NewJeans’ “ETA” Music Video Finally Explained — Director Points Out Two Key Scenes

“Story about a ‘rumor’…”

On July 21, NewJeans dropped their new single “ETA,” one of the title tracks of their new EP Get Up. The song was accompanied by a cinematic music video, which has become a quintessential part of the group’s discography.

NewJeans in the “ETA” performance video | @HYBELABELS/YouTube

While their last music video, “Cool With You,” had a touch of a supernatural mystery, “ETA” flows like a thriller. The video starts with all five NewJeans members calling their friend Eva to tell her that her boyfriend is supposedly cheating. By the song’s end, viewers see Eva drive to a cliff’s edge, as a piece of her boyfriend’s shirt can be spotted hanging from the trunk.

Screengrab from the “ETA” music video | @HYBELABELS/YouTube

The music video immediately sparked discussions and debates about what the story depicted. A fan reached out to the director Shin Woo Seok on Instagram, asking for his original intention with the storyline, and surprisingly, he responded with a lengthy explanation.

Shin Woo Seok | @ernesto822/Instagram

The director explained that the video’s central message is how rumors spread in this modern society, where people have access to an unprecedented amount of information but hardly ever think of verifying what they come across.

| theqoo

Thank you so much for enjoying this music video. However, I don’t prefer explaining every little detail about my projects after I have finished them. So, it will be difficult for me to offer a specific explanation.So, staying within the limits of what I can say, with “ETA,” I wanted to portray a story  about “rumors.” In modern society, we all come across truths that we haven’t witnessed first-hand, and we need to determine the grounds to believe them. During that process, many truths become distorted and exaggerated. NewJeans, who happened to be delivering the rumor in the story, were also subject to these processes.

—Shin Woo Seok

Getting into the details of the music video, Shin pointed out two specific details that hold the key to the story. The first one is the discrepancy in the timeline. The time when Hanni makes the call and the time when Eva picks it up do not coincide. There is also a hair tie that is seen at the very beginning of the video in Eva’s car, which reappears almost near the end of the song again. So, initially, the viewers might think that all the events in the music video are happening simultaneously, but in reality, Eva has already murdered her boyfriend, and the music video shows her on her way to dispose of the body.

| theqoo

If you pay close attention to the timeline of this music video, you can see that the time when the woman driving the car picks up the phone, and the time when the NewJeans members make the call, do not match up. The hair band, which was placed next to the phone from the very beginning, does not make an appearance until after the story has begun to unfold. In fact, the woman has already murdered the man, and she is on her way to dispose of the body.

—Shin Woo Seok

The second detail that Shin talked about was the unreliability of the narrator, in this case, NewJeans. Though the girls tell their friend that her boyfriend is being unfaithful, the music video offers no explicit evidence of it. There are multiple scenes where the guy is kissing another girl, but it is made evident that all of them are a part of Eva’s imagination after she refuses to pick up her phone when the NewJeans members keep calling her.


The bottom line here, according to Shin, is to portray how invalidated information can spread with today’s advanced communication, and it can often lead to drastic consequences.

| theqoo

The music video didn’t show whether or not the man actually committed an immoral act. The kiss scene is only a delusion in the woman’s head that she begins to see after she refuses to pick up her phone.

We are exposed to too much information in this day and age. Yet, we don’t think to confirm the validity of this information before we share it with others.

Thank you once again for your interest in the music video.

—Shin Woo Seok

You can watch the full music video of “ETA” here: