Haru : An Unforgettable Day in Korea – Korea Tourism Organization campaign 2010

Earlier this fall, the KTO launched an “interactive” campaign to promote tourism in Korea, titled “Haru” (which means “one day” in Korean).

I had already noticed that campaigns promoting tourism in Korea (and in Seoul) usually featured popular Hallyu stars (비, 동방신기, 이병현, …), but I hadn’t seen this specific “interactive” kind of campaign before. It guess this creativity is due to the fact that Korea is eager to become a major tourism destination, competing with its powerful and attracting neighbours (Japan, and China).

Haru poster

KTO interactive campaign poster.

“Interactive” campaign, you said ?

So, how interactive is this campaign ?

The campaign consists in an approximately 24 minutes-long (basically one minute of movie equals one hour in the story, to make it 24 hours) “mini-drama” featuring some of the current top Hallyu names (singers and actors).

The story follows different characters, both in Seoul and in the Korean countryside. There’s the scenarist (played by LEE Da-Hae) with her actor boyfriend (played by U-know), who meets a young photographer (played by KIM Bum) on the train in the Korean countryside ; there’s also the two characters she is writing about – a great chef, and a fashion designer (played by PARK Si-Hoo and HAN Chae-young ) ; and there’s the idol group (BIGBANG, playing themselved) going to a entertain school children in the countryside after their school has closed.

While you watch the drama, there are times when you can click on the video, to make travel tips appear. These tips are about activities you can do while in Korea, Korean food, Korean cosmetics, music festivals, places to visit, fashion, cool places to hang out, shopping, things to do and see in the countryside…

When you click, a tag is saved, and the goal is for you to find the 24 tags in the movie. You can also create your own travel book once you have found at least 5 tags. Plus, you can create a “making-of” film featuring yourself among the 10 Korean stars featured in the campaign. And you can also download high quality wallpapers of the campaign, screensavers, …

The ultimate bonus is that you can enter a contest to win a trip to Korea, items from the stars and featured in the drama. AND, if you participate in the survey, you can win a SAMSUNG digital camera.

They didn’t lie when they said “interactive”.

HAN Chae-Young in Haru

HAN Chae-Young in Haru

A campaign aimed at a specific audience

I can’t help to think that this campaign is not really targetting people who have no special interest in Korea in order to make them interested, but is designed to attract people who have already been exposed to Korean entertainment and who would be more likely to be interested than people who have little knowledge about modern-day Korea.

Why do I think so ?

Well, first of all, the campaign is available in Chinese, Japanese and English languages only. And guess what ? Japanese and Chinese people represent a great part of tourists coming to Korea (as far as I know). And English-speaking people make the most part of Western people in Korea. While South-East Asian people are also potential tourists (thanks to the Hallyu), I guess they bring less money to Korea than, say, Japanese tourists. I remember seeing places in Seoul that were clearly targeted at Japanese tourists : shopkeepers could speak Japanese, there were things written in Japanese, ads featuring actors from Korean dramas that are very popular in Japan, …

Secondly, the campaign features Korean stars who can only be recognized by people who have at least some interest in Korean entertainment. For example, U-Know was a member of the extremely popular idol group DongBangShinKi – an idol group that was very popular in Japan. KIM Bum acted in a very popular drama in early 2009 – a drama that had a huge success all throughout Asia, and  even became one of the first dramas broadcasted on the first Internet platform offering legal viewing of Korean dramas in the USA. And I already talked about BIGBANG on this blog – currently one of the most popular, trend-setting idol group in Korea and Japan (and famous all over Asia and beyond).

Finally, thinks like Korean cosmetics or its fashion are not really widely known all around the world (at least as far as I know, please correct me if I’m wrong), but probably already have some success in Asia (I remember reading articles about “health tourism” in Korea – another interesting subject).

PARK Si-Hoo in Haru

PARK Si-Hoo in Haru

Interesting points about the campaign

Surprisingly, the campaign promotes both “urban” Korea, and the Korean countryside. Most young people interested in Korea probably mostly see it as an urban and modern country, and this campaign can make them aware of the hidden beauties of the whole country, not just its big cities. On the other hand, some Western people would probably see Korea through its cultural heritage, History, traditions, and the campaign can make them realize that Korea is also a modern and dynamic country.

The “drama” idea is really interesting, considering that dramas are a huge part of the Hallyu success. Again, people who are not familiar with Korean entertainment would probably not see this as a familiar point… but it sure rings a bell for any fan of K-entertainment !

Also, targetting this campaign at people who already have been in touch with something about Korea instead of people who haven’t is an interesting strategy. The KTO is not trying to “convert” new people to Korea, but is rather trying to work on its “fanbase”, by making them maybe more “addicted”, if you get what I mean…

And the interactivity of this campaign sure makes it stand out ! I don’t know much about other countries’ campaigns to promote tourism though … Got any campaign to share ?

