Kim Taeho’s breakdown of BTS’ new brand identity and how it came about
170706 Kim Taeho’s Facebook Post
[T/N: when the post mentions ‘방탄소년단’ as referring to BTS’ Korean name, I will just leave it as 방탄소년단 as this post is meant to talk about the differences between variations of BTS’ name.]
From the perspective of knowing how long this project took and how hard it was, after revealing the project, there is this constant nagging feeling since I have not yet been able to properly deliver my feelings about this product, so I am making some time during my lunch break to try to write.
It seems that people still have not discarded of their suspicions that the name ‘방탄소년단’ did not come from ‘Bang Sihyuk’s Boys,’ but anyhow as an idol [group, their name] stands out a bit, rather it has been pointed out that ‘방탄소년단’ is a bit old-fashioned, but they still made it big. (They already made it big, so what?)* But, after making it big, we were able to feel the limitation of the ‘Boys’ aspect of their name. Boys become young men, and idols become artists, but [their name] is still ‘boys.’ Like Japanese [entertainment company,] Johnny and Associates’ ‘Shonentai’ [Boys’ Generation], while the three members are not all currently promoting, even though they are in their 50s, they are still the ‘Boys Generation,’ but will ‘방탄소년단’ be the same? I don’t think that the future that they are aiming for is to be the idol’s eldest brothers like ‘Boys Generation.’ They are now receiving attention worldwide, but will ‘방탄소년단’ continue to be known as ‘Bulletproof Boys’ or ‘Bangtan Boys.’ Although the application of ‘ㅂㅌㅅ,’ ‘BTS,’ is the English group name that they are using…
*T/N: I think he is saying this because while it might come off a bit arrogant that he is saying that they made it big, he still thinks it’s true and doesn’t care how it comes off.
If you are a person who has interest in idols, these suspicions are probably something you know about, and yesterday, the explosive fans’ reactions towards the new brand image became a very obvious answer to this curiosity. Therefore, how would Big Hit (Bang Sihyuk) be able to give an answer to this aspect of [the new brand image] at the right time?
In the report, it was said that [this project] was in preparation for about a year, but truthfully Bang Sihyuk PD actually began talking about this concern much longer than a year ago. (In my memory, it seems to be about two years). We thoroughly dealt with the idea of what role their name and symbol [logo] should come to play in their next picture. After discovering his own thoughts about this kind of project, Bang Sihyuk asked those around him for their opinions, and received a recommendation for a team that would be able to put this project into action. And that is why it was stated in the report that it took about a year for the selected team and the detailed project to come about.
Two years ago, it was a situation in which we did not know at all how far BTS would grow. When we had received the evaluation that now ‘some time has passed,’ we were already in a state of debating the next next move. (This is a bit chilling)
If you quickly glance at the symbol and logo that we produced, it could seem so simple that it seems like an idea that could be made in just a week, but in reality the meaning within this [logo] is quite complex. Now, the members who are going from idols to artists, from their School Trilogy until after The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, their continuing growth and worldwide view, and within that, what kind of identity does ‘BTS’ hold–these things are all tied together in one picture. Different than typical products or service brands, idol brands are living brands. Because people are the brands [in this case], they are [continuously] being influenced by countless variables. Because it is impossible to control these variables, rather than a brand, [we are] keeping the same individual identity. This is why unlike designer brands, idol brands cannot remain the same over a long period time and are a flickering process.
After considering their identity and the application [of that identity] ahead of time, we sorted out the members’ real personalities and their personalities within the team. Then we made the brand unification that could show their music brand in a visual. Furthermore, unification is also important in their ‘goods.’ The easiest method in the past was to conjugate the generic logo in addition to a unique symbol for each album. This is easy, but because of this, we could only use [this logo] for one period of promotions. This [new] ‘BTS’ symbol took all of this into consideration. For now, just the symbol and logo have been revealed, but later as the application and this symbol and logo become connected, gradually as you see it expanding, you will realize how big of a composition and result this is. If the the past symbol made by designer Oh Yeongsik, who I respect, directly brought the name and meaning of ‘방탄소년단’ to where it is today, now, we are building up the identity of ‘BTS’ in expandability with the auras that the members hold as the center.
Under the identity that is ‘BTS’ and the symbol of moving forward through the open door are the past, present, and future activities as well as the independent meanings that each member holds in ‘BTS.’ This can work in reality and in activities like a parallel universe, and it can also briefly cross over. It cannot be ruled out that this small universe that we made in this way has potential to be connected to a greater universe. For their goods as well, we plan to show products that hold ‘BTS’s unified identity. Furthermore, the existence called ‘ARMY’ who allowed them to exist gained a distinct symbol and identity as an existence that faces ‘BTS’, likes ‘BTS’s other half.
