‘Squid Game’ and K-pop fuel South Korean marketing push in Japan

The growing presence of South Korea’s global pop culture, from the boys’ band BTS to the TV series Squid gameMotivates a new marketing boost for Japan, as consumer goods companies leverage the country’s soft power to drive sales of everything from liquor to clothing.

Hite Jinro, South Korea’s leading beverage maker, said this week that it will launch new products in Japan to attract younger drinkers after exporting Korean fire water Suju Rose 27.2% last year to Won28.5 billion ($ 23 million).

The company said a new generation of Japanese drinkers is acquiring suju because of the growing popularity of Korean movies and TV dramas featuring the distilled alcohol into rice, usually served in a small glass slightly larger than a 2-ounce whip glass.

Hite Jinro released a TV campaign in Japan for its shiny new Soju with fruit flavors last week. The campaign comes after the viral success of a Japanese parody commercial Korean romantic dramas that have garnered nearly 3.5 million views since December.

“We aim to lead the trend of the Japanese beverage market with various marketing activities and increasing sales force,” said Wang Yong-ho, head of Hite Jinro’s overseas business operations, taking a larger share of Japan’s $ 35 billion alcohol market.

Japan has cycled different waves of mania of Korean pop culture. Korean companies are making a renewed push for the country as hopes for improving bilateral ties are rising, according to officials at the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

The agency held an online event on Wednesday to advise about 300 small and medium-sized Korean companies interested in entering Japan.

South Korean President-elect Ion Suk-Yaul, who will take office on May 10, has called for a “future-oriented approach” to bilateral relations, and plans to send a delegation to Tokyo this week to mark such a first visit in at least five years.

According to a recent survey of 327 groups by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, two out of five companies expect bilateral relations to improve while more than half plan to increase trade and investment with their Japanese counterparts.

“It seems that Japanese love for K-Pop and Korean dramas is increasing their preference for Korean food and other products,” said Baak Saang-joon, a professor at the International School of Liberal Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo. “We will probably see more Korean companies use this for their marketing campaigns in Japan.”

Mussinsa, South Korea’s fastest growing e-commerce platform with more than 10 million users and Won2.3tn roughly a commodity, is looking to gain a foothold in Japan. The company set up a Japanese subsidiary last year and is now in talks to take over Dholic, a rival that specializes in selling clothes to young Japanese consumers.

“The fashion of South Korea worn by the K-Pop idols is attracting more interest in Japan,” said a Moussins official. “As Korea is increasingly perceived as a stylish country thanks to the popularity of its cultural content, its fashion is becoming increasingly popular among young Japanese.”

Musinsa uses Korean actors like Yu Ah-in and Jong Ho-yun, who starred in the successful Netflix series Full of hell and Squid game, Respectively, as its models in advertising campaigns. She plans to launch an online commercial featuring Korean pop stars and celebrities this year as part of her push in Japan.

‘Squid Game’ and K-pop fuel South Korean marketing push in Japan Source link ‘Squid Game’ and K-pop fuel South Korean marketing push in Japan

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