I wonder if this campaign will make more people come and visit Korea …

Does it make you want to go there ?

 

BIGBANG's TOP in Haru

BIGBANG's TOP in Haru

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All pictures used in this article are owned by the Korea Tourism Organization. They are taken from the campaign website.

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October 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm Leave a comment

La marque “France”

Récemment, les média se faisaient l’écho du lancement du site France.fr. Connaissant déjà des sites similaires réalisés par d’autres pays dans le même état d’esprit, je suis donc immédiatement allée jeter un coup d’oeil à l’équivalent français. Las, dès le premier jour, et encore aujourd’hui, le site est indisponible, d’abord “victime de son succès” puis maintenant de sa “complexité” (dixit les messages sur le site) … !

Première leçon que j’en tire : ne pas utiliser de termes tels que “victime de son succès” dans une telle situation, car cela la rend plutôt risible (à voir les commentaires circulant sur Internet – et aussi ma première réaction !).

Ce flop a refroidi ma curiosité, ou du moins m’a déjà donné une mauvaise première opinion. Cela ne m’empêchera pas d’aller parcourir et observer ce site une fois qu’il sera enfin disponible (pas avant la mi-août apparemment).

En attendant ce jour, voici un petit aperçu de ce que j’ai pu observer de la marque France lors de mes séjours à l’étranger (Europe, États-Unis, Asie) et de mes diverses interactions avec des étrangers. Il ne s’agit que d’un échantillon d’expériences et non d’une présentation relativement exhaustive du sujet suite à une étude poussée.

Quelle image de la France ont donc les étrangers d’Europe, États-Unis et Asie ?

Alors que les français critiquent volontiers leur pays (j’ai parfois l’impression que nul n’est plus critique envers la France que les français…), et pensent parfois que le reste du monde en fait de même, il m’est apparu que l’image de la France est plutôt positive dans divers pays. Il s’agit d’une image cependant souvent “idéalisée” (à la manière des images d’épinal, ou du Paris d’Amélie Poulain) et loin de la réalité.

Une image gastronomique

Sans grande surprise (étant donné que je suppose que la France a beaucoup travaillé sur cet aspect de son image), la France est globalement reconnue pour sa gastronomie.

Vin, pain et fromage sont bien sûr les emblèmes de ce pays à ce niveau, que ce soit en Angleterre ou en Corée du Sud par exemple. Ce dernier pays a même créé des enseignes de “boulangerie-pâtisserie” (ou du moins qui tentent d’y ressembler tout en s’adaptant aux goûts locaux), très connues uniquement de ce côté-là de la planète à ma connaissance  (il s’agit de “Paris baguette” et “Tous les jours”).

La grande cuisine est aussi ambassadrice de la France à travers le monde, faisant rêver par son raffinement.

Un image “qualité de vie”

La France est populaire, en particulier en Europe, pour ses paysages divers et variés et sa douceur de vivre. Ce n’est pas pour rien que la France est l’une des grandes destinations touristiques pour les européens ! Sans parler des anglais et autres étrangers aisés achetant des maisons en France pour s’y installer en fin de carrière ou pour leur retraite.

Les français n’ont pas non plus d’image de bourreaux du travail, ce qui fait notamment rêver les asiatiques (dont les congés sont minimes).

Une image de luxe

Les japonais auxquels je racontais que, quand certains français pensaient “Japon”, ils pensaient (entre autres) “mode”, étaient très étonnés, étant donné que, dans leur esprit, ils associaient plutôt “mode” …à Paris et la France.

La France a en effet bien réussi à se donner une certaine image de mode et de luxe, à côté de son voisin Londonien lui aussi bien réputé dans ce domaine. Je ne suis plus surprise de voir des travaux français sur le marketing du luxe en Asie ou ailleurs : il semble que ce soit l’un des axes de la communication de la marque France dans le monde. Et cela marche, lorsque l’on voit par exemple des riches étrangers se presser dans des magasins hors de prix (avec personnel polyglotte) à Paris.

L’image de la mode française est liée à un certain raffinement spécifique qui la différencie des autres hautes nations de la mode (chacun son style).

Enfin, j’ai remarqué de nombreux magasins et enseignes portant des noms et/ou indications dans un français plus ou moins correct en Asie ; de même pour certaines collections vestimentaires (la chose est aussi – même encore plus – valable pour les indications en anglais). Ce phénomène se retrouve probablement inversé de notre côté, avec les indications asiatiques potentiellement incorrectes imprimées sur certains vêtements que l’on peut trouver en France… Des deux côtés, cela fait branché … et vendre.

Une image de culture

La France se veut un pays culturel, mais cette culture ne perce que de façon inégale autour du monde, concurrencée par la culture de masse nord-américaine (qui impose notamment ses quotas quand elle le peut).

