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Girls' Generation

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Girls' Generation
LG 시네마 3D TV 새 모델 ‘소녀시대’ 영입.jpg
Girls' Generation in January 2012
From left to right: Taeyeon, Hyoyeon, Seohyun, Sooyoung, Yoona, Jessica (former), Tiffany, Sunny and Yuri
Background information
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Genres
Years active 2007–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website girlsgeneration.smtown.com
Members
Past members Jessica
Korean name
Hangul 소녀시대
Hanja 少女時代
Revised Romanization Sonyeo Sidae
McCune–Reischauer Sonyŏ Sidae

Girls' Generation (Hangul: 소녀시대; So Nyeo Shi Dae), also known as SNSD, is a South Korean girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment. The group is composed of eight members: Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun. Girls' Generation officially debuted on August 5, 2007 with its debut single "Into the New World" and subsequently gained some attention with their self-titled debut album. However, it was not until 2009 that they rose to prominence with the single "Gee", which claimed the top spot on KBS's Music Bank for a record-breaking nine consecutive weeks and was named the most popular song of the 2000s decade by Melon.[1] The group solidified their place in the South Korean music industry with follow-up singles "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)", "Oh!", and "Run Devil Run" from late 2009 to early 2010.

In mid-2010, the group signed with Nayutawave Records (present-day EMI Records Japan) to embark upon the Japanese music scene. In April 2011, Girls' Generation's Japanese self-titled debut album was released, which peaked atop the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart and became the first album by a South Korean girl group to achieve a double Platinum certification by the RIAJ.[2] The group returned to the South Korean music scene in October 2011 with The Boys, which has sold over 457,000 copies in South Korea, becoming the best-selling album in the Gaon chart history since its launch in 2010.[3] During this time, the group also expanded their endeavor to the United States on signing with Interscope Records. In 2013, Girls' Generation's fourth Korean studio album titled I Got a Boy was released. The title track was subject to major attention from western media following its being awarded Video of the Year at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards.[4]

Girls' Generation has sold over 4.4 million albums and 30 digital singles as of 2012.[5] The group's immense popularity in its native South Korea has earned them numerous accolades, notably titles "The Nation's Singers" and "The Nation's Girl Group".[6] Girls' Generation is also regarded as the most popular K-pop girl group in Japan alongside Kara;[7] the group is the first South Korean girl group to have two number-one albums on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart.[8] Korean newspaper Asia Today placed the group at 45 on its 50 Korean Power Leaders list in 2011.[9]

Name

In Korea, the group is referred to as So Nyeo Shi Dae (Korean: 소녀시대). They are also known as SoShi (Korean: 소시) or SNSD, both abbreviated forms of the group's Korean-language name.[10] In Japan, the group is referred to as Shōjo Jidai (Japanese: 少女時代).[11] They are known as Shàonǚ Shídài (Chinese: 少女时代) in Chinese-speaking countries.[12]

History

2000–08: Formation and debut

Prior to the group's debut, some of the members had been involved in the entertainment industry. Yoona had gone through about 200 auditions for music videos, dramas and movies before becoming a singer for Girls' Generation.[13] Sooyoung was exposed to the Japanese music scene as a member of a pop duo named Route θ, which disbanded one year after its debut in 2002.[14][15]

The first member of the group to join S.M. Entertainment's training system was Jessica in 2000, after she and her sister, Krystal Jung, were scouted in a mall in South Korea during a family vacation.[16] That same year, members Sooyoung and Hyoyeon were cast into S.M.'s training system through the 2000 S.M. Open Audition, in which Hyoyeon danced for her audition. Yuri was the next Girls' Generation member to become an S.M. trainee after coming second in the 2001 S.M. Youth Best Dancer competition. Yoona was cast the following year through the 2002 S.M. Saturday Open Casting Audition, where she sang and danced to her favorite singers, BoA and Britney Spears.[17] Seohyun, the group's youngest member, was scouted in the subway by an S.M. scout; she then auditioned in 2003, singing children's songs.[18]

Girls' Generation performing at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand in 2008

