5 Game-changing Korean Marketing Campaigns of 2012

5 Award-winning Korean Marketing Campaigns of 2012

 Recently, having to relearn all the SNS channels in China (Renren for facebook, Baidu for Google and 20 other channels), I am first-handedly experiencing the painful importance of localization when it comes to marketing. I remember reading a book written by the Director of Marketing at P&G Asia Pacific, a Korean woman named Kim JooYeon,who wrote, “To market, is not to sell, but to love your customer.” Just like how you would think of ways to please your love subject, she said that Marketers should focus on how to please their customers. So, here I compiled a list of 2012 Marketing Award winners in Korea, to gaze into how Korean Marketers are loving their customers.

time to vibrate

Time to Vibrate Campaign

ISANOX Smart V-motion Vibration Foundation

– Relatively late entrance into the vibrating foundation market
– 10+ products with similar features to compete with
– Needed a unique idea to interrupt the market

– Target women in their 20’s and 30’s who would rather skip a meal than their daily caffeine consumption
– “Standby Vibration Bell” is something that most coffee shops in Korea have. The idea is, you can order your drink and go sit and start your girl talk while the barista prepares your personalized drink. Your Standby Bell will vibrate once your drinks are ready, and you can go exchange this bell with your drink at the counter.

Delivery Medium:
– Leveraged lifestyle habit of caffeine consumption of their target consumers and their familiarity with the standby bell to launch their product and communicate their unique selling point – vibration.

It’s a cool idea – and advertising the product in association with coffee is a unique and smart way to get your “vibrating” selling point across. It also used their consumer insight very well because coffee and the standby bell is something that their target audience is familiar with and see on a daily basis. I think it’s less unique in a way that most if not all vibrating foundations are in fact circular-shaped. It would have been even more awesome if they had incorporated a coffee-based ingredient, for instance, coffee bean, into their foundation and further enhanced their campaign with the popular coffee chain they used as their sponsor, “De Chocolate.” Drink coffee, give some to your skin as well (like skinfood’s popular ad tagline), and with your vibrating foundation that looks like the Stanby Bell you see at your favorite coffee store.


 “And then, Canada spoke out to me” Campaign

Who: Korean Air

– Lack of knowledge about Canada among Koreans
– Canada is a less popular tourist destination

– Surveyed Koreans from 20-50 year olds that have already been to Canada or are planning a trip to Canada about some of the key words/ impressions they have when they think of “Canada.”

Result based on age:

20s: Country of sports and adventure

30s: Country of relaxation, tourism, and ideal for family camping

40s-50s: Country of romance and beautiful natural landscape

Delivery Medium:
– The overall campaign used print, SNS, online videos, and radio as touch points
– Utilized the result to use touching and inspiring narratives to share travel stories via radio. In specific, they connected user’s broad life-needs with their travel destination.

Example for 1000 island promotion on radio:
 Mr. Kim, in his 40s – “Other than talking about other couple’s kids… there’s really not much to talk about with my wife”

Back Ground Music: Across the Universe

Mr. Kim, in his 40s  – “And then, Canada spoke out to me”

Hostess: Heart Island built the castle for his wife. At Canada’s Thousand Island, there is a story to be heard. Korean Air has 12 flights weekly that flies to Canada – Korean Air

Host in English: Excellence in Flight – Korean Air

– Had a microsite (Canada.koreanair.com) and had a prize-winning campaign; Post a self-made video or a blog post about your trip to Canada, share it on SNS, and get a chance to win a vacation package to Canada
– Along with this campaign, a modern aircraft B777-200ER operated 5 times a week Korea ßà Canada (Toronto, Vancouver)

This is one of my favorite campaigns, not only because it portrays the hidden gems of Canada in a creative way, but also because it isn’t Korean government, Canadian government, a travel agency, but an airline company that initiated this campaign. It really shows that 21st century marketing is far more than direct product marketing, but building a lifestyle around your service. Also, I really appreciate how it was an integrated campaign that utilized multiple platforms to maximize their exposure. Their clean, sophisticated, and well executed visuals were also a great plus!

insight 1331781057

Smart-sharing Camera: “Insight” Campaign

Who: Samsung

Insight: Most people associate taking photos with seeing

Delivery Medium:
– Taught a group of blind students from “Hanbit Handicap School” and took them to Jeju island for a Photo retreat
– Concept was to create a Photo Exhibition that explores what your mind, “Inside” can see, hence “In+sight.” Students from Hanbit were encouraged to take photos of what they hear, feel, and touch. The campaigns main approach was to challenge the convention that one takes photos with their eyes.
– March 2012, at Cheongdam dong, Samsung held an exhibition “Insight” where photos taken by these students were displayed, along with the camera they used to take the very photo. On every artwork, there was a QR code, which upon scanning, will stream you a video that talks about the Photographer’s life story.

– This campaign is an excellent example of how a company can use CSR as their product marketing strategy. I also liked how the campaign incorporated a lifestyle component [going to an art gallery] to create an experience over a simple message. It was a very creative, out of the box way to market their brand and product that not only started conversations, created engagement, but most importantly increased their brand preference index from 30.8% to 42%.

lovepark lovepark

Love Parking Campaign

Who: Homeplus (similar to Loblaws) and Good Neighbors

Delivery Medium:
– Insight: You need to deposit 100won (10cents) to use the shopping cart at Homeplus. Most people forget to, or don’t bother to retrieve their 100won deposit. Idea was to use this to boost donation, awareness of the organization, and increase long term sponsorship
– Insight #2: Most people remember where they parked their car with the number on the wall or column nearby. They used these colums display simple profile of each African Children in need of sponsorship and replaced the parking lot number with the kids’ age. Below each poster, they placed a box for donation
– Only when the donation box is full, a QR code appears, in which you can scan to see where your donation is heading. It also leads you to the long-term sponsoring page

Result: 90% of the coins used for deposit were donated; long term sponsorship increased 30%

carfe carfe

Carfe Campaign

Who: Hyundai

– Car display requires large venue downtown which is costly, but only cater towards a small number of visitors (not very cost efficient)
– Lacked medium to communicate with 18-35 year old (gen Y), and female demographic [Target Audience for this new model]

Delivery Medium:
– Through brand collaboration with Coffee Bean, Hyundai displayed their cars in Coffee Bean’s branch at Sungnae
– Using the theme of Van Gogh, used car as a canvas to make art and created a unique experience for visitors to increase awareness of the new model amongst their target audience

– Increased sales by 200% within 3 months

– Juxtaposition of two objects that seem completely unrelated is something I’ve always admired and wanted to use for promotion. This campaign is a good example of the impact of juxtaposition. It was hard for me to understand how a person might go through with their purchase decision – did they have to go to a dealer nearby? Also, what if I wanted more information on the car? Regardless, as a cost efficient campaign, I really liked the collaborative aspect of it – I’m pretty sure Coffee Bean’s sales also increased drastically during this period, making it a WIN-WIN partnership.


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