K-Pop Boyband BTS delivers a speech and performs for the 2021 U.N. General Assembly

(https://twitter.com/bts_bighit/status/1439939296761315328/photo/2 / Image from @BTS_bighit on Twitter)

This past Monday, K-Pop boyband BTS attended an event at the United Nations New York headquarters preceding the 76th annual U.N. general assembly meeting the next day. As an attempt to catch the attention and raise viewership from the 15 to 25 year old demographic around the world, South Korean President Moon Jae-In invited the 7 member group as designated youth envoys.

At the event, the group premiered a pre-recorded performance video of their song “Permission to Dance” which garnered one million live viewers and later garnered millions more. The video shows the members singing throughout the aisles of the assembly hall, dancing in the building’s lobby and gathering in a flash mob with backup dancers outside the U.N. headquarters.

K-Pop group BTS performing “Permission to Dance” at the U.N. New York Headquarters

After airing the pre-recorded video, BTS then delivered a live speech to their millions of fans streaming online and to assemblymen sat in the general assembly hall. Their speech, as youth envoys, centered around “the COVID generation”, struggles of today’s youth and the importance of working toward a sustainable future to combat climate change. One of the members, J-Hope, also mentions that the entire group is vaccinated which is important in influencing their fans to get vaccinated if they have not yet. This is the 3rd time the band has spoken for the annual U.N. annual General Assembly, the first time in 2018 in person and the 2nd in 2020 virtually.

BTS’ speech at an event preceding the 76th annual U.N. General Assembly

This appearance shows how world leaders are even understanding the power of influencers on Gen Z. A boyband attending, performing and speaking at an event for the United Nations seems almost silly and out of place but their presence did exactly what it was intended to do – get Generation Z talking and watching the events of the U.N. General assembly and to “reinvigorate interest” in the U.N.’s sustainable development goals. Without the importance of parasocial relationships and digital media, we might have never seen BTS sway their hips and sing to an upbeat pop melody in the same room world leaders discuss and decide the future of climate change and other important global topics.

CBS NEWS. “K-pop superstars BTS lend their voices to U.N.’s push for sustainable development” CBS NEWS, CBS news, 20 Sept. 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bts-united-nations-k-pop-stars-un-push-sdg-sustainable-development/

Vigdor, Neil. “BTS Took Center Stage at the U.N. Over One Million Fans Watched Live.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Sept. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/20/world/asia/bts-un-performance.html.


Food Network Picks Up ‘No Recipe Road Trip With the Try Guys’ as a Series

(Image from The Try Guys / https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/try-guys-no-recipe-road-trip-series-pickup-food-network-1235059984/)

Last week, Variety announced in an exclusive article that Discovery’s Food Network had picked up “No Recipe Road Trip With the Try Guys” for an additional five-episode order. An initial one-episode special was agreed upon back in February but has been expanded upon in this new agreement. The initial special and these five additional episodes will air as Season 1 with no official release date yet, but will most likely air on both the Food Network channel and the Discovery+ streaming service.

The show will follow The Try Guys, Zach Kornfeld, Keith Habersberger, Eugene Lee Yang, and Ned Fulmer, as these best friends and content creators travel across the U.S., taste new foods, and try to recreate them, modeling their popular youtube series, “Without a Recipe”. 

The Try Guys are a Youtube group that gained popularity at Buzzfeed in the mid-2010s, when the group of four co-workers began to create videos together, trying new things, for the internet media outlet. With a social media following of more than 13 million followers across social media platforms and racking up over 3 billion video views, the quartet decided to leave the company in June 2018 to start their own production company, 2nd Try

This deal between the traditional medium of television to feature an idea from a group that’s fame originally came from the Internet is a great example of media convergence. Fans of The Try Guys, who normally watch the creators on Youtube, now have the chance to watch the group on cable television. While this deal is exciting for the smaller production company, it also shows that larger, more established, traditional companies need help appealing to a younger audience and are partnering with several influencers who have come to fame through the Internet.

Spangler, Todd. “The Try Guys ‘NO Recipe Road Trip’ Picked up to Series at Food NETWORK (EXCLUSIVE).” Variety, Variety, 9 Sept. 2021, variety.com/2021/digital/news/try-guys-no-recipe-road-trip-series-pickup-food-network-1235059984/.