‘BTS’ was just the English acronym for ‘방탄소년단,’ but now it holds the meaning of ‘Beyond the Scene.’ Now, I feel that that rather than being called ‘Bangtan,’ they will gradually, more frequently be called ‘BTS.’ It is not that they do not want to be called ‘방탄소년단’ anymore, rather it is that ‘BTS’ expresses their identity in a slightly better way. It is just like how IBM was previously an acronym for ‘International Business Machinery,’ but now everybody just calls them IBM.
his own label has been purposely holding him back and fucking him over for the past year. his mother was terminally ill for the majority of 2016 and just passed away 6 months ago. every single card he’s been dealt since the break started in late 2015 has been horrible and his own team has been sabotaging him and purposefully trying to devalue his image, his brand, and his fans’ loyalty to him.
he’s been reacting and surviving as best he can. what a slap in the face to use language like ‘getting his shit together’ to put the burden for everything he’s been forced to deal with on him rather than on the people responsible for holding him back.
Two years ago, Taylor pulled her entire library from Spotify after a dramatic “open letter” to Apple Music about valuing artists work and paying them for it. She didn’t care about herself, she claimed. It made no difference for her. She was valiantly taking on the Big Bads of the music industry like Jimmy Iovine for the sake of the little guy, the artist who relied on album sales to make a living.
What she wouldn’t tell you is that no artist makes money off of album sales if they’re signed to a label. Album sales are money for the label, not the artist. And no, money for the label does NOT mean money for the artist. What she wouldn’t tell you is that she underestimated the staying power of streaming just like almost every other major artist in the industry at the time. She underestimated Spotify and Daniel Ek like everyone else did.
This supposedly “woke” Taylor Swift, who proudly branded herself a feminist and penned manifestos about intellectual property and equal compensation unraveled faster than a rug with a loose thread from a discount bin in the charged political climate of 2016. And that was what she underestimated most of all– 2016’s ability to expose her. Because as much as she wanted to pretend like she’d had some sort of political awakening, she stayed silent in the face of a Trump v. Clinton face off. The reason for that isn’t difficult, her entire family are privileged white people who voted for Trump. She was smart enough to know that publicly aligning herself with someone so against her brand spanking new feminist image would be career suicide so instead she chose the route of silence.
Oh unless we’re not counting the ridiculous spat with Nicki Minaj where she came out looking truly disgusting and ignorant, where her white feminism was blatantly exposed. Or her run-in with Kim and Kanye where once again she exposed herself as a cold, calculating businesswoman instead of her darling best friend image she’d been working nearly her whole life to cultivate and shill. Or the train wreck known as Hiddleswift that was laughably see through even to people who don’t usually scream publicity stunt from the off.
And the combination of the two combined with an ill-timed hiatus has left a sour taste in a lot of mouths. She knows it, and still she chooses the drama play. She only knows how to deal in petty, backhanded headlines about girl spats and beefs and ex-boyfriends. She simply doesn’t have the chops to exist in this industry without using other people as her fodder.
It’s as transparent as freshly Windexed glass that she’s returning to Spotify because she can’t achieve a #1 without it. So much for the little guy. And look, if Taylor made no bones about herself I might be more inclined to respect it. As it is, I’m left remembering what Cristina Yang told Meredith Grey in the first season of Grey’s when she stole a first surgery assist out from underneath her: “You wanna be cutthroat, that’s fine. But don’t pretend you’re everyone’s best friend. At least I’m honest about it.”
I can tell you right here and now why Hogwarts don’t use pencils and instead use freaking quills (the worst writing implement I’ve ever held in my hand) and it’s all because of this British school bullroar called “brand image”
The reason we have uniform, out side of trying to avoid class privelage, is that we use our students as human billboards advertising our schools.
But schools don’t just sell an image. They also sell a mythology. Schools put loads of effort into cultivating a history for themselves. You end up with things like photos of trees framed on the wall. Trees! Sometimes as students you’re collectively required to do things which make no sense. I remember in primary school the ENTIRE school had to learn and perform an entire song and dance, and then perform it, in front of nobody. But that event can then be part of the school mythology and used to sell the brand image.
Hogwarts is a school of witcraft and wizardry. And God damn it, the teachers will force you to LARP as witches and wizards to the maximum if it will reinforce their brand image and make sure wizarding families dont start getting thoughts about Durmstrang.
Ameripan: We both could have sworn we mentioned our relationship at least once before but now it’s been like 3+ years and apparently none of our family or friends know so fuck
Itager: Come out. World: what do you mean your dating NOW what’s been going on the past 70 years?? Yes we know what did you think we thought??
USUK: Well Arthur started this confession while he was absolutely smashed by grabbing Al’s arse but Alfred’s hopping on this train and rollin with it with all he’s got
FrUk: France somehow informed 19 nations within 3.5 minutes of them initially getting together. Sent pics. Arthur is tearing his hair out and it has been 5 fuckin minutes Francis what the hell
PruCan: Gilbert with picture of his bf: SEE THIS FACE? Ingrain it into your heads and remember it or I will brand this image on your forehead ARE WE CLEAR? Canada: Ohmygosh! I’m so sorry, I hope this isn’t making anyone uncomfortable- DiD You JUsT MaKe A DiSSolVeD NATioN JokE HeLLo NauGhtY ChiDdrEn It’S MuRDeR TiMe
RoChu: The people close to them know but they’re very private otherwise because your sister is terrifying, Ivan. T. E. R. R. I. F. Y. I. N. G.
