The poor management and orientation of SM Entertainment has caused Red Velvet fall short compared to BLACKPINK and TWICE
The Kpop “queen of concepts”
One of the major contributors to Red Velvet’s current popularity is none other than their variety in terms of concept and music. In fact, the group has always been praised for their ability to adapt to different images and versatile musical products.
Slowly but surely, the 5 members of Red Velvet earned the love of audiences through their unique concepts, which go from fairy-like, energetic, to creepy and dark. The group manages to renew their image each and every time – a thing rarely seen in the Kpop industry.
Just like their name Red Velvet, the girl group pursue two different colors, with “Red” representing liveliness, refreshingness, and youthfulness, and “Velvet” conveying bolder and more seductive vibes.
In their first few years, “Red Velvet” is well-known for the “Red” concept, with songs like “Happiness”, “Rookie”, and “Ice Cream Cake”. Their summer album “The Red Summer”, alongside the title “Red Flavor” basically hit the jackpot in Korea, and is now regarded as one of Korea’s legendary summer songs.
After the disbandment of SISTAR and f(x), the Kpop industry was in dire need for the next “summer queens”, and with “Red Flavor”, Red Velvet was almost crowned such a title.
However, later in their career, Red Velvet focuses more on the “Velvet” part of their name, with songs like “Peek A Boo”, “Bad Boy”, “Really Bad Boy”, and “Psycho”. Still, they still manage to strike a balance between “Red” and “Velvet”, and release “red” songs like “Power Up” in-between velvet comebacks. As a result, it’s impossible to get bored of this extraordinary girl group.
In 2019, the group proved their versatility once again with “Psycho”, their biggest hit as of date. The song was praised as Red Velvet’s most successful title track, with a unique melody and vocal color, alongside a distinctive concept.
Meanwhile, their latest song “Feel My Rhythm”, released in March 2022, brought a completely different image, with pastel tones and softer styling.
In addition, the MV for “Feel My Rhythm” can be considered a piece of art in itself, having recreated various iconic artworks, from Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s “The Swing”, to Claude Monet’s “Women with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son”
Why Red Velvet lost to BLACKPINK in terms of popularity
A netizen once published on the Korean online platform Nate a post that recounted Red Velvet’s concepts throughout 8 years of their careers.
However, this netizen also expressed their disappointment at the lack of orientation coming from SM Entertainment, which according to them, “wasted Red Velvet’s potential”.
It can be seen how actively and hard Red Velvet has worked by looking at the achievements that they have achieved. A statistic shows that Red Velvet’s album sales are in the Top 3 highest album sales records for K-pop girl groups. Topping the list is TWICE with 11 million copies sold, BLACKPINK in the #2 place with 4.5 million copies, and Red Velvet in the #3 place with 3.3 million copies.
Red Velvet is also considered a “national K-pop girl group1“. They are not inferior to BLACKPINK in any facet from talent, appearance, or music product quality.
However, Red Velvet is not as well-known as TWICE or BLACKPINK in the international field.
Under the aforementioned post, a netizen commented that despite regularly releasing new music products, Red Velvet’s promotion couldn’t reach its full success because they lack media promotion.
These “media promotion” includes YouTube advertising for MVs, participating in variety shows, and most importantly, SNS promotion. “Even Red Velvet’s fans are better at promoting the group than SM’s management company,” this netizen emphasized.
Another netizen commented that SM wasted Red Velvet’s potential because they only focused on the Korean and Japanese markets.
According to them, SM doesn’t help Red Velvet make much of an impact in the international markets outside of Asia, while BLACKPINK and TWICE are achieving more and more success in the Western field.
Red Velvet is doing well in terms of building an impressive image in the hearts of audiences with excellent music products. However, it’s really unfortunate that the group is not oriented to become a “global girl group” like BLACKPINK.