Hallyu – An Effective Method for Marketing and Advertising in Asia

In 2012, A Korean song called “Gangnam Style” went viral on YouTube with more than a billion viewers at the time. People in western countries including America started to pay attention to South Korean Music. However, for young people in South and Southeast Asian countries, KPOP or Korean Pop Music was not something new to them. As a matter of fact, KPOP has dominated in many Asian countries since the early 21st century.

KPOP, together with Korean TV dramas and movies, is referred to as Hallyu or Korean Cultural Wave in Asia. The popularity of Korean TV dramas, Korean pop music, and their associated celebrities has made a strong influence on the Asian consumer culture. When travelling to China, Thailand, or Vietnam, it is very common to catch a high school student decorating her backpack with pictures of a well-known Korean pop star.

Especially, Korean TV dramas are very popular not only among teenagers but also among adults in Asian countries. When a popular Korean drama is aired in an Asian country, people tend to buy any products that are used by their favorite characters in the drama. The Korean products, from electronic products to food, therefore quickly become popular in many Asian countries. Understanding the big impact of Hallyu in Asia, many Korean companies has collaborated with Korean leading entertainment companies such as SM and YG in order to use the famous celebrities from these companies to endorse their products. Hallyu or Korean Cultural Wave therefore has become an effective method for marketing and advertising not only for Korean companies but also for any international corporation that plans to enter the South and Southeast Asian markets.

The reason KPOP has become so popular in Asia is that it features Korean idols that are good-looking and have independent personalities. Korean pop stars are also the symbols of beauty and fashion for their young Asian fans to follow. The Korean stars are extremely good at communicating with their fans in order to be close to them through social media. They like to reveal their normal lives to their fans to show how they live and what they eat, wear, or use in daily days. International companies can use their “fan services” as a tool to promote their products. For instance, a fashion company can contract with a KPOP star to wear their clothes either on stage or in daily activities. Food companies can also take advantage of this “fan service” as well. For example, a fast-food restaurant company can contract with a South Korean channel to have their restaurants appear on its up coming TV drama. If the drama turns out to be a hit when it airs, then the promotion campaign will be successful not only in Korea but also in many other Asian countries.

The Korean Wave has become a global idea for marketing and promoting in Asia. However, when using the image of a well-known Korean star to promote and advertise in another Asian country, companies must necessarily make changes in the campaigns in order to better fit the traditions and cultures of a specific country like China or Malaysia. The reason is that different countries have different cultures and traditions, and the promotions need to be adjusted into these traditions and cultures no matter how famous the Korean Cultural Wave is. One more thing to be noticed, the price for hiring a famous Korean celebrity is of course very high. Companies need to plan carefully before launching a marketing campaign with a well-known Korean star. Up to now, the use of Korean stars for promotion is most effective in prosperous countries like China and Japan. For less developed countries like the Philippines or Vietnam, the payoff may not turn out to be very well even though the Korean Cultural Wave is also very popular in these countries.

The DISH Network International Channels Guide

DISH Network has more foreign language channels than either DirecTV or any of the cable TV companies. Here’s a guide to DISH Network International channels.

DISH Network International Channels

DISH Network offers 135 international channels with satellite TV programs and music broadcast in 20 languages – Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Filipino, German, Greek, Israeli, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

The most popular international channels include:

Arabic (15 channels) – Mini-series, dramas, news, sports, the latest movies, classical movies, talk shows, and sports featuring the Egyptian Soccer League. Channels include Abu Dhabi, Al Jazeera, Dubai Sports, Al Arabiya, LBS, and NBM.

Chinese (19 channels) – The latest cultural and current events plus dramas, movies, talk shows, news, current affairs, and children’s shows. Channels include CCTV, Fijian Straits TV, Hunan Satellite TV, Phoenix Chinese Channel, Beijing TV, China Movie Channel, Dragon TV, and Phoenix InfoNews.

Russian (5 channels) – The latest news, movies, sports, game shows, documentaries, talk shows, sports, and children’s entertainment. Channels include EuroNews, NTV America, TVCI, and RTVI.

South Asian (27 channels) – Movies, up-to-date news, serials, music videos, family entertainment, lifestyle programs, cricket matches, sports, and variety shows. Channels include B4U Movies, Headlines Today, Zee Cinema, Sahara One, TV Asia, ATN Bangla, NTV Bangla, RTV, Gemini TV, and Teja TV.

Spanish (45 channels) – Variety shows, dramas, movies, talk shows, current affairs, news, sports, and music. Channels include Alma Vision Hispanic Network, Azteca America, De Pelicula, The Discovery Channel, ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports, Galavision, Telefutura, Telemundo, TV Columbia, Univision, and World Cinema.

International Channel Programming Prices

DISH Network international channels are sold a-la-carte (as single channels), or as packages of two or more channels. Prices start at $9.99 a month.

Can Asia Become the New Centre for Graphic Design? It’s Up to Us

The world came very close to its worst recession this century but thanks to largely vibrant and strong Asian economies, it narrowly averted that fate. What a change from a decade ago when the IMF had to bail out some of the Asian tigers and China and India were still emerging economies then. But unlike before, the Asian governments got their act together and moved as one responsible region. Before the ripples of crisis could reach our shores, governments from China to Singapore unleashed bold stimulus packages. The newly minted wealthy middle-class from Mumbai to Shanghai is also fueling some of the fastest growing demand for high-end luxury goods. No wonder the IMF is now being asked to recognise this reality by admitting China and India into its board. The winds of change have also hit the elite G8 club. President Hu’s sudden departure from the recent summit in Italy nearly paralyzed it. We are now finally witnessing what others have already predicted, the dawn of the Asian Century. But while economic strength or hard power has clearly shifted east, soft power which encompasses ideas, culture and design has remained firmly entrenched in the West. While it’s true that Asians are rising in wealth, they have continued to buy into Western concepts and way of living. Western brands of almost all categories except low-end or value-based continue to be preferred by Asians. And our consumers are not to be blamed because while our region has raced ahead in terms of purchasing power, our attraction power has remained untapped. Graphic design which is a strong visual representation of the presence of soft power is still very much undervalued in this part of the world. So what will it take to shift Asia from being the world’s producer to its centre of creative thinking?

For a long time, Asia’s economic rise has been largely linked to supporting the Western economic model and Western consumption. Therefore graphic design as an industry is not considered high priority in many Asian countries since many major brands still conceptualize their graphical direction in the US or Europe. With the exception of Japan, Korea and perhaps Hong Kong, graphic design is still seen as a commodity and not in terms of value-add. Because of this mindset, many designers take on non-creative work so as to put food on the table. As graphic design is virtually a low-entry barrier discipