Destinations Asia

Psy makes a tourism ad for South Korea: Gangnam Style and beyond

Apr 26, 2013 6:01 am

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“Gangnam Style” was already an unofficial Korean tourism vehicle, so why not make it official? Tune in next month for the video clip.

— Jason Clampet

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The Korean Tourism Organisation has enrolled the help of South Korean pop star PSY, of Gangnam Style fame.

The Korean Tourism Organisation (KTO) will feature the singer in a new video series next month to promote tourism to South Korea.

The series titled “PSY’s Wiki Korea”, inspired by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has the South Korean rap artist highlighting some of the country’s major attractions, from samgyeopsal, a Korean pork belly barbecue, and the Jeju Olle trail, a walking path on Jeju Island off the country’s southwest coast, to Myeongdong, South Korea’s famed ‘shopping Mecca’.

The adverts incorporate three key themes that capture the “sentiment of Korean culture ”. They include Gi, a universal energy and sense of connectedness with the surrounding world, and Heung, an intrinsic sense of joy, as well as Jeong, a feeling of affection, attachment and consideration for others.

KTO’s new videos aim to “inspire a new generation of travellers” to visit South Korea.

The series will air next month across international media channels. KTO’s tourism brand director Jeon Hyo Sik hopes the videos will “attract worldwide attention” with the help of PSY’s global following.

The 35-year-old internet sensation exploded onto the international scene with the success of his song ‘Gangnam Style’, the video for which was the most viewed ever on the video-sharing website YouTube.

The song also drew interest in Seoul’s affluent Gangnam district which forms the backdrop of the video. Last year, the Seoul Tourism Organisation released a promotional video aiming to reveal the “the real Gangnam” and encourage tourism to the neighbourhood.

The upmarket district of Gangnam is a symbol of wealth and luxury in the capital city, from its stylish shops to modern complexes including the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a park, museum and art gallery designed by the British architect Zaha Hadid.

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