Pledis Entertainment (home of K-pop superstars like After School, Orange Caramel, and Son Dam Bi) is preparing to debut a new 17-member boy band in January. And just like any discerning record label marketing a boy band, Pledis is making sure that their new act appeals to all kinds of teenage girls — from nerdy, stay-at-home geeks with no friends, to the pretty and popular Plastics who rule the school.
In the lead up to their debut, the band –imaginatively named Seventeen– will introduce themselves to the public by starring in a new series called Seventeen TV. A pair of vague teasers for the series have already been released online, and they depict two very different kinds of Seventeen stans. The first is a chubby, geeky type, hunched over her laptop in the dark and giggling to herself whilst inhaling an assortment of junk food, while the other shows two pretty angels casually tuning into the show from their cell phones over a cup of bubble tea at the mall.
Seventeen won’t just be targeting the nerds and Plastics at home in Korea, though. Their large number is so they can split up and promote in China and Japan as well, which Pledis hopes will give them a stranglehold over all the key Asian markets. It’s a similar strategy used by SM Entertainment for their band EXO, which is split into two halves –EXO-K and EXO-M– to promote separately in Korea and China.
Surprisingly, Seventeen isn’t actually the world’s largest pop group. Korean boy band A-Peace currently have 21 members, while Japanese girl group AKB48 have a whopping 91. Suddenly, Girls’ Generation don’t look so big anymore.