Applying Digital Technology to Korea's ‘Hallyu' Boom
Applying Digital Technology to Korea's ‘Hallyu' Boom
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  • 승인 2006.03.01 12:01
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IT Essay Digital Hallyu (V) The following is the fifth in a six-part series of articles on "Blue Ocean of Digital Hallyu (the Korean Wave)" contributed by Cho Yong-joon, Executive Director, Division of Public Relations & Project of the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunities and Promotion (KADO). _ ED. On May 12, LG Electronics held a seminar at the LG Center in Dubai with some 200 women from the upper classes of the Middle East country in attendance.
The main subject of the event, the fifth of its kind in Dubai since September 2004, was skincare. Like Samsung, LG Electronics has placed the focus of its marketing activities on encouraging women's social activities. If there is a difference between the two electronics makers, LG marketing is more homelike, friendly and smaller scale than Samsung. The main purpose of the Dubai seminar was to introduce "Soladom," a halogen light wave range of LG Electronics. Right after the seminar, two LG officials, who flew to Dubai from Korea, explained the differences between the new light wave range and the existing microwave oven and held actual cooking practice hours. Like this, LG marketing is chiefly a living adhesion-type, whereas Samsung marketing is an outdoor-type. It is natural for LG Electronics whose portion of white goods to total products is much higher than Samsung. The outstanding feature of the marketing activities of LG Electronics is high-quality kinship. For a good example, despite the threat from war, LG Electronics signed a sponsorship contract with the national football team of Iraq in Baghdad in Iraq in March 2004. Under the contract, LG Electronics should play a role of an official sponsor for the Iraqi national football team and the Olympic team for the coming two years, whereas the Iraqi Football Association should use the LG logo on all books and websites controlled by the association and Iraqi players should wear uniforms carrying the LG logo until March 2006. LG Electronics earned more-than expected effects from the $1 million sponsorship for the two years as the Iraqi team entered the ranks of the top four in the Athens Olympic Football Games. It goes without saying that LG enjoyed excellent sales in Iraq. But, the decision on LG's support for the Iraqi football team was not made so easily. Kim Ki-ho, executive director in charge of the Middle East and Asia of LG Electronics, said, "When the Iraqi national football team was suffering from a shortage of money to buy uniforms and balls, we sent 2,000 balls to the team. Later, we concluded a sponsorship contract with the Iraqi team when all Iraqi players, directors, association chairman, and LG officials clasped hands with each other and cried. Like that SK reminds us of a scholarship program, marketing activities should be carried out on a long-term basis like a cow." The "steady and long-lasting skinship like cow" has been well attested by LG Electronics' 10-year trade with its 90 local agents in the Middle East and 28-year trade with its local agents in Jordan. Besides, LG Electronics has held free operation programs for harelips and those suffering from cataracts in Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan. It has also organized the LG Cup Football Contest in the Middle East and Asian regions for 13 years, while holding "Africa Carnival" for residents in Kenya, Senegal, Mali, Ghana and other African countries. Like this, it is clear that LG Electronics stands in the vanguard of the "Digital Hallyu (the Korean Wave)" with its promotion activities adhesive to local residents. Kim suggested the direction of the Digital Hallyu, saying, "Advertisement may have short-term effects. Accordingly, we should acquire localization in globalization. If people in Korea need 'kimchi' refrigerators, those in the Middle East need refrigerators containing jujubes and coconuts. By doing these matters very well, we can achieve the per capita national income of $20,000." Then, what shall we do for successful Digital Hallyu fever The first step we should take is "digitalization of Hallyu." To ensure a more effective Hallyu boom, we need to manufacture and integrate various Hallyu phenomena and contents with online digital contents. In a nutshell, we should increase exports by processing Hallyu contents with advanced digital technology. It refers to the nation's exports of movies and music in a form of digital TV, mobile broadcasting, online game and MP3. It is closely linked with diversification of Hallyu contents supply channels through such new media as home network, telematics, digital media broadcasting (DMB) and mobile Internet. Related to this, some private enterprises are mulling over ways of building a contents distribution network (CDN), which can transmit Hallyu contents to foreign countries freely through the Internet. For instance, they are seeking ways to offer domestic contents for online video on demand (VOD) to Korea and Japan or Korea, the U.S. and Japan simultaneously through IP. In a similar example, Arirang TV concluded a contract with Nagoya TV of Japan on June 7 last year for free exchange of broadcasting video through a bilateral IP transmission system. Another urgent priority is construction of a single portal site representing Hallyu. For instance, we can attain great synergy effects by combining homepages of Korean stars that are now scattered separately according to entertainment planning companies. If we build a single site on which users can make easy access to all movements, photos and other materials of Hallyu stars by just making a login, we can find out Blue Ocean that will bring about new dimension of profits for us. As a second step, we should adopt a strategy to spread digital Hallyu. We need to convert the paradigm of the Korean economy through new platforms such as Korean-made digital technology, products and services, while spreading people's recognition of this. Although the 21st century is a century of technologies, including IT, BT and NT, it goes without saying that we cannot make a great success just with technology itself. In other words, we can succeed only when combining high technology and human touch. In particular, such a rule is well applied to the information and communication sector. In general, people do not want the IT as an accumulation body of a cold semiconductor chip. Rather, they want warm and friendly something they can communicate. Accordingly, it is very stupid to compete with rivals with only superiority of technology and products in the digital product, technology and service market (red ocean). The competitiveness of product is a basis. We need to add software, including package and symbolization work, to the basis. Buying a product means the selection of an image and a taste actually. For instance, Anycall in the overseas market is not a simple mobile phone, but a "cultural taste" called Samsung. Most Danish products carry a sign, "Design by Denmark," not "Made in Denmark." It indicates that Denmark boasts of being a design powerhouse in the world. In the same meaning, Samsung Electronics goods in some regions carry a mark of "Made in Korea by Samsung" or "Made in China by Samsung," placing more emphasis not on the manufactured place but on the company name Samsung. We can find the same reason from our preference of Sony products carrying a mark of "Made in Japan" in the past, rather than those carrying "Made in China" or "Made in the Philippines." As a means of spreading digital Hallyu, accordingly, we should speed up the national brand corporate image (CI) work. To let foreign consumers have a mind to experience nice digital environment or buy top-end Korean digital products by visiting Korea, we should provide them with something "cool."

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