Sunday, March 11, 2012

Korean Stars Boost Korea brand at overseas

The Korean Wave has proven to be of tremendous help for exporters in finding new overseas markets and boosting shipments. Companies who hire popular stars like girl group Kara and actor Jang Keun-suk as their models are seeing their overseas sales rise dramatically.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry surveyed 300 companies in the service and manufacturing industries and found that 51.9 percent said their sales increased due to the Korean Wave, it said on Wednesday. Some 83 percent believed the spread of the Korean Wave has boosted the image of Korea and its products.

In the service industry, 87 percent of culture-related businesses were found to have benefited, followed by travel agencies (86 percent) and retailers (75 percent).

In manufacturing, food (45 percent), electronics (43 percent), cosmetics (36 percent), automobiles (28 percent) and clothing (23 percent) were found to have benefited strongly from the positive impact of the Korean Wave in overseas markets.

Food company Daesang hired girl group Kara in August last year to advertise its beverage drinking Hongcho, a kind of fermented apple vinegar. Sales of the product in Japan rose from a mere W1.4 billion in 2010 to W50 billion (US$1=W1,119) last year, a 35-fold increase.

Lotte Liquor turned to actor Jang Keun-suk to model for its traditional rice wine or makgeolli, and sales totaled 36 million bottles last year, twice the amount it had originally targeted.

The KCCI said, "The Korean Wave is not only helping our businesses enter foreign markets but also boosting domestic consumption by attracting foreign tourists. We need to expand the benefits to encompass fashion, medical services and other areas."

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