One of the most prominent traditions among K-pop fans is to have advertisements for their favorite idol on subways, buses, and important intersections, one of them being New York City’s Times Square. Unarguably one of the most important intersections in the world, Times Square is considered the cream of the crop for advertisement location choices. Normally, only established K-pop idols with sizable fandoms will have their advertisements at Times Square. These ads are usually done by Chinese fans, as they are extremely expensive.[s] But despite being a rookie with only 4 months into his debut, Kang Daniel had his first Times Square advertisement at Thomson Reuters during his birthday on December 10, 2017. It played throughout a whole week, and it was the result of fundraising from his Korean fans. The cost of the ad (around $30,000) and the fact that it was done by Korean fans were so rare that the event was covered by the Korean media several times.[s] It even prompted the US Embassy in Seoul to post a Tweet about it, showing that his impact was also felt by political authorities.[s]
During the first half of 2018, a mobile app called STARPASS started implementing a Times Square ad that would play every Friday of a month as a prize for the idol who won the most votes through the app. The same idol could be eligible for the voting every two months. Kang Daniel won this ad several times from 2018 (June, August, October, and December) to 2019 (February, April, June). All the ads were designed by his fans. In November 2019, Daniel won the Birthday Times Square ad from mobile app STARPLAY.
Among his biggest support events was the video played on Global Harbor Twin Tower in Shanghai. Organized by one of his biggest Chinese fandoms WannaDaniel China, the video-message “Happy Daniel Day” played at night on the buildings, creating fantastical images of Daniel in massive scale that could be seen from far away. The event was possible thanks to the funding of many Chinese fans to celebrate Daniel’s 23rd birthday on December 10, 2018. [Click to watch the amazing video]
More commonly, fans regularly put up ads all throughout subway stations in Korea to show their support. During Produce 101 and Wanna One’s 1-year anniversary, Daniel went to see fans’ subway ads in person.[s] During Daniel’s forced hiatus, Peachbomb placed a subway ad at Samsung Station from April 15 to May 14, 2019.[s] Fans naturally put up support messages while responsibly monitoring and cleaning up the area. More than 200 post-it messages were left by fans.[s] Due to the overwhelming support, Peachbomb took the initiative to send Daniel the messages. All the post-its were compiled in 3 binders and delivered to Daniel at his fansign. At his August 1 fansign, Daniel revealed he saw the subway ad in real life but nobody noticed him.