Extra! Korea

February 9, 2010

Constantly changing tourist slogans may be “confusing” and “costly”, Noeshi T. Sherlock Institute concludes

Filed under: expatriates — extrakorea @ 3:09 am

According to this article, it’s been discovered that constantly changing tourism slogans can be confusing (to the target, potential tourists) and costly (for the government). This come from exhaustive research by the Noeshi T. Sherlock Institute.

Some say that the new slogan is a far cry from the successful slogans that have represented tourism rivals in Asia, such as “Incredible India,””Uniquely Singapore” and “Malaysia, Truly Asia.”

These campaigns have been lauded for capturing and defining the essence of the respective countries’ exceptional qualities that make them distinctive tourism destinations.

The need to discontinue the “Korea Sparkling” promotion had been raised for some time.

It would have been better if they had consulted some native speakers beforehand, and I don’t mean the guy who got paid big bucks to think it up. Then they could have avoided the whole mess. Oh well, bygones.

The Presidential Council on National Branding, launched in January 2009, raised the need for a more appropriate tourism slogan.

Arrrgh, more of this “nation branding” crap. I really need to do a write-up on why I think this is snake-oil salesmanship.

Anyway, here’s Michael Breen, someone you should always listen to (even if you don’t always agree with him).

“If a slogan is not working, then officials are right to get rid of it. I wouldn’t say it’s a waste of budget,” said Michael Breen, chairman of Insight Communications Consultants and exclusive partner of FD International. “‘Korea Be Inspired’ suits Korea. Korea is a place to be surprised and energized. People invariably leave with a different impression than the ones they came with.”

I don’t agree completely. “Inspired” hints at creativity. Korea has a lot of good points, but to be brutally honest, creativity isn’t one of them.

The country is targeting 8.5 million foreign visitors this year through the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Campaign, but the latest surveys indicate that Koreans are not fit to accommodate them in a friendly manner.

In a survey by the World Economic Forum in 2008, Korea was rated 111th in an index of friendliness among 130 countries. Korea’s overall tourism competitiveness was rated 31st.

Ah-ha, now there’s something concrete that we can work on.


  1. I disagree with their ranking on the friendliest list. Koreans are so friendly to foreigners! Just ask a SE Asian or a biracial Korean.

    Comment by YeahRight! — February 10, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  2. […] Seoul’s constant changing of tourism slogans could be confusing. […]

    Pingback by ROK Drop Weekly Linklets – February 14, 2010 | ROK Drop — February 14, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

  3. I agree that “People invariably leave with a different impression than the ones they came with.” This country is awful. I have been here for 4 years, so I think i can say that and know what I mean. I will be leaving after this year never to return. I will not miss it.

    Comment by Rue — March 11, 2010 @ 1:37 am

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