Les films “de moeurs” français (“Mes amis, mes amours” m’a été cité par exemple) connaissent une diffusion relativement confidentielle, attirant principalement les passionnés de la France, tout comme les films d’auteur (“Amélie Poulain” est le plus connu, mais des films dont je n’avais jamais entendu parler ont apparemment parfois été diffusés dans des pays lointains). Certains films plus commerciaux (“Banlieue 13”, “Taxi”) sont parfois aussi diffusés et rencontrent une plus large audience, sans pour autant atteindre le succès de leurs homologues nords-américains ou locaux.

La littérature française est bien reconnue, autant par ses auteurs classiques que par des auteurs contemporains (Bernard Werber est populaire en Corée du Sud par exemple).

Paris est considérée par beaucoup comme LA ville de la culture.

Et enfin, la langue française est représentative de cette culture française. Beaucoup d’étrangers semblent apprécier les sonorités du français… mais probablement un moindre nombre arrive à la maîtriser à un niveau suffisant pour en apprécier toutes les subtilités.

Une image sportive … mitigée

Le football est probablement l’un des sports les plus populaires autour du globe. C’est ainsi que certains footballeurs français sont devenu très connus autant en Europe qu’en Asie, à l’image de Zinedine Zidane ou encore Thierry Henry (les deux noms que j’ai été surprise d’entendre souvent dans des bouches asiatiques quand mes interlocuteurs me savaient française).

Malheureusement, cette popularité braque aussi les projecteurs sur des événements moins flatteurs, comme … la fameuse “main de Thierry Henry”. Étant à ce moment-là en Corée-du-sud, je n’avais pas suivi l’affaire, mais les sud-coréens m’ont tout de suite demandé ce que j’en pensais (il faut savoir que les sud-coréens sont passionnés de football depuis la Coupe du Monde 2002 au moins) ! Cette affaire n’a pas irrémédiablement terni l’image de la France dans ce domaine, mais n’est pas non plus passée inaperçue… Je ne leur ai pas demandé s’ils avaient entendu parler de la grève des joueurs français au Mondial 2010, et si oui, ce qu’ils en pensaient…

Je ne sais pas trop ce qu’il en est pour les autres sports.

Une image de puissance historique

J’ai été dans des pays anciennement occupés par la France (Asie du sud-est). Dans ces pays, la France est encore présentée comme un pays dont ils se sont affranchis par la lutte, une puissance occidentale historique.

De l’autre côté de l’Atlantique par contre, de ce que j’ai expérimenté (le pays est tellement grande de toute façon que l’on y retrouve une quantité de points de vues), la France est vue comme l’un de ces pays constituant l’Europe qui s’agitent face à la puissance américaine. La France y est cependant considérée comme l’une de ces anciennes grandes puissances européennes historiques, ayant participé aux grandes découvertes, à la colonisation, etc. Mais elle n’est pas spécialement considérée comme une grande puissance actuelle (ce qui n’est effectivement pas le cas).

Au sein de l’Europe, … je ne sais pas trop, mais le patrimoine historique de la France intéresse.

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Ces points sont donc quelques points clés qui se dégagent de mes diverses expériences internationales, et ne sont donc pas fondés sur des études. Il s’agit plus d’un ressenti des rencontres et discussions que j’ai pu avoir.

Si vous avez eu d’autres ressentis suite à vos propres expériences internationales, n’hésitez pas à les partager dans les commentaires !

July 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm Leave a comment

Follow up : Taeyang’s SOLAR album launching campaign example, part 2

This is a quick follow-up of the previous article.

It seems the anticipation marketing campaign surrounding Taeyang’s SOLAR album release worked quite well :

– all the 30 000 deluxe edition copies have been sold

– the normal edition has been released

– the album has rather good rankings on online charts

– Taeyang has already ranked #1 on several music shows these past weeks (check his first win, I think, here).

Taeyang winning 1st spot...

– the new MV has been released : here (check here for the previous version). It was apparently met with more success than the 1st version…

– Taeyang is in full promotion mode : singing live often, and always getting cheering.

Picture from the new MV

So it seems quite safe to say this campaign was a success, mostly because  Taeyang delivered (it’s not the case for all the artists promoted this way in Korea – some don’t deliver, and since the anticipation is usually made to be really high, the downfall is even harder…). It is not a blasting success, with his single being played all the time everywhere for example, shooting Taeyang at a superstar status. Rather, it is a moderate success, and it’s what I tend to think the plan was.

Still, Taeyang remains quite special among Korean popular artists because he doesn’t try to follow the trend. Being successful while not following the trend is quite an achievement in a country like this ! This is the true success of this campaign.

Good job !

