
Balloons also spark a competition of pride amongst fans. Pop culture critic Kim Jak Ga stated, “These days, idol fans say that they go to concerts to show their support and power,” and “As each group has a different color for their balloons, they show their power by having the most number of balloons at the venue.“
Fans think of balloons as a medium that connects them to their singers. That is why ‘fights’ break out between fanclubs over balloon colors. When fans of F.T. Island were ready to designate their balloon color as ‘pearl rainbow blue’, Super Junior fans began writing online posts of protest, stating that the color was too similar to their own color of ‘pearl sapphire blue’.
One fan stated, “When viewed from afar, you can’t even tell the difference between the two colors.” A TVXQ fan expressed of her reluctance to share balloon colors with other groups as she said, “Because fans and singers have lots of memories embedded in and feel a sense of connection through balloons, it wouldn’t be easy for us to give up our balloon color (to fans of other singers), even if our favorite group disbands.“
As it has become hard for fanclubs to choose balloon colors, some have turned to alternatives such as glow-sticks. YG Entertainment idols have created special glow-sticks instead of balloons for their fans to use. Big Bang’s are crown shaped while Se7en’s are in the shape of a ’7′. CEO Hong Seung Sung of Cube Entertainment stated, “If it’s too difficult to choose a balloon color for B2ST, we will use glow-sticks instead.”
Congresswoman Park Seon Suk of the National Party has called for the Fair Trade Commission’s active role in investigating unjust trade acts in the entertainment industry.
At a National Assembly conference held on the 13th, Congresswoman Park brought up the topic of the Korean Federation of Pop Culture and Arts Industry(KFPCAI)’s official notice that asked entertainment agencies and broadcasting companies to refrain from providing JYJ with activities. She called for an investigation to determine whether or not this official notice violates the Fair Trade Laws.
JYJ is a three-member group of Kim Jaejoong, Park Yoochun and Kim Junsu, all from TVXQ.
Congresswoman Park Seon Suk stated, “There have only been two instances in which the FTC called for an order of rectification in the entertainment industry in the last five years,” and “Both instances involved the domestic entertainment agency SM Entertainment.“
She continued to state, “It is not that I doubt the competitive edge that the Hallyu Wave has as it has even spread past Asia into Europe, but I believe that if the industry continues to be made of certain entertainment agencies using their superior position to take dominance over others, then the it will not last long.“
Congresswoman Park also stressed, “I ask that (the strengthening of the binding power of) the FTC’s model exclusive contract for the entertainment industry be examined as a legislation.” To this, Chairman Kim Dong Su stated, “It will be done.”
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