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Tourism promotion videos featuring Leenalchi back with more S. Korean cities

(Korea Tourism Organization)
(Korea Tourism Organization)
The eccentric yet addictive tourism promotional videos featuring Korean music act Leenalchi and the Ambiguous Dance Company are back -- with three more videos featuring other South Korean cities.

The latest videos, released by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) late Tuesday, introduce the picturesque seaside city of Gangneung; Andong, known for its traditional ambience; and the southwestern port city of Mokpo, with its rugged charm.

The three videos have together racked up more than 1 million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours, mirroring the popularity of the series featuring Leenalchi, a Korean band that produces songs inspired by traditional music, and the Ambiguous Dance Company, which showcases somewhat comical but eye-catching choreography.

The videos zoom in on both traditional tourism spots as well as venues that have appeared in popular Korean dramas and music videos.

The Gangneung piece, for instance, showcases the city's famous outdoor fish market as well as the Naksan Buddhist temple. It also shows the filming locations for K-pop superstar BTS' music video "Spring Day" and the sensational drama "Goblin" featuring heartthrob Gong Yoo.

"Consumers are very meticulous and pay attention to the smallest details," said Oh Chung-seop, the head of the brand marketing team at the state-run tourism organization.

"We are hoping that the series again goes viral as viewers pay attention to small, different details such as how many times the rabbit appears and whether its liver is okay and what kind of animals appear in the Gangneung video," he said, referring to the Leenalchi track that flows throughout the series.

Leenalchi, a seven-member band that calls itself an "alternative pop band," is one of the latest sensations in the Korean music scene, offering a different style of music compared with what people typically think of when it comes to music from Korea.

Inspired by the country's traditional music, "gugak," the band's four "pansori" vocalists showcase funky and modern versions of stories like "Sugungga," which centers on the folk tale of a turtle that sets out to get a rabbit's liver to help cure an ailing Dragon King.

The band's music, coupled with the Ambiguous Dance Company's choreography, whose dancers appear wearing goggles, colorful trainers and sleek tuxedos while showing off wacky and nonchalant moves, have quickly appealed to YouTube viewers.

As of Wednesday, Some 80 million viewers have watched the KTO's "Feel the Rhythm of Korea" series, which first debuted in late July with videos featuring the country's major cities Seoul, Busan and Jeonju. When including views from other platforms like Facebook and TikTok, combined views are estimated at over 200 million, according to the KTO.

At a time when overseas traveling is almost impossible, the series has even got Koreans fascinated with unique takes on cities they know well.

"It's the first promotional video on Busan not featuring Haeundae," one user said in a comment on YouTube, referring to the southeastern port city's landmark beach. The Busan video was instead filmed at Gwangalli, a lesser known beach among tourists.

The KTO said it does not yet have plans to produce additional videos featuring other cities.

An online challenge -- open to a global audience -- asking viewers to replicate the music and dance in the viral series is scheduled to launch in November, it added. (Yonhap)