———–

2010/07/20 update :

I forgot to mention the fact that Taeyang’s album was very well received outside of Korea, as soon as it was released through iTunes stores, especially in Canada and the USA (for more details about that, check a recent interview here, and its translation in English here). It was met with success in South-Korea only after a while, whereas it was an instant success on these iTunes stores… Taeyang’s music seems to have an international appeal that several other Korean artists can only dream of. This makes him “someone to watch” I guess ! We’ll see how far this will lead him to.

But using an online marketing strategy to promote his new album sure was a clever move considering all this : there’s no better way to reach people all around the world ! And it’s been a great success so far (and keeps getting more attention and success).

———–

Another artist of the same company will soon release his come-back album. Se7en (the artist in question) is about to come back on the Korean music scene after a failed break-out in the US back in 2007 (after starting his career in Korea in 2003). He hasn’t released any new music since that time, which is the equivalent of being like dead for an entertainer in South-Korea !

The strategy built around his comeback is the same as for Taeyang’s album. The difference lies in the fact that Se7en has more experience and more albums released than Taeyang, so the expectations are probably not the same. And Se7en’s new music doesn’t seem to be the same kind as Taeyang’s…

The campaign : Se7en has a special teaser put on the entertainment company main page, as well as a special website for him. The titles of his album tracks have also been revealed not all at the same time. But there doesn’t seem to be a deluxe edition, and there is only one preview of just one song (not a minute-long preview of 7 songs).

I’m not going to focus on this campaign (except if something interesting about it comes up), but I just wanted to point out the similarity of the two campaigns, probably because both are artists of the same company.

Se7en teaser

July 16, 2010 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

“Anticipation” marketing in South-Korea – Taeyang’s SOLAR album launching campaign example

It seems that South-Korean advertisers are the kings of “anticipation” (or “teasing” ?) marketing.

After Hyundai’s “Shouting Korea” World Cup campaign (see here and here), that was launched gradually through teaser pictures and videos this past spring, summer kicks off strong with the following music campaign, promoting the first solo album (titled SOLAR) of singer Taeyang (from the group BigBang, featured in the Shouting Korea campaign).

Background

Let’s start by pointing out that Taeyang is a member of a very famous band. He had already released a solo “mini-album” (titled “HOT”) back in 2008. The mini-album was met with a huge success, as well as the two following digital singles released in 2009. The other members of the group also did some solo activities (more or less, depending on each member), and all of them were successful, benefiting from the group popularity and each member’s own style. So, we are talking here about how the first “full” album (11 songs, 13 for the deluxe edition) of an already famous singer (but mostly famous for his group activities, from the eyes of the general audience) was promoted. The launching campaign can’t be the same as the ones made to promote new groups to the audience (although there are similarities).

Since the singer is already known by a part of the audience, his public image is important. And, in Taeyang’s case, his public image is one of a nice, hard-working and sensible hot young man.

So, what was done to promote his new album ?

The promoting campaign

Well, Korean entertainment companies love to create anticipation, so this campaign was all about continuously building anticipation until the release of the album. And it was (and still is) mostly an online campaign.

– In early June, rumors started to spread about a potential upcoming release of a new album by Taeyang. The news was later confirmed by his company.

– Then, the company launched a special website, on which they revealed the title of a song each day, up until the whole album songlist got complete.

At the beginning...

– And they didn’t stop here ! Then, the same way, the company put a minute-long audio extract of a song each day for the last week, up until the release of the album (on July 1st). Fans loved that ! This was a good way to have a first taste of the music.

The complete tracklist...

– All the while, anticipation was built around the title track through the release of pictures (including through Twitter) taken on the set of the shooting of the music video, featuring his best friend and fellow group leader G-dragon, as well as the popular singer and actress from the same company Sandara Park (therefore grabbing the interest from both boys and girls).

– On D-Day, Taeyang performed three of his songs on a special stage.

He is now starting the “promotion” phase of the launching of his solo album : live performances, interviews, probably talk shows, etc… (he talks a little about all these here)

Not just an album…

But there is also another aspect about this campaign : what was released on July 1st was the digital version of the album (available on pretty much every Korean online music platform), as well as the limited (30 000 copies) “deluxe” edition – the normal edition will only be released on July 12th !

Again, here, it was all about anticipation ! The entertainment company even put a special pop-up online a day before the release to tell at about what time the album was going to be available in stores (starting at 0:00 AM for the online downloading, 9:30-10:00 AM for the deluxe edition, both online and offline), and when the music video would be released (in the evening, during the first performance) so that eager fans could plan on when to storm in the stores !

When and where to get the deluxe edition...

The result ? The deluxe edition went out of stock almost as soon as it was released ! Anticipation was so high that it seemed really difficult to get one’s hand on the precious package ! And the songs have also met a huge success on legal downloading platforms.