The group's leader, Taeyeon, was cast in 2004 after winning first place in the S.M. Youth Singing Competition.[19][20] That same year, member Tiffany auditioned at S.M.'s Starlight Casting System in Los Angeles, and joined the company in October 2004.[21][22] The final member of the group to be added was Sunny, who had become an S.M. trainee in 1998 and trained for five years before moving to another company, Starworld. At Starworld, she trained to debut in a duo named Sugar, which ultimately never debuted. In 2007, on the recommendation of Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, Sunny moved back to S.M. Entertainment and became a member of Girls' Generation.[23]

In July 2007, Girls' Generation had their first stage performance on Mnet's School of Rock, where the group performed their first single, "Into the New World" (Korean: "다시 만난 세계").[24] On August 5, 2007, the group officially made their debut on SBS's Inkigayo, where they performed "Into the New World".[25] Girls' Generation subsequently released their self-titled debut studio album in November 2007, which was preceded by the singles "Girls' Generation" (Korean: "소녀시대")—a remake of Lee Seung-cheol's 1989 song, and "Kissing You". Girls' Generation became the 12th best-selling album of 2007 in South Korea, selling 56,804 copies.[26] The album has sold over 120,000 copies in the country as of 2009.[27] In March 2008, the album was re-released under the title Baby Baby.[28] The album was preceded by a single with the same name, which was released on digital music sites on March 17, 2008.[29]

2009–10: Breakthrough and Japanese debut

Girls' Generation performing "Genie" at the LG Mobile Worldcup in 2009
Girls' Generation at an LG event in 2010

In January 2009, Girls' Generation released "Gee" and its accompanying EP. The single topped Cyworld's hourly music chart on the first day of release and all other major digital music charts within two days.[30][31] "Gee" occupied the number-one position on KBS's Music Bank after a week of release and claimed the number-one spot for a record-breaking nine consecutive weeks.[32][33] The single also broke the record for the longest-running number-one song on Inkigayo (seven consecutive week),[34] and Mnet (eight consecutive weeks).[35] The EP, meanwhile, has sold over 100,000 copies.[27] In June, Girls' Generation released "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)" (Korean: "소원을 말해봐") and an EP with the same name.[36] Within a few days, the song topped the charts of ten South Korean digital music sites.[37] Meanwhile, the EP sold a record-breaking 50,000 copies within its first week of release.[38] In November 2009, S.M. Entertainment announced the group's first concert tour, Into The New World.[39] The tickets for the South Korean dates were sold out in three minutes.[40] The tour visited Seoul (South Korea) in December 2009,[41] Shanghai (China) in April 2010,[42] and Taipei (Taiwan) in October 2010.[43]

The group's second studio album, Oh!, was released in January 2010.[44] Oh! peaked atop the Gaon Album Chart on the chart issue dated January 24–30, 2010 and has since sold over 234,500 copies in South Korea.[3][45] The album was preceded by the title track, which reached number one on the Gaon Digital Chart.[46][47] The single became the second best-selling digital single of 2010 in South Korea, selling over 3.3 million copies.[48] In March 2010, Oh! was re-released under the title Run Devil Run.[49] The repackage charted atop the Gaon Album Chart on the week commencing March 21, 2010.[50] The repackage spawned one single, "Run Devil Run", which reached the top spot on the Gaon Digital Chart.[51][52] Oh! and Run Devil Run were commercial successes in South Korea, becoming the second and fourth best-selling album of 2010, respectively.[53]

In mid-2010, Girls' Generation signed with Universal Music Japan's sublabel Nayutawave Records (present-day EMI Records Japan) to debut in Japan.[54] They released New Beginning of Girls' Generation, a DVD featuring seven of the group's music videos and special bonus footage, on August 11.[55] The DVD debuted at number four on the Japanese Oricon DVD Chart on August 23, 2010;[56] in doing so, Girls' Generation became the first Korean girl group to earn a top-five DVD on the Oricon chart.[57] The DVD has sold 60,000 copies in Japan and was certified Gold by the RIAJ.[10][58] In September 2010, Girls' Generation released the Japanese version of "Genie" as their debut single in Japan.[10] The single peaked at number four on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart and was certified Platinum by the RIAJ.[59][60] One month later, the group released their second Japanese single, "Gee", which reached number two on the Oricon Singles Chart.[10] The track became Girls' Generation's most successful single in Japan, moving 207,000 copies and achieving a Million certification by the RIAJ.[61][62] Amidst their Japanese activities, they also participated in the SMTown Live '10 World Tour alongside their label-mates; the tour started on August 21 at Seoul Jamsil Olympic Stadium.[63]

