|Back row, from left, Martijn Sax, General Manager of Le Meridien Seoul; Seol Do-won, adviser at the Korea Chainstores Association; Jackie Son, Senior Manager at Crown Worldwide; H.E. Federico Failla, Italian Ambassador to Korea; Erwan Vilfeu, President of Zuellig Pharma Korea; Weon Hee-soo, CEO of Dabu Holdings; Han Yun-jung, CEO of Hankook Shinyak; Jake Kim, Managing Director of Hana Financial Investment; Hyun Chun-wook, attorney at Kim & Chang; and Bill Miner, Country Chairman of Chevron. Front row, from left, Oh Young-jin, Digital Managing Editor of The Korea Times; Lissa Miner; Kim Young-ho, Chairman of Ilshin Spinning; Choi Jung-wha, President of CICI; Ha Joo-hyun, CEO of NAOS Korea; Baek Seung-ju, KBS announcer; Park Yun-jung, CEO of Mint Tour; Lee Jai-wook, attorney at Yulchon LLC; and Didier Beltosie, President of Cs, at the headquarters of Ilshin Spinning in Yeouido, Seoul. Courtesy of CICI|
By Dong Sun-hwa
Mobile phones have replaced the medium as a tool for information, giving mighty power to social media such as YouTube and Instagram that are easily accessible on cellphones.
Hence, "influencers," who boast hundreds of thousands of followers on these channels, have been propelled to stardom. They have established a presence in the marketing world too, with shoppers closely tracing their product reviews before purchasing.
This new trend has affected industries in Korea.
"KBS has been slow in catching up with the fresh trend because it prioritizes neutrality over trendiness as a national broadcaster," Baek Seung-ju, KBS's news presenter said Tuesday, during the Korea CQ Forum of the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI). "But now it is attempting make a breakthrough by asking news presenters to start their personal broadcasting just like the influencers. Hence, the employees can show off their talents in the various fields they like."
Winds of change also have been blowing through law firms. Unlike their conservative image, some, including Yulchon LLC, have launched YouTube channels in an attempt to get closer to clients.
"The firm asked us to get involved in influencer marketing, so we opened a YouTube channel," said Lee Jai-wook, an attorney at Yulchon.
But some said influencer marketing is not all-powerful.
"Young and digital-oriented people are definitely affected by YouTube, but the customers of premium brands are different," said Ha Joo-hyun, CEO of NAOS Korea. "What they want is unique service and treatment."
Martijn Sax, General Manager of Le Meridien Seoul, and Park Hae-won, President of CHA Bio F&C, underscored the significance of authenticity.
"Some customers do not trust the influencers, knowing many of them are managed by agencies and paid for the advertisements," Park said.
"Influencers need to be authentic, because people believe them," Sax said.
During the meeting, members of CICI, a global cultural promotion advocacy, also shared their thoughts on the "Downscaling Trend of Events," at the Conrad Seoul Hotel. Before the forum, they visited the headquarters of Ilshin Spinning, a cotton yarn production company in Yeouido, Seoul, to appreciate artworks collected by its Chairman Kim Young-ho.
|"TBT" by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The work is owned by Ilshin Spinning's Chairman Kim Young-ho. Courtesy of CICI|
|'Untitled' by Donald Judd. The work is owned by Ilshin Spinning's Chairman Kim Young-ho. Courtesy of CICI|