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Psy promotes Korean tourism in new TV commercial

Psy became the new face of Korea tourism in a series of new TV commercials promoting Korean culture to a global audience.

The 15-second TV commercials started airing Monday on major TV networks in places with the highest numbers of visitors to Korea, such as Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, as well as global TV channels, including CNN, Discovery and National Geographic. The commercials are also available to watch on YouTube and Facebook. 
Psy films a public TV commercial promoting Korean tourism on April 6. The ad started airing Monday on major TV channels overseas. (Korea Tourism Organization)
Psy films a public TV commercial promoting Korean tourism on April 6. The ad started airing Monday on major TV channels overseas. (Korea Tourism Organization)

“Psy is a cultural icon now. No one has ever made such a huge impact as Psy,” said Lee Charm, CEO of The Korea Tourism Organization, at a press conference on the release of the commercials on Monday.

“We expect to see much exposure that Psy can bring to the new commercial,” said Lee.

Each of the six different episodes of the commercial features a unique concept of Korean culture and a scene that symbolizes the concept.

Psy clearly pronounces words that represent each concept and acts to depict the concept.

The concepts include banchan (Korean side dishes), cosmeroad (streets lined with major Korean cosmetic brands), Olle-gil (the walking trail in Jejudo Island), bulgeum (abbreviation for burning Friday, meaning T.G.I.F in English), Dongdaemun (a shopping district in northern Seoul) and samgyeopsal (pork belly meat, a Korean favorite).

“We teach Korean words that symbolize unique Korean culture. We hope the commercials enhance the image of Korea and increase the number of tourists to Korea in the coming summer,” said Park Chul-hyun, director of brand marketing at the KTO.

The KTO expects the Korean words Psy promotes in the commercial to eventually become iconic words that represent Korean culture, such as Italy’s pasta.

“Like pasta in Italy, I hope everyone in the world gets to know what samgyeopsal is and know that the best way to eat pork belly meat is how samgyeopsal is cooked (grilled),” Lee added.

Psy became the goodwill ambassador of the Korea Tourism Organization earlier this year and finished shooting the TV commercials in April.

The previous tourism promotional campaign was led by K-pop groups miss A and 2PM.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)
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