In October 2010, Girls' Generation released their third EP, Hoot (Korean: 훗).[64] The EP charted at number one and two on the Gaon Album Chart and Oricon Album Chart, respectively.[59][65] It became the third highest-selling album of 2010 in South Korea.[53] The title track, "Hoot", is originally an English song titled "Bulletproof".[66] The song debuted atop the Gaon Digital Chart on the week commencing October 24, 2010.[67] At both the 2009 and 2010 Seoul Music Awards, the group won "Artist of the Year", becoming the fourth South Korean artist and the first girl group to win the category in two consecutive years.[68][69][70]

2011–12: Japanese success, The Boys, and international expansion

Girls' Generation at Visual Dream World Premiere Showcase, January 2011
Girls' Generation performing "The Boys" at 2012 LG Cinema 3D World Festival

Girls' Generation continued their success in Japan with the single "Mr. Taxi / Run Devil Run", released in April 2011. The single peaked at number two on the Oricon Singles Chart and was certified Gold by the RIAJ.[71][72]

In June, the group released their debut Japanese studio album, Girls' Generation.[73] To promote the album, Girls' Generation embarked on The 1st Japan Arena Tour, which started in Osaka on May 31, 2011.[73][74] The album was met with tremendous success in Japan, peaking atop the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart and became the first album by a foreign girl group to top the Oricon chart.[75] Within its first month of release, Girls' Generation sold 500,000 copies and earned a double Platinum certification by the RIAJ, becoming the first album by a South Korean girl group and the third album by a non-Japanese act to do so.[2][76] The album became the fifth and fifteenth best-selling album in Japan in 2011 in 2012 respectively, with total sales figures of 871,097 copies.[77] A repackaged version titled The Boys was released in December 2011 and peaked at number five on the Oricon Albums Chart.[59] In May 2012, Girls' Generation was certified Million by the RIAJ, denoting shipments of one million copies in the country.[78] A month later, the group won Album of the Year at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[79]

Girls' Generation's third Korean studio album, The Boys, was released in October 2011.[80] The album was released in the United States on Interscope Records, marking Girls' Generation's debut album in the country.[81] To help The Boys connect with audiences worldwide, the group performed on Late Show with David Letterman on January 31 and Live! with Kelly on February 1; the group became the first Korean act has to appear on each of these shows.[82] They also performed on the French show Le Grand Journal on February 9.[83] The album became a success in South Korea, peaking atop the Gaon Album Chart on the week commencing October 16, 2011.[84] The release ultimately became South Korean highest-selling album of 2011, with 385,348 copies sold.[85] As of 2014, The Boys has sold 457,122 copies in South Korea, becoming the best-selling album in the Gaon Chart history since its launch in 2010.[3] The lead single, "The Boys", peaked atop the Gaon Digital Chart and sold over 3.03 million copies in 2011.[86][87] In the United States, the single managed to sell over 21,000 digital downloads.[20]

In June 2012, Girls' Generation released their fourth Japanese single, "Paparazzi". The single reached number two on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart and achieved was certified Gold by the RIAJ.[59][88] According to SoundScan Japan, the single sold 103,000 copies within its first month of release.[61] Three months later, the group issued their fifth Japanese single "Oh! / All My Love Is for You", which was their first number-one single on the Oricon Singles Chart and achieved Gold certification by the RIAJ.[59][89] Girls' Generation released a second Japanese album, Girls & Peace, in November. It sold 116,963 copies within its first week of release and peaked at number two on Oricon Weekly Albums Chart.[90] It was certified Platinum by the RIAJ and became the 41st best-selling album of 2012 in Japan with 141,259 copies sold.[91][92] The album was further preceded by a single named "Flower Power".[93]

