In Asia, South Korean entertainment industry is taking the leadership in this market. It has influenced Chinese TV reality show market by exporting their program copyright. In recent years, not only programs from western world (such as The Voice of Holland and The X-factor) sold their copyright to China, but also South Korean shows. Another popular category of reality show which is adventure show is the strength of Korean reality shows.
There are two most famous shows called Running Man & Dad! Where Are We Going?. Both of them became phenomenal in the year they came out.
Dad! Where Are We Going? was a South Korean reality show invited five celebrity fathers and their children. They travel to rural places and go on camping missions. The main reason of Dad! Where Are We Going? being successful in China is their great localization strategy which could be from the similar culture background.
First of all, the theme of this program itself is strongly linked to ordinary Chinese audience. What will they do in the program? Dad should cook, dress their kids, coax children to sleep, take care of the children, boil water to make the child a bath, accompanied them do all the missions, two days one night, without mother, father and son, two people together. In Asian culture these are what mothers usually do, most of fathers know nothing about it. This is one of the most interesting part – seeing fathers having troubles deal with it, an great advantage of similar culture background.
Secondly, the great performance of fathers and children. These children are very cute, come from celebrity family, they are spoiled and used to wealthy lifestyle. The progress of them rediscover the world through the program is very attractive. Then, the resonance between fathers is also important. Seeing celebrities playing, arguing with their children like an ordinary father satisfied audience’s curiosity.
Running Man is also an adventure reality show but with 7 grow ups, concept focused on games and missions. With the same reason, Running Man Chinese version win because of localization.
From the cooperation perspective, first 5 episodes are based on the depth of cooperation between South Korean team and Chinese production team, and others are completed by Chinese team independently. In the first 5 episodes, South Korean team sent a master director to China, while there includes a director,a screenwriter, lighting staff, cameramen, sound recording staff, and producer so that Chines team can learn every detail and be able produce by themselves. The other episodes could have more local elements.
In conclusion, China and South Korea cultural are proximity geographically, there are favorable conditions for cooperation and the localization could be easier than the United States or Europe.