Cook Bang Syndrome

Kang Da-yon, Park Woon-tael승인2015.05.12l수정2015.05.22 02:11l338호 2면






 Have you ever heard of ‘'Cook Bang’' (Cooking Broadcast)? Cook Bang is a TV trend where shows cast celebrities, cooks, and ordinary people to make food and compete with each other before sitting down to eat their meals. The programs developed from ‘'Meok Bang’', a TV show that showed people eating different foods that was popular with Koreans. Today there are many shows that deal with both eating and cooking that generate interest with viewers and encourage people to try preparing recipes from the shows. Their recent rise in popularity with viewers is known as the Cook Bang syndrome.

▲ Three Meals a Day, The Great Korean Dishes, Please Deal with the Refrigerator, What to Eat Today?(clockwise) (Google)

‘'What to Eat Today?’', ‘'Three Meals a Day’', and ‘'Please Deal with the Refrigerator’' are some of the more popular shows today. ‘'What to Eat Today’' casts well known celebrities as their guest gourmet to generate interests from viewers. The show is known for not using specific measurements or terms but rather they prepare things by instinct so viewers can understand more easily. The dishes are also simple enough for viewers to follow and the show includes a ‘'Let’'s Learn’' section where expert shows diverse skills for cooking.

‘'Three Meals a Day’' is a show that invites celebrities to live in a farming area or fishing village for a certain period of time. The purpose of the program is to help viewers drop out from their busy daily lives and relax by watching it. The show’'s producer assigns a daily mission to the cast so they can get a sense of the hardship of rural living. The show is popular because it shows the wonderful cooking skills of each cast member and Cha Seung-won often surprises viewers.

Lastly, ‘'Please Deal with the Refrigerator’' deals with dishes that are made of our most commonly found ingredients and can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. This show is unlike the other programs because it does not introduce famous restaurants or dishes difficult to make that look unfamiliar. It highlights the eating habits of celebrities by giving viewers a look into their actual refrigerators. So what makes Cook Bang a success over other cooking programs? First of all, it deals with easy recipes that anyone can follow. Earlier cooking programs mainly handled dishes that were considered haute cuisine and only prepared for a special day. These dishes were hard to cook and the ingredients were difficult to get. On the other hand, Cook Bang shows handle simple recipes that anyone can prepare and the ingredients are common in our daily lives. This gains the sympathy from audiences and arouses a feeling of ‘'I can do this too’'.

Secondly, the lead characters in these shows are male celebrities who at first glance seem unfamiliar with cooking. In the past, the main hosts of most cooking programs were women. The image of these men cooking is awkward to audiences and as a result, attracts viewers who are less intimidated by the preparations.

The Dankook Herald (DKH) interviewed Kim Tae-yeon (Sophomore, School of Urban Planning and Real Estate) and Park Chae-young (Sophomore, Dept. of Polymer Engineering) to examine viewers’' opinion about Cook Bang. DKH asked about their favorite program. Kim said, “"I like ‘'Please Deal with the Refrigerator’' because the cooks use ingredients that are easily found in my home,”" and Park said, “"I prefer ‘'Three Meals a Day’' because I want to learn simple and easy recipes.”" Moreover, DKH asked how they thought Cook Bang gained its popularity. She stated, “"I think the program earned its popularity from housewives. They worry about what they should cook every day and the program solves this worry. In addition, with it, people could cook short and easy meals that have low likelihood to fail.”" Then, he mentioned, “"The program show recipes that viewers could easily follow. This aspect help encourage viewers to believe that they too can cook like that.

Furthermore, it shows various delicious meals that are made with ingredients easily found in our homes. Cook Bang is the most sought after programming content for both on-line and off-line shows. Due to its popularity, marketing in the food business has also changed. It has become a major method to show various types of recipes that in turn will sell materials to viewers at a reduced price. The CJ mall manages the ‘'Three Meals a Day Market’', which sells organically farmed goods with the TVN station.

Partnering a broadcasting program with a distribution channel is an optimal relationship which creates a synergy as reactions from consumers are important. Cook Bang programs show simple and easy to find food ingredients and recipes that are both quick to prepare and appetizing. This characteristic makes it a useful marketing source for a distribution channel that sells a variety of food. Food used to be viewed as something to simply fill up one’'s stomach. Though nowadays due o the recent popularity of Cook Bang shows, a new avenue for s to communicate with each other has developed through the se of simple and easy to prepare food.

Kang Da-yon, Park Woon-tae
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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