2012–14: I Got a Boy and worldwide recognition

In December 2012, Girls' Generation released "Dancing Queen"—a remake of British singer Duffy's "Mercy" (2008) as the lead single from their then-upcoming 2013 Korean studio album.[94] On New Year's Day of 2013, the group released their fourth Korean studio album titled I Got a Boy.[95] On the same day, the group held a special television program, Girls' Generation's Romantic Fantasy.[96] The album peaked atop the Gaon Album Chart and Billboard‍ '​s World Albums Chart.[97][98] The title track, "I Got a Boy" claimed the number-one position on the Billboard‍ '​s Korea K-Pop Hot 100 and the Gaon Digital Chart.[99] It sold 1,354,672 downloads in 2013, becoming the 11th best-selling digital single of 2013 in South Korea.[100] Its accompanying music video received the award for Video of the Year at the inaugural YouTube Music Awards in 2013, which was subject to major attention from U.S. media.[4][101][102]

Girls' Generation performing "I Got a Boy" at the 2014 Seoul Music Awards
Girls' Generation performing "Mr.Mr." at M Countdown, 2014

In February 2013, Girls' Generation embarked on the Girls & Peace: 2nd Japan Tour, which started in Kobe on February 9.[103] The DVD release was published in September 2013 and topped the Oricon DVD Chart, selling 53,256 copies within its first week of release.[104] From June 2013 to February 2014, the group held their first world tour, Girls' Generation World Tour Girls & Peace, performing ten concerts in seven Asian countries.[105][106]

Girls' Generation released their first remix album, Best Selection Non Stop Mix, in March,[107] and a live album, 2011 Girls' Generation Tour, in April.[108] The former charted at number six on the Oricon Albums Chart,[59] while the latter peaked atop the Gaon Album Chart.[109] In December, Girls' Generation released their third Japanese studio album, Love & Peace.[110] The album debuted at number one on the Oricon Albums Chart, selling more than 129,000 copies.[111] It was certified Gold by the RIAJ for shipments of over 100,000 copies.[112] The album spawned two singles: "Love & Girls" and "Galaxy Supernova". The former charted at number four, while the latter charted at number three on the Oricon Singles Chart.[59]

In February 2014, Girls' Generation released their fourth EP, Mr.Mr.[113] It debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart.[114] The EP was the fifth highest-selling album of 2014 in South Korea, with 163,209 copies sold as of the end of the year.[115] The album debuted at number 110 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, selling over 3,000 copies.[116] The title track, "Mr.Mr.", charted atop the Gaon Digital Chart and sold 906,962 in 2014, becoming the year's 46th best-selling digital single in South Korea.[117][118]

In July 2014, the group released their first Japanese greatest hits album, The Best. The album is composed of the group's previous singles as well as a few new tracks: "Indestructible", "Divine", and "Chain Reaction". The release topped the Oricon Albums Chart for two consecutive weeks and has sold over 175,000 copies in Japan.[119][120] With The Best claiming the top spot of the Oricon Albums Chart, Girls' Generation became the first non-Japanese female group in Asia to have three number-one albums on the chart.[121] During the same month, they also completed their third concert tour in Japan, Love & Peace. Commencing in Fukuoka in April 2014, the group performed 17 times in seven Japanese cities including Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. With three Japanese concert tours since 2011, Girls' Generation attracted a cumulative total of 550,000 spectators, setting the record for a K-pop girl group.[122]

On September 30, 2014, member Jessica announced that she had been dismissed from the group. S.M. Entertainment confirmed this and stated that Jessica was no longer a member of Girls' Generation due to constant conflicts between the group's and Jessica's schedules. Girls' Generation continues to promote as an eight-member group while Jessica remains under S.M. Entertainment as a solo artist.[123] The remaining eight members proceeded with the group's activities and held The Best Live concert at Tokyo Dome on December 9, 2014, which sold out and attracted 50,000 spectators.[124] The concert disc was released in April 2015, topping both Oricon's DVD and Blu-ray weekly chart simultaneously.[125]

2015–present

In March 2015, Girls' Generation announced their first release as an eight-member group—a Japanese single titled "Catch Me If You Can".[126] The Korean version was released worldwide on April 10,[127] while the Japanese version was released in Japan on April 22, 2015.[128] It peaked at number 8 on the Oricon Singles Chart and number 19 on the Gaon Digital Chart.[59][129]

Subgroup

Main article: Girls' Generation-TTS

In April 2012, S.M. Entertainment formed a subgroup of Girls' Generation named TTS (also known as TaeTiSeo), which is composed of three members: Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. In May 2012, the subunit released their debut EP, Twinkle.[130] The trio released their second EP, Holler, in September 2014.[131]

Artistry

Musical style

See also: K-pop
"Gee" is a bubblegum pop and electropop song that is widely recognized as a K-pop classic.[132][133]

The group's 2013 single "I Got a Boy" is described as an eclectic mix of various genres including electropop and drum and bass.[134]

Problems playing these files? See media help.

