‘Squid Recreation’ and Okay-pop gasoline South Korean advertising and marketing push in Japan

South Korea’s rising international popular culture presence, from boy band BTS to the tv sequence Squid Recreation, is driving a brand new advertising and marketing push into Japan, as client items corporations leverage the nation’s smooth energy to drive gross sales of all the things from liquor to garments.

Hite Jinro, South Korea’s main beverage maker, stated this week it would launch new merchandise in Japan to draw youthful drinkers after its exports of the Korean firewater Soju shot up 27.2 per cent final yr to Won28.5bn ($23m).

The corporate stated a brand new era of Japanese drinkers was shopping for Soju due to the growing reputation of Korean movies and TV dramas that function the rice-distilled spirit, normally served in a small tumbler a bit bigger than a 2 ounce shot glass.

Hite Jinro launched a tv marketing campaign in Japan for its new glowing Soju with fruit flavours final week. The marketing campaign comes after the viral success of a Japanese commercial parodying Korean romance dramas that bought nearly 3.5mn views since December.

“We intention to guide the pattern of the Japanese liquor market with numerous advertising and marketing actions and elevated gross sales energy,” stated Hwang Jung-ho, head of Hite Jinro’s abroad enterprise operations, about taking a much bigger share of Japan’s $35bn alcohol market.

Japan has cycled by means of completely different waves of Korean popular culture mania. Korean corporations are making a renewed push into the nation as hopes for improved bilateral ties rise, in accordance with officers at state-run Korea Commerce-Funding Promotion Company (Kotra).

The company held an internet occasion on Wednesday to advise about 300 small and midsized Korean corporations fascinated about coming into Japan.

South Korea’s president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will take workplace on Could 10, has referred to as for a “future-oriented strategy” to bilateral ties, and plans to ship a delegation to Tokyo this week, marking the primary such go to in not less than 5 years.

In line with a latest survey of 327 teams by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Trade, two in 5 corporations anticipate bilateral relations to enhance whereas over half of them plan to extend commerce and funding with their Japanese counterparts.

“Japanese love of Okay-pop and Korean dramas appears to be growing their desire for Korean meals and different merchandise,” stated Baak Saang-joon, a professor on the Faculty of Worldwide Liberal Research at Waseda College in Tokyo. “We’re prone to see extra Korean corporations utilizing this for his or her advertising and marketing campaigns in Japan”.

Musinsa, South Korea’s fast-growing ecommerce clothes platform with greater than 10mn customers and Won2.3tn in gross merchandise worth, is eager to achieve a foothold in Japan. The corporate arrange a Japanese subsidiary final yr and is now in talks to take over Dholic, a rival specialised in promoting garments to younger Japanese customers.

“South Korea’s trend worn by Okay-pop idols is attracting extra curiosity in Japan,” stated a Musinsa official. “As Korea is more and more seen as a classy nation because of the recognition of its cultural content material, its trend can also be getting more and more common amongst younger Japanese.”

Musinsa is utilizing Korean actors reminiscent of Yoo Ah-in and Jung Ho-yeon, who starred within the hit Netflix sequence Hellbound and Squid Recreation, respectively, as its fashions in commercial campaigns. It plans to launch an internet business that includes Korean pop stars and celebrities this yr as a part of its Japan push.


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