Let’s talk about this deluxe edition. It is a special packaging, quite pretty apparently, and it contains bonuses : 2 more songs, a special packaging (compared to the normal edition), a special limited T-shirt, a 68 color picture book, a special autographed picture and a YG Family (the entertainment company) card with a special number to get cool presents through the website (including a free coupon to have the title song as the backgroung music of your cyworld page) and opportunities to take part in events this summer.

Content of the deluxe edition, as presented by the company on the website...

From having seen several special packages of Korean CDs, I can tell you they can make really pretty and shiny packagings ! It sure tempts you ! No wonder fans, with all this anticipation, rushed on this deluxe edition !

We’ll see if the success will last on the long term, but right now, this marketing strategy proved to be a huge success !

Except for …

… the music video.

A Music video had also been released (after a behind-the-scenes teaser – again !), but was oddly taken off from the official channels soon afterwards... Was it because the response was not good enough (including a part of the fans who didn’t like it, some even asking for it to be remade !) ? When will it be aired again ? Will it be changed ? We’ll see… Anyway, it was neither a dancing video nor a “music drama” video.

But there is also some kind of controversy about the choice of the title track : since it is quite different from what is usually released these days in mainstream Korean music charts (mainly dance groups or solo ballads), it seems to be disturbing for a part of the Korean audience. Some fans write that others songs would have been better suited as the title song… which is something the entertainment company had anticipated since it had stated in its press releases that the choice of the title track was unusual but that it was the artist’s choice and that people would like it after listenning to it…

This makes following this campaign quite interesting : on one part it is really successful, but there are a few points (basically, things that are “unusual”) that could lessen the success of the overall campaign.

Creativity vs downloading

I guess this whole “teasing marketing” widely used in South-Korea is at least partially due to the fact that music files can always be found for illegal downloading online as soon as the album is released (and even before sometimes : cases of songs that had been leaked to the public before the official release already happened !). This happens for different reasons, one being because the Hallyu reached people from all around the world, who can’t all buy in Korea and who are glad to find songs from their favorites artists any way they can. Although this company has started to make its artists’ new songs available through worldwide iTunes stores (starting this spring with a digital single from one of Taeyang’s bandmate) – in order to prevent too much illegal downloading, or because they noticed the international audience and needs ? – most companies don’t do so.

South-Korea, a country with high-speed Internet connection, is a country where downloading seems “normal” for young people. Thats’ probably why music albums are usually sold in beautiful packages, and in several editions (normal, deluxe, revised, …). Creativity is used to offer something more than music, so that people will by CDs. Nowadays, the CD isn’t enough. Performances are also a great way to please the fans and make money.

Such a campaign aims at reducing the negative effects of illegal downloading, by creating the desire for the fans to buy the album (either deluxe or not) through great packaging and special content (the normal edition offers a smaller photobook and a family card too). But it also tries to reach to non-fans through performances, support from other famous artists, …

This kind of strategies work real fine in South-Korea (and it also seems to work well in Japan). It shows once more that Internet is a great tool to promote an artist. Who still thinks Internet is bad for music (after other successful examples of different kinds, like artists discovered through MySpace, or the success of the French My Major Company) ?

July 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm 1 comment

Korea and the world – culture and entertainment – the Hallyu – part 2 : development

This article is the second of the “Korea and the world – culture and entertainment – the Hallyu” series. The first part (about what the Hallyu is) can be found here.

This article is based on what I experienced, noticed and learned about the Hallyu, so it is only partial and somehow biased. Since it is still quite a new phenomenom (about 10 years-old), I haven’t found much thorough studies about it (but I warmly welcome any such work you might send me !). That’s why you are all welcome to contribute to this article through the comment section, in order to make it more complete..

In this article, I try to show how the Hallyu reached countries around the world on different levels.

In France (Europe)

The Hallyu mainly reached France through films. Since Europe is quite far from Asia – and quite different too,  and since the Korean community here is not as huge as it is in the USA, the Hallyu hasn’t really hit Europe strongly yet.

In France, a country in which cinema is important (it is an art), the Korean wave is a Cinema wave. It reached a peak in 2004-2005, with the success of PARK Chan-Wook’s “Old Boy” at the Cannes Film Festival. Still, Korean films are mostly enjoyed by movie-lovers and not the average Joe. It doesn’t help that Korean movies are mostly screened in big cities (sometimes only in Paris), and not always for a long time. The total of Korean films screened in French movie theaters, including co-productions, are : 6 in 2002, 9 in 2003, 10 in 2004, 11 in 2005, 6 in 2006, 7 in 2007, and 11 in 2008 (according to L’annuel du Cinéma 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009). So it seems that there was a second peak in 2008, but I’m not sure it stayed the same in 2009 (I feel like there were very few Korean films last year).