Girls' Generation's music is predominantly bubblegum pop and electropop.[94][132] The group's early singles such as "Gee" and "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)" (2009) are predominantly bubblegum pop songs;[135] the former also features techno and hip hop elements.[132] Their 2011 single release "The Boys" departed for a more "mature" style from the group's previous emphasis on "cutesy" themes.[136] The self-titled album includes uptempo dance tracks "with a straight pop radio feel."[137]

In 2012, Girls' Generation released "Dancing Queen"—a remake of British singer Duffy's "Mercy" (2008). The song features a "funky pop" production, as opposed to the group's signature electropop sound.[94] Their 2013 single "I Got a Boy" was noted for its eclectic musical style, utilizing various genres ranging from bubblegum pop, electropop and drum and bass to pop-rap, EDM and dubstep.[134][138][139] Jeff Benjamin from Billboard lauded the song as "one of the most-forward thinking lead pop singles heard in any country."[134] Both singles' parent album, I Got a Boy (2013), combines elements from a wide range of genre such as 1980s new wave, EDM, classic and contemporary R&B.[140]

Girls' Generation's 2014 EP Mr.Mr. incorporates "exciting" R&B sounds with "cool, simple" melodies.[141] AllMusic's Heather Phares also noted inspirations of EDM, hip hop, traditional K-pop sound and late-1980s Europop on the EP, which she labelled "a set of songs that offers something for every kind of Girls' Generation and expands their musical reach."[142]

Lyrics

Lyrically, the group explores female empowerment, evident in songs like "Hoot" and "The Boys."[66][143] The first member to participate in the creation of the group's work was Yuri, who co-wrote the R&B-inspired song "Mistake" (내 잘못이죠) from the group's third EP Hoot.[144] The group extended more control with Tiffany and Sooyoung co-writing "The Boys," and "How Great Is Your Love" on the group's third Korean album, The Boys, respectively.[145][need quotation to verify]

Public image

The group's image has been a major role in their rise in popularity. In the early years of their career, the group wore relatively no makeup and dressed more conservatively. The song "Kissing You" had the girls use lollipops as a prop during performances.[146][need quotation to verify] During promotions for their 2009 single "Gee", the group dressed in jeans and plain-white shirts, highlighting the "purity" of the group and the song.[147][need quotation to verify] When promoting the "Oh!" single in January 2010, the group used a cheerleader concept.[148] The group left behind their 'pure' image, opting for a more mature image during the promotions for "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)". Their costumes, based on marine uniforms, had short shorts that highlighting their legs.[149] The choreography was designed around their legs and became popular in Korea as the "Jegichagi dance" (제기차기 춤) and the "Leg-beauty dance" (각선미 춤).[150] For 2010's "Hoot", the group's image was based on Bond Girls.[148][151] Earlier that year, whilst gearing up for promotion for "Run Devil Run", the group was noted for using a much darker, sexy image, nicknamed "Black SoShi".[152][153] In 2011, the group returned to Korea with "The Boys", which used a "heroine" image, with members choosing their own outfits, emphasizing each of the members' own tastes.[151] When creating choreography, the group works with Rino Nakasone Razalan.[154][155] During the promotions of I Got a Boy, the group opted to the use of flat shoes instead of their trademark heels in order to perform the choreography correctly.[156][157]

John Seabrook from The New Yorker described Girls' Generation as "a group of preppy-looking young women in skinny trousers. When they wear hot pants, it's to display the gams, not the glutes."[158] New York Magazine stated that the music itself is not the decisive factor in the popularity of K-pop as a whole, and Girls' Generation in particular, but, rather, the that the public likes the groups based on its members' looks and their personality, radiating a "humility" and friendliness to each and one of the fans.[159] Kevin Perry from the British music publication NME wrote: "Girls' Generation also have a massive nine members, which is indicative of the way the efficient K-pop machine can favour choreographed style over individual personalities."[160]

