Client: VOGUE (US & UK)
The long-standing vision of K-pop as a blinged-out, ultra-slick fantasy world was created by three labels: YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and SM Entertainment. YG is renowned for maximalist visuals and a heavy, club-friendly sound devised by in-house writer-producer Teddy Park, the man behind some of K-pop’s biggest, hookiest hits. On Blackpink’s 2018 “Ddu-du Ddu-du” (“DDDD” for short), all these elements aligned to produce an irresistible pop package.
Success lay in the catchy titular refrain, the memorable finger-gun dance, and a gloriously excessive video, but also in Blackpink themselves as aspirational but emulatable, aesthetically fierce but not intimidating, killer onstage but adorable off it. The four-track EP, Square Up, would go platinum in South Korea, “DDDD” would reach gold in the U.S., becoming their first billion-view video, and “Kill This Love” would make them the first-ever Korean girl group to enter the U.K. singles chart.