Infinite x MTV K First Showcase

SNSD Hits US Media Bullseye with “Letterman” and “Live With Kelly” Appearances

SNSD Hits US Media Bullseye with “Letterman” and “Live With Kelly” Appearances

But Doomed to Fail Despite it All?

By Samantha Edussuriya | January 31, 2012

We called them one of the most significant K-pop acts of the 2000s for their marketing savvy, and now Girls’ Generation/SNSD is proving the truth of that with a carefully orchestrated and perfectly timed media rollout in the US.

Tonight, stay tuned for nine-member idol group to perform on the “Late Show with David Letterman” at 11:30pm EST. The famously curmudgeonly talk-show host softens noticeably around attractive women. But he’s also not exactly comfortably with anything “exotic” (i.e. far from his Midwestern roots) so we’re betting his bemused reaction to the Korean hotties will be a Youtube moment for the ages.

SM Town's Girls' Generation. Photo Credit: Nate

The following morning, US audiences will wake up to see SNSD on “Live with Kelly”  – an early-morning gabfest that’s the most watched daytime talk show in the US.

This is a one-two punch of unprecedented proportion, aimed directly at a mainstream American audience that is likely to have never heard of K-pop. Until now.

MTV K broke the news on January 25th, but the SNSD guest appearances already received wide coverage on respected US news outlets as varied as The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. 

The latter evaluates previous attempts by K-pop (and even other huge Asian acts like J-pop star Utada) to conquer the US market, that holy grail of music marketing, and compares current attempts by The Wonder Girls, Girls’ Generation, and 2NE1 to break through.

Interestingly, writer of the article in The Atlantic predicts that Wonder Girls will succeed on the strength of their Teen Nick show, 2NE1 “just started their U.S. push, so their stateside shelf life remains unknown,” while “Girls’ Generation, meanwhile, seem poised to repeat the mistakes of previous Asian artists” because they released “The Boys virtually void of promotion.”

Frankly, this conclusion makes no sense. The Boys was the best-selling album of 2011 in South Korea. Isn’t it more logical to wait until SNSD has a rock-solid K-pop fan base and a spectacularly successful album before embarking on a US media blitz?

Now that US media outlets are curious and audiences are primed to get to know the girls…we expect we’ll see promotion for The Boys (in special US market only packaging maybe?) on these shores very soon.

The Wonder Girls tested the water back in 2010 when they opened for The Jonas Brothers on tour. Perhaps these media appearances are preliminary steps and we’ll soon see Girls’ Generation paired up and touring with a US star? The Beiber is Canadian…but he’ll do.

Justin Beiber showing off his haircut to David Letterman, November 23, 2011. Photo: Getty

What’s next in K-pop? Read MTV Iggy’s K-POP FUTURECAST and match your predictions to ours!

Go back to the early years of…2010. Watch our interview with the freshly debuted Girls’ Generation

Return to Blog