Impact and legacy

Following their debut in 2007, Girls' Generation has become a prominent figure in both South Korean culture and music, with music critics noting the group as being a representative figure of South Korean culture.[161] The group is credited as playing a major role in the Hallyu Movement,[162] and have been compared to fellow K-Pop singer Seo Taiji due to their contributions to Korean culture.[163][164] Their immense popularity has led the group to earn the titles "The Nation's Singers" (Korean: 국민가수) and "The Nation's Girl Group"[6] Following the disbandment of the original Korean idol girl groups S.E.S. and Fin.K.L in 2002, the Korean music industry experienced an influx of male idol groups such as TVXQ! and Super Junior, however upon the group's debut with songs such as "Into the New World" and "Kissing You", they were credited for shifting focus back to female groups.[165] In 2011, the group was chosen by Tyler Brûlé as the seventh most recognizable Korean culture figure, being the only musical and non-object act to make the list.[166] The group's fashion has been described as "chic" and "mature", becoming immensely popular among young women across Asia.[167] With many dubbing the group as "fashion icons".[168] In Japanese textbooks, the group serves as the main feature in the K-pop section of the book.[169]

Girls' Generation has consistently gained fans over the years.

The group gained significant popularity at the start of 2009 with the release of "Gee", the single was named 'Single of the Decade' and broke the record on KBS' Music Bank for the most consecutive wins in a row.[170] The single is regarded as one of the first K-Pop songs to gain international attention, students at Harvard University in the United States highlighted the song as part of their study on Korean culture, with some performing the song's famous choreography.[171] Their popularity has also translated into economic success. They are regarded as the most sought-out advertiser in South Korea.[172] Marketers named the group as the model with the most influence over consumers, attributing the group's positive attention from the public to their vocals, looks, and fashion sense.[173] In 2011 the group generated $57 million from Japanese releases.[174] And a further USD$88.56 million in South Korea.[175] In September 2010, Japanese business magazine Nikkei Business suggested the group's international expansion and success was the musical equivalent to Samsung.[176] The Institute for Industrial Policy Studies also named the group as one of South Korea's super brands.[177]

Their popularity in their native Korea has led the group to be named among the most powerful and influential people in the country. The Sisa Journal named the group as the most influential entertainers for the years 2011 and 2012, making them the first female idol group in history to make the list.[178] BBC's Asia Today placed the group at forty-four on the 50 Korean Power Leaders list in 2011, being the only idol group and entertainers on the list.[9] Since 2007, Girls' Generation has also been consistently ranked in the top 5 of Gallup Korea's "Artist of the Year". They topped the list from 2009-2011.[179][180] The group also topped Forbes's Korea Power Celebrity 40 in 2011, 2012 and 2014, placing second in 2010 and 2013.[181][182][183][184]

In five years the group has earned several major Korean music awards to their name, including five Daesang awards. They won the Disk Daesang for Oh! in 2010 at the Golden Disk Awards. They won the Digital Daesang in 2009 at the same show for "Gee".[185][186] They won the latter award again in 2011 for "The Boys".[187] They are among the best-selling artists in South Korea, with over 30 million digital singles and 4.4 million albums sold in less than five years of their debut.[188] Their 2011 album, The Boys set a record as the best selling, non-repackaged album in the Gaon Chart's history.[189] And they sold over 100,000 copies for each of their six Korean releases, making them the first female group in the South Korean music industry to do so in over six years. The group's success is not limited to South Korea, their debut Japanese album Girls' Generation is certified 'Million' by the RIAJ, denoting a million copies shipped across Japan, and is the highest selling album by a Korean group in Oricon history.[190]

The legendary South Korean Lee Sun Hee picked Girls' Generation as her favorite girl group.[191]

Endorsements

Girls' Generation at an LG event performing "Chocolate Love"—a promotional song for LG's Chocolate phone

