Posts tagged ‘campaign’

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 ?





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


October 30, 2010 at 3:56 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).


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

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 :

Campaign website :

Video #1 :

Video #2 :

Video #3 :

Video #4 : > I think it’s the funnier one.

Video #5 :

“Learn the dance steps” video :

Music Video for the song :

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.

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.

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.

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


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