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

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

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 ?





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


Entry filed under: Hallyu, Marketing/Campaigns, South Korea. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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