During their early career, Girls' Generation were endorsers for several brands such as Elite Uniform,[192] Nexon Bubble Fighter,[193] Samsung, LG,[194] Italian sports brand, Ellesse,[195] and Goobne Chicken.[194] Goobne Chicken has since become a strong contender in the chicken industry and attribute their success to the group.[196] They also endorsed clothing brands, online games,[197] food industries,[198] events, electronics, cosmetics,[199] and even products reserved for the top celebrities to endorse such as petroleum and credit cards. The group was one of the most sought-out endorsers in 2009[200] and by mid-2009 the group members were models for over 10 brands and were chosen as one of South Korea's most sought after advertisers in a survey conducted by Brand Consulting Research Institute.[172] In late 2010, a gift certificate company began releasing gift certificates each worth 10,000 won which featured Girls' Generation images on the cards, making them the first celebrities to be featured as such.[201] A survey conducted in December 2010 saw 409 out of 741 marketing employees choosing Girls' Generation as the model with the most influence over consumers.[173]

In 2012, Girls' Generation as a group placed first as the celebrity with the most CFs. The members, combined, were models to a total of 21 different brands including chicken, perfume, jewelry, handbags, TVs, beds, and department stores while Jessica & Yoona were tied for 2nd place for Individually CFs by participating in 13 different CFs, Tiffany was in the 3rd place with 12 CFs and Seohyun, Sooyoung and Yuri in 4th place with 11 CFs.[202]

Philanthropy

Girls' Generation held a donation campaign on February 4, 2010 with music site Lunchbox for the "Music Dream" campaign. Three percent of the purchase price was donated to the Korean Make-A-Wish Foundation. A portion of the revenue from their Japanese single "Mr. Taxi / Run Devil Run", released April 27, 2011, was donated to Japan's Red Cross in order to provide assistance for the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[203] The group also donated signed handbags that were auctioned off.[204]

On August 9, 2011, they, and their label mates f(x) and SHINee, took part in an effort to help African children. The groups were joined by the United Nation's Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in the "Help African Children" project co-organized by the Korean Red Cross Society and the Korean UNICEF committee.[205] During the year, Seohyun was appointed as UNICEF envoy.

Girls' Generation were selected as honorary ambassadors for Korea's "Visit Korea 2010 – 2012" campaign, headed by South Korea's First Lady, Kim Yoon-ok. The campaign was an effort by the Korean government to attract at least 10 million foreign visitors to the country by the end of 2012, with the group spearheading the initiative due to their emerging worldwide popularity at the time.[206]

The group, along with Super Junior, appeared on a special episode of KBS's Love Request broadcast on September 17, 2011, where they invited an 11-year-old Cambodian girl with a heart problem and a blind boy to fly to Korea to receive treatment, as well as a young girl from Korea who had lived in a hotel with her widowed mother her entire life. The two groups also participated in a blood drive at the KBS Hall. During the 85-minute broadcast, over 32 million won (US$29,000) was raised.[207] In the same month, Woongjin Coway held a "Beautiful Auction" event at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo with Girls' Generation on September 27, 2011 to help women who are neglected. They auctioned their outfits and accessories which they wore in their CFs to raise funds for the charity.[208]

On March 5, 2012, representatives of Gangnam-gu in Seoul released a statement stating that the Girls' Generation would be the honorary ambassadors for the city of starting on March 7, 2012.

In April 2012, the Korean Association Against Blindness announced that the group would be the official face of their movement.[209] On August 17, 2012, it was revealed that Girls' Generation's outfits are sent to philanthropic organizations and are put up for auction. The money is then donated to a good cause.[210] That same week, the Korean Post announced that profits of the group's official stamps would be donated to Merry Year, a charity.[211] Girls' Generation donated eight tons of rice to help those who are in need. It was revealed that the rice donations made by the group on December 5, 2012, was able to help 66,400 people in need.[212][213] On December 17, 2012, Tiffany was appointed as the honorary ambassador for Global Hope, which is listed as a non-profit corporation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and aims to build a hopeful community by digging up talents and encouraging leadership across six countries.[214]

Girls' Generation donated group merchandise and several personal items to the 'Star Donation Event', where their items were auctioned off for charity. Over three million South Korean Won (over US$3,000) was raised and donated to the Holt Children's Center.[215]

Discography

Tours

Filmography

See also

References

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