e-Korean dramas
Illustration: Eparama Tuibenau

Mothers, Korean dramas and content on demand

“I love to watch Korean drama series and comedy shows on Internet at night without being bothered by anybody.”

Every week we talk to people as part of our McCann PULSE program. Every week I thought it might interest you to hear one of the more interesting quotes we pick up.

I should explain that McCann PULSE is an ongoing program to try to understand what people are interested in, what they are thinking and worrying about, what they want and what they fear. We use the material we gather along with extensive analysis of popular media content and by talking to everyday observers of change, to better understand what it might take to get people in Japan to become consumers of our clients' brands and services.

A couple of weeks ago we were talking to a bunch of regular mothers in their late 30s about life in general and we heard the comment above.

Since Japanese mothers are too busy doing housework and taking care of their kids after they come home, they don’t seem to feel they have any time to sit back and watch the TV shows they really care about in real time. Sure they have the TV on in the morning to get tips before they go out shopping. And they often have it on in the background during the day and evening. But that is not the same as "watching" the shows that really matter to them.

So they watch their important TV shows through movie sites to stay current. Although video sites, such as Youtube, tend to be regarded as a media popular among young people, the sites are becoming popular and familiar media for middle aged mothers as well.

We often forget how important "the right" television show is for many people. The concept of "designated viewing" or "TV as social homework" is well understood (well I hope you understand it). But what we often forget is that such shows play a major part in people's lives and is often what they plan everything else around.

A demand for specific media contents is still there but the way to reach the contents have changed considerably. Any media can be effective to all generations as far as it matches people’s lifestyles and it is useful in reaching their favorite contents.

For nearly a decade we have all known about, and maybe laughed at the potency of Korean dramas in reaching the hearts and minds of Japanese (and indeed many Asian) housewives. And certainly the time slot was a destination of real priority for a long while. Recently there has been talk that the dramas are losing popularity. But the above quote is maybe a clear indication of what is really happening. It's not the broadcast of the show that matters it's the totally dedicated following.

More on the role of media and it's roles in life to follow.