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Korean Winter Olympics video gets icy reception

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Hyolin from K-pop girl band SISTAR appears in a promotional video for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea / Courtesy of YouTube
Hyolin from K-pop girl band SISTAR appears in a promotional video for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea / Courtesy of YouTube

By Hong Dam-young


A promotional video for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea has been branded "poor" and "embarrassing."

The video, "ARARI, YO," has been in hot water with many Koreans who say its quality is "so tacky that it does not live up to the name value of the global event."

Korea was selected in 2011 to host the event in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province.

The video features Hyolin from K-pop girl band SISTAR singing the event's theme song, "Arariyo" -- a Korean folk song -- with comedians Kim Jun-hyun and Jung Sung-ho. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released it on Sept. 29.

The video shows people dancing non-stop, conveying a message that whoever visits the city will be infected by a happy virus.



Netizens said: "Is this really a video to promote the Olympics?" and "The video is way too cheap to even call it B-grade content." Some said the video tarnished the popular traditional song's value.

Others unfavorably compared the video with that for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which has been acclaimed for a well-organized storyline utilizing animated characters to promote Japan.

"The Korean video, on the other land, lacked featuring national content," a netizen said. "It is embarrassing."

Some 275 million won ($240,000) was invested in the video's production.

The ministry also announced a contest in which people who send videos of themselves dancing to the song before Dec. 31 can win $60,000.



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