Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun are the top Hallyu stars of K-Drama today. Their career paths mimic each other’s, and that is why right now, at the apex of their respective careers, these two actors are quickly becoming rivals.
After their career jettisoned into worldwide success through dramas “My Love from the Star” and “The Heirs”, Kim Soo Hyun and Lee Min Ho are competing in a much bigger market, namely, China.
While other K-Drama stars are also gaining popularity, it seems that the wall of Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun will be difficult to overcome in the Chinese market.
For example, Kim Soo Hyun was recently cast as the spokesperson for Samsung in China, being the advertising model for all of Samsung smartphones as well as various appliances. This was a direct reaction to Lee Min Ho getting hired as the spokesperson for LG in China.
When Lee Min Ho was cast as the advertising model for KIA Motors in China, Kim Soo Hyun was cast as the model for Hyundai Motors in China. Whether they like it or not, they are constantly pitted against each other as competing companies pick one or the other for their models.
What is interesting is that although their career paths have not been similar, the way they became top Hallyu stars are very similar.
Lee Min Ho gained popularity in m the K-Drama scene through “Boys Over Flowers” and “City Hunter”, but it wasn’t until he was featured in the 2013 SBS drama “The Heirs” with another K-Drama star Park Shin Hye that he became the top star that he is.
Likewise, Kim Soo Hyun was very popular in the K-Drama scene, especially with his role as the King in “The Moon That Embraces The Sun”. However, his rise to international popularity can be traced back to the 2013 SBS drama “My Love from the Star”. He co-starred the drama with an equally famous K-Drama star, Jun Ji Hyun.
One K-Drama critic commented, “If the content of the drama doesn’t ring with the people that watch it, the stars in the drama won’t be as popular either. The m only way to gain popularity in the Asian market is to have content that is fresh and appealing. That’s why the stars of ‘The Heirs’ and ‘My Love from the Star’ are so popular right now. The synergy with other female stars who are already Hallyu stars definitely added to the cause, but it is because these shows were such runaway successes that Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun are enjoying the popularity right now in China.”
Both stars are maintaining their popularity by having fan meeting “tours” throughout Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Credit : KpopStarz