Spamano: Caught fucking on the conference table before a world meeting.
the only way a meme is immune to marketers is if its so esoteric that nobody outside of a small group of people will ever find it funny or so nasty/morbid that they dont want to touch it for fear of hurting their brand image.
From visionary Director Bong Joon Ho, this grand global adventure follows a friendship too big to ignore. Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja. Following her across continents, the coming-of-age comedy drama sees Mija’s horizons expand in a way one never would want for one’s children, coming up against the harsh realities of genetically modified food experimentation, globalization, eco-terrorism, and humanity’s obsession with image, brand and self-promotion.
Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ahn Seo-hyun, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Lily Collins, Steven Yeun, Giancarlo Esposito, Devon Bostick, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Choi Woo-shik
What are your thoughts on Maekar's killing of Baelor? My impression has always been that it was an accident but I've seen it argued that Maekar was aiming at Baelor's head to land a fatal blow because he was angry that Baelor took Dunk's side and because he was jealous of his brother and the glory heaped upon him and his sons.
…. that’s a thing? Because it’s pretty obvious that it was an accident. I don’t think GRRM could have made it any plainer if he tried. Unlike some plots where GRRM drops hints that something nefarious is going on or that he leaves completely ambiguous, he has given us all we need to determine that it was a mishap. Dunk, our POV of that period, believes that Maekar did not mean to kill Baelor, and the incident was marked repeatedly as a mishap by Maester Yandel in the World book.
From Maekar’s immediate reaction to slaying his brother to the reported effect this incident had on him, it’s quite obvious that Baelor’s death deeply affected Maekar. Yandel tells us that “it is written that Prince Maekar always bitterly regretted Baelor’s passing and marked its anniversary every year”, and reports that Maekar had grown stern after his brother’s death at his hand - growing stern being the same wording used to describe Viserys II’s response to Larra Rogare’s abandonment, denoting a trauma response. This is further supported by what Maester Aemon tells Sam of his father.
[Maester Aemon] tightened his grip on Sam’s arm. “I will be with my brothers soon. Some were bound to me by vows and some by blood, but they were all my brothers. And my father … he never thought the throne would pass to him, and yet it did. He used to say that was his punishment for the blow that slew his brother.
I pray he found the peace in death that he never knew in life. [..]”
This is a man who is haunted by his brother’s death and who has never stopped blaming and punishing himself for it; depressed to the point of having no peace and hating his throne because of how guilty he feels sitting in his brother’s place. Think of Jon Snow and his pained guilt at the idea of having Robb’s place and multiply it by a thousand in Maekar’s case. Actually let’s talk about Jon Snow’s dynamic with Robb and how it parallels Maekar’s with Baelor. Jon grew up in Robb’s shadow and was jealous of him but he also loved Robb deeply. This is Maekar’s dynamic with Baelor, I believe. It’s true that he was jealous of Baelor and resented that Baelor got all the recognition and credit while Maekar’s own accomplishments went unrecognized but his reaction to Baelor’s death speak of how he felt about his brother. Egg vouches for his father’s feelings towards his uncle and while his opinion isn’t the most objective, the kid isn’t a bad judge of character.
Jealousy and anger could be good incentives for murder but they are not in this case. Maekar punishes his sons in the wake of the trial and continues to beat himself up over it till the day he dies. Sending Aerion into exile in particular is huge for Maekar considering that he had pinned all his hopes on his second son after his heir Daeron disappointed him. Maekar trusts a lowly hedge knight with his son’s life and training in a way that parallels Baelor’s own trust and esteem for Ser Duncan. We’ve seen Maekar’s reaction to Baelor’s death at Ashford Meadow. A subdued man who struck me as someone who is trying to find any sense in what has happened.
He was resigned to the fact that he’d be accused of purposely killing his brother and needed to tell someone, anyone, he did not. The man we saw at the end of the Hedge Knight is weighed down by guilt and trying, in his own way, to make amends.
As for the part about Maekar aiming at Baelor’s head, note that this was in the midst of a huge fight where Maekar noticed that Dunk had his son pinned down… and was preparing to kill him for all Maekar knew. Dunk noted that Maekar was trying to reach Aerion but Baelor was holding him off. Considering the circumstances, I sincerely doubt Maekar had any time to register anything beyond needing to get past Baelor to save Aerion. He was outnumbered at one point when Lyonel Baratheon joined Baelor against him resulting in a mad trade of blows in which Maekar took three for every one he landed. It’s not at all surprising that Maekar had no memory of the blow that broke his brother’s skull in that mayhem.