Number of Korean movies screened in France since 2002

It seems, from what I see, that these past years, Korean cinema mostly appeals to its fans and movie-fans, whereas it once succeeded in reaching a wider audience, in the first half of the 2000’s, with KIM Ki-duk’s movies, IM Kwon-Taek movies, and others, including PARK Chan-wook’s.

It seems that Korean cinema benefited from the interest of French people in Japanese films and culture. This Japanese trend is still on, and started in the 80’s (mainly thanks to the manga and anime Akira). The same people, attracted by Japan, were also usually attracted by Hong-Kong films too. And that’s probably how some Korean films started to gain interest from French moviegoers.

But the music part of the Hallyu doesn’t seem to have reached France (and Europe) that much yet (even though there seems to be more and more awareness about Korean music in several European countries). Most of the youngsters who know about it seem to be of Asian descent. But, thanks to Internet, it seems that there are more “non-ethnic-Asian” people starting to have interest into Korean pop music these past years. It still stays a minor movement, as it isn’t known at all at the national level, but it is there (Japanese music is more widely known, but is still not big enough to have Japanese songs played on national radio networks, so Korean music ….).

And Korean dramas (TV series) are only known by kpop fans, through Internet (at least in France).

If you are from any European country beside France and know about the Hallyu, please tell us about how the Hallyu reached your country.

In North-America (USA, Canada)

Contrary to France, it seems that the Hallyu reached North-America mostly through music (Kpop), and dramas. These past years especially, there’s been more and more signs of a possible big Korean wave hit in North-America : Korean singers trying to succeed in the USA (starting to have some success now in 2010, with concerts of the Wonder Girls and 2PM this spring, Rain winning an MTV award last week, …), Korean top actors and stars playing in US blockbusters with mid-success (LEE Byung-hyun, Rain), the launching of a website officially broadcasting Korean dramas subtitled in English since somewhere around 2008 (only for people in the US), …

Things are probably turning out like this because Korean artists have been trying to conquer the Western market through the USA (and not Europe), and also because of the Asian community in North-America.

If you are from North-America, please let me know more about how the Hallyu reached your country.

In Japan

The Hallyu hit the Japanese shores strongly right at the beginning of the phenomenom, mostly through dramas and music, and is still going quite strong.

Japan is actually (I think) the first country Korean artists seem to try to conquer when they want to expand overseas. Many of Korean top singers are also very famous in Japan, with even some, like BoA, almost considered as Japanese artists (since she’s been working in Japan for a long time, and released many songs in Japanese). I actually saw albums from BoA labelled as “J-pop” in some Japanese music stores … Some of these artists took Japanese names for their promotion in Japan (the most famous one being DongBanShinKi/Tohoshinki). Some new groups even started in Japan before Korea (CN Blue for example) !

It is interesting to notice that Korean artists adapt themselves to the country they try to conquer, by taking a local name for example, but mostly by promoting exclusive songs in Japanese (and not their Korean songs translated in Japanese, even though they also do that), making different music video adapted to the codes of the country, taking part in local shows, changing their fashion style, etc… And it works when they do that !

Still from the drama "IRIS"

About dramas, they are quite popular, and some are even intended to a Japanese audience too (not only Korean) from the very beginning. An example would be IRIS, broadcasted in Korea in late 2009 (while I was there), and that has just been broadcasted this spring in Japan (with new exclusive music, …). The trailer had been released with English subtitles from the very beginning (check it out here). It seems that the drama met quite a success in Japan too. But other dramas are popular in Japan, some being truly Korean, others being Korean version of famous Japanese manga (like the frenzy around Boys Over Flowers, the Korean version of Hana Yori Dango, a beloved manga, in early 2009) or Asian stories.

In China

It seems that Korean dramas and some big Korean singers and groups are very popular in China. A huge concert took place in China this past May, with several famous Korean singers, and it was sold-out very fast.

I don’t know much more about the Hallyu in China though, but it must be visible since the term “Hallyu” comes from Chinese journalists and since China was one of the first countries to be reached by the Korean wave in the late 90s, along with Japan.

If you are from China and would like to share with us about the Hallyu in your country, feel free to do so in the comment section.

In South-East Asia

It seems that pretty much every aspect of the Korean wave has reached south-east asian countries : music, dramas, and movies. I met youngsters fans of Korean singers in Vietnam and Thailand, and I know that youngsters in Malaysia and the Philipines are also huge fans of Hallyu stars and dramas. I also noticed ads using Korean popstars in SEA countries.

If you are from South-East Asia and would like to share with us about how the Hallyu reached your country, feel free to do so in the comment section.

Other countries

It seems (from the Hallyu international fan communities, the fan-subtitles for dramas, the subtitles for official programs of the Korean TV channel promoting Korea, …) that there are also people reached by the Hallyu in Middle-East countries, Europe (Spain, Russia, ..), Brazil, some other South-Amercian countries, and even Africa !! Now, it may still only be a really minor movement in each country, but it is still quite impressive !

