Comparative Analysis of One Direction and Bts

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About this sample


Words: 1125 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Words: 1125|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Aug 6, 2021

Boy groups across the globe become successful in their own countries, but very few of them become successful worldwide. BTS and One Direction are prime examples of successful boy groups. Neither are from the US, but they have succeeded in becoming well known in the music industry. With the YouTube platform on their side, they’re able to upload their music videos to go viral and gain more international fans. BTS “Idol” and One Direction “Drag Me Down” are one of their most viewed music videos. Both have a similar beat and motivating song, yet the way they present their music videos is completely different. BTS and One Direction are both hugely successful boy groups with millions of views on their music videos. BTS “Idol” is the superior music video. It offers a more symbolic content, genre characteristics, and delivers the message of the song that correlates with the video. On the other hand, One Direction “Drag me down” has barely any symbolic content and the music video does not correlate to the song.

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Music represents art and the video is to help display it. Most music videos have symbolic content that correlates to the message of the song. Without the symbolic content, it is hard for the audience to identify the emotions and the problems that the artist is trying to convey. The music video “Idol” by BTS shows a variety of symbolism that shows the meaning and the problem that they face. For example, when there was an image of a rabbit on the moon. It's a reference to a famous Korean folktale, it symbolizes immortality. There is a saying that translates to “the more you are cursed at, the longer you will live” (Morin). BTS sees themselves as the rabbits and refers to the criticism they have faced since their debut. In the music video a shark makes an appearance and aggressively trying to attack the members as they dance in a glass box. But they are unaffected and keep singing “you can’t stop loving myself.” The shark is the haters and BTS is excited for them and what they have to say. As they sing “ursoo it’s awesome.” Also, when one of the BTS member Jimin was in a whirlpool of BTS members symbolizes that even though the mainstream media talks about BTS only as a set. He acknowledges his existence and that he is his own unique being, therefore, he loves himself. There is so much more symbolism in their music video. In contrast, the music video “Drag Me Down” by One Direction shows at least one symbolic content. When Harry was with a skinnier version of Baymax, he was teaching the robot how to move its fingers. It could symbolize that Harry was the one who stood by the robot and helped him, while no one else did. Throughout the whole music video, no symbolic content shows their audiences how they overcame negativity. It just showed off NASA's cool gadgets yet no relevant meaning that correlates with the message. Their focus should have been the art that correlates with the message, rather than being in the top 20 video countdowns.

Whenever we think about the genre characteristics of pop when it comes to boy groups; we think about the style, the dynamics, the performance, and the choreography. This creates the vibe of the song and music video. BTS “Idol” and One Direction “Drag Me Down both have similar genre characteristics. Both are upbeat and catchy; it makes you want to sing along. In contrast, BTS is a Pop/R&B style and follow those characteristics. As BTS has both rappers and vocalists, they create something interesting that makes it melodious and unique to One Direction. The beat of the song with the vocals makes you want to dance or learn their choreography. The music video consists of multicultural choreography where it was a mix African dance with Korean dance. The choreography fits perfectly well with the music videos and lyrics. While One Direction “Drag Me Down” is just a regular Pop style music video. The vocals of the members were not sufficed for me. They didn’t develop their style, and it didn’t help that they contained the same verses that repeated. Also, there was no choreography in the video just awkward jumping and hand movements.

Every song has a message that the artist wants to deliver to their audiences. Without a message or meaning, there is no song. The message of the song is a vital factor in music. Both BTS “Idol” and One direction “Drag Me Down” sends out great messages to their audiences and makes it relatable. BTS “Idol” caters to anyone, who is having problems loving themselves and being happy with who they are. The song is trying to convey you shouldn’t change who you are to please other people. Everyone tries to conform to society and leave behind their identity or persona. While, One Direction “Drag Me Down” also, caters to everyone. As a society, we are growing with and exposed to social media where anyone can utter negative remarks online, where there can be no consequences. Moreover, in real life, people must overcome negativity from people of any age. Their message is overcoming negativity. With the other person’s love, nobody can bring them down. Even though both songs acquire great meanings, they have different ways to express it. BTS “Idol” lyrics do depict their emotions and how they deal with their obstacles. For example, when Suga and RM raps:

They point fingers at me

But I don’t care at all

Whatever the reason for your criticism is

I know what I am

I know what I want

I never gon’ change. 

As the audience, we can understand how they deal with criticisms. BTS is truly unbothered by the criticisms that they encounter. They genuinely want their audience to not care about what people say and keep on living their life to the fullest. While One Direction “Drag Me Down” was extremely repetitive. The first and second verses were the same lyrics. Which didn’t help the audience to dive deeper into One Direction's story about overcoming negativity.

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The three major differences between BTS “Idol” and One Direction “Drag Me Down” was symbolic content, genre characteristics, and delivers the message of the song that correlates with the video. BTS “Idol” is superior. It offers a more symbolic content, genre characteristics, and delivers the message of the song that correlates with the video. The music video was the ideal form it all meets the requirements. In contrast to One Direction “Drag Me Down” offers barely any symbolic content, there was no correlation to the song and the video, and the delivery of the message was lacking. It didn’t help the audience understand what obstacle they faced nor how they dealt with it. 

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Comparative Analysis Of One Direction And BTS. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Comparative Analysis Of One Direction And BTS.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021,
Comparative Analysis Of One Direction And BTS. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
Comparative Analysis Of One Direction And BTS [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Aug 06 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from:
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