This writer was watching “Rocket Boys,” a popular series on SBS TV on June 7. The drama presented scenes of badminton team members taking group photo at Ttangkkeut (southern tip of the Korean Peninsula) Village in Haenam County, South Jeolla Province in the closing part of that episode. The moment I thought to myself that I wished to see the pitchers taken with their mobile phones there, a number of photos were uploaded on Instagram. They were posted on the Instagram account of Park Yoon-dam (Actor Son Sang-yeon), the coach for Haenam Seo Middle School and an Instagram addict in the show. When I witnessed posts uploaded soon after the scenes aired on TV, I thought as if there was a genuine character named “Yoon-dam” in the real world.
The posts looked as if they were actually written by Yoon-dam, which made the character sound all the more genuine. The same talking style of Yoon-dam, who using Jeolla provincial dialect in the show, was used in the posts, and photos of middle school students’ daily routines and scenery from countryside in the area are uploaded even at times when the show is not aired. As a fan of the drama writes a critical comment, saying “Ban Yoon-dam, how come you are not at school at this hour?” Yoon-dam replies “recess time,” sending laughter to fans.
“We hoped to make as if the middle school badminton team actually exits not just in the TV show, and thereby make fans more immersed in the show,” said a staff member of the SBS contents promotion team, who is managing Ban Yoon-dam’s Instagram account.
Social media posts that look as if they are managed by drama characters are helping TV dramas communicate more broadly and deeply with fans. Previously, watchers of soap operas would create fans’ accounts and uploaded still shots from the show. Now actors and producers are running social media channels by themselves to increase the intensity of communications with fans.