If you are from one of these countries and know about the Hallyu, please share with us how it spread in your country through the comment section.

How did the Hallyu spread ?

Nothing really surprising in how the Hallyu spread around the world : it started in Asia, with its closest neighbours (Japan and China), then spread to South-East Asia, North America and Europe on different levels, and finally reached the rest of the world. Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken here.

The spread of the Hallyu in the world.

Knowing this, many Korean artists are learning Japanese, Chinese and/or English (when in a band, sometimes each member would specialize in one language). I guess Korean is not a global language…

Korean pop-culture got to be known first through Asian TV channels, International Film Festivals and Asian radio channels. But the Hallyu also started when the Internet started to become more widely used, so it also took advantage from that. Actually, nowadays, it’s mostly through Internet that the Hallyu reaches many countries (videos, communities, music, …). And it seems that the Korean entertainment industry knows quite well how to use Internet (no wonder since South-Korea is one of the top high-tech nations) and uses that knowledge to further spread the Hallyu worldwide.

Fasten your seatbelts everyone ~ a big Korean wave might hit you one of these days !

한류 화이팅 !!

The next article of this series will be about some key players of the Hallyu, and the one after should be about strategies using the Hallyu effect.



Creative Commons License
Korea and the world – culture and entertainment – the Hallyu – part 2 : development by Nathalie VELDHUIZEN is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at eyeswideopen21.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://eyeswideopen21.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/korea-and-the-world-culture-and-entertainment-the-hallyu-part-2-development/.

June 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm 3 comments

Marketing in Korea – Hyundai “Shouting Korea” World Cup campaign (part 2)

I already introduced you to the Hyundai “Shouting Korea” campaign for the Soccer World Cup 2010 here. Now that all the videos have been released, here’s a follow-up article.

Hyundai “Shouting Korea” full campaign

All these have been released one after the other throughout the whole month of May, 2010.

Teaser : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGax0ph6yKA

Campaign website : http://worldcup.hyundai.com/

Video #1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyzqBzjzmOQ

Video #2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FIbLQlEOeI

Video #3 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CrhyDa2sAE

Video #4 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LQ8jGE1fd4 > I think it’s the funnier one.

Video #5 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUBT9hjDmBA

“Learn the dance steps” video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrKSVJfR7RA

Music Video for the song : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0a8hllj6bg

There are also several “making-of” videos, in-front and behind-the-scenes pictures, and the song was performed at one World Cup concert in Seoul already.

http://cafe.naver.com/bjphone/918381

A few words

This whole campaign covers quite a wide range of goals : selling World Cup goods (like T-shirts), having people take part in contests, selling the digital single, … as well as promoting Hyundai’s corporate image and a cheering spirit for the National team. This kind of mix of different worlds (big car company, music, sports, national spirit) is not seen that often in France (I think). Usually, we try to focus on only a few goals, worlds, or concepts, in order not to get lost in too many objectives. Is that a cultural difference or something else ?

In addition, this campaign has been released in a packed time, with Buddha’s anniversary in late May and elections in early in June. This means that there’s a lot of activity and advertisement going on right now in Korea. And the FIFA World Cup is a huge event for Korean people since it enables their country to be represented on the International scene (in a better way than the usual one – conflict between the two Koreas). Therefore, there’s also been many advertisement campaigns released with a “World Cup” theme. Many idol music groups, among the most popular ones, have also released special songs for the World Cup this month.

This campaign is therefore not a brand new concept, but it still stands out because of some specificities.

http://blog.naver.com/lynn600?Redirect=Log&logNo=10086575332

Whereas the teaser video and pictures and the music video are common campaign material, the 5-videos-long story, as well as the “teaching the cheering dance steps” concept are different.

Korean singers sometimes tell a story through several music-videos for their songs, therefore offering something like a musical short movie. So, the 5-videos story concept is not really alien to the Korean audience, but quite new in this case, since these videos are not music videos, and not telling a drama story. This format creates anticipation and excitement. And no other company or idol group has done so for the World Cup so far, in Korea, so this format makes the campaign stand out from the rest.

Plus, in this technology-driven society that is South-Korea, Korean netizens (people looking for any piece of news regarding their stars – they can be really scarily fast to find out things and spread the word out) were here given something to work on (try and find out new pictures, etc…, guess what the next video was going to be about, etc…). This shows that this campaigns is really adapted to its target audience.

Choosing one of the top idol bands of the country and the National ice-skating queen, all acting their own public roles, makes sure that both male and female citizen of pretty much all ages could be touched or interested by this campaign. Where idol groups’ songs mainly appeal to teenagers, Hyundai “Shouting Korea” campaign has the capacity to appeal to almost every Korean citizen, and this is also why it particularly stands out.

http://blog.naver.com/r_pink_21?Redirect=Log&logNo=120107255051

Finally, the campaign clearly wants to involve its audience in the process, through the cheering dance, contests, concert, etc… This is a good way to get people interested. Surely enough, young people are already learning the dance steps, and we may get to see this cheering dance in South-Africa (if so, that would be a big proof of the huge success the campaign would have had). We already witnessed in the previous 2002 and 2006 World Cups the group-oriented cheerful cheering spirit of Korean supporters, so this part of the campaign (teaching the dance steps) is not odd at all (but it would sure be in France or in the USA), and quite new also. Another thing that make this campaign stand out.

So, it seems that this campaign really stands out and is interesting to take a look at. It is also a good way to see how to communicate effectively in South-Korea in terms of marketing and communications. If you have any further comment, remark or question about this campaign, please comment in the comment section below !

In France, two stores offer to pay back big plasma or LCD TV screens if the French team wins the World Cup …. (meaning that they do not have high hopes for the French team to succeed)… It’s another context (it’s much more common for the French team to take part in the FIFA World Cup than for the South-Korean team), another culture, another spirit …

May 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm 2 comments

Marketing in Korea – Hyundai “Shouting Korea”, with KIM Yuna and BIGBANG

The buzz

These past weeks, there’s been a “buzz” going on in Korea (especially in the Kpop World) :

– Hyundai company revealed different pictures on different days, featuring Korea pop-sensation group BIGBANG with the Nation’s little ice-skating queen, KIM Yuna (and “Commercial Queen”).

(source of both pictures : http://seoulbeats.com/2010/05/kim-yuna-in-cornrows/ )

A very good way to get the buzz started !!

From the red-colored clothes, I first guessed that it was probably about the upcoming Soccer World Cup (I know Korean people are crazy about Soccer – especially when it comes to cheering their National team). But why is it a campaign led by Hyundai ? I saw at the end of the video that Hyundai is an official partner of the 2010 World Cup …

The “Shouting Korea” campaign

– Now, one month before the start of the World Cup in South Africa, the “Shouting Project” website has been launched here.

One video has already been revealed to the public, and four more are supposed to be revealed up to the beginning of the World Cup, as well as a music video for the cheering song (1). The whole is supposed to tell a story.

Here’s the link to the video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyzqBzjzmOQ

Basically, in this video, the members of BIGBANG are trying to find a good way to cheer for their National Soccer team. They decide to create a song (since they are singers), and go out to find people with loud voices to shout with them.

It seems that the campaign’s purpose is to create a “cheering spirit” in Korea, through a World Cup cheering song (nothing new, since for at least the two past World Cups, Korea star singers have released World Cup Cheering songs, and other groups are planning to do so for the 2010 one), contest to win tickets to some World Cup plays, … and it’s a good way to promote Hyundai.

Anyway, put together KIM Yuna, who is known by pretty much every Korean citizen since she is so successfull on the International scene (2), and BIGBANG, one of the most popular and respected pop-idol Korean group these days (and also famous all accross Asian countries),  and you know you are facing a campaign aimed at the whole nation, and that relies on National Pride (through the success of Korean athletes, singers and companies at the International level) !!

I wonder how it will turn out … and what kind of benefits it will bring for Hyundai. We’ll see that later.

Sport marketing in Korea vs in France

What’s sure is that the World Cup is always seen as a good opportunity in Korea for making commercials, or releasing cheering songs sung by the country’s most popular singers. These days, many commercials are being released (or on their way to be) with a World Cup theme, and used to sell all kinds of products. The National spirit seems to be a good seller in Korea !

It’s interesting when we compare that to the situation in France : in France, people are only wondering about which players will be selected in the National team, and there is no national euphoria about the Soccer World Cup, and I didn’t see any ad using the World Cup theme yet (maybe I didn’t look hard enough). Why is that so ? Isn’t Soccer the #1 popular sport in France ?

I’ve seen commercials in 2002, when the French team was still the World Champion team, but not much afterwards … It seems that in France, sport only sells when our team is the winner. In Korea, sports sells as long as the country is represented on the International level (Olympic Games, Soccer World Cup, …), and even more when Koreans win.

What do you think ?

Anyway, I guess I will enjoy watching the Korean supporters during the World Cup. The 1st time I became aware of them was during the 2002 World Cup : they caught the hearts of several people around me too, for their genuine supporting spirit, euphoria and fair-play.

I guess I will cheer for the Korean team too, no matter how far or not they go, just because it’s fun and nice.

___________________

(1) : Source : http://www.mydaily.co.kr/news/read.html?newsid=201005111042591112&ext=na

(2) See the following article to learn more about the marketing surrounding KIM Yuna.

____________

May 14th update : the second video has been released (check it out here)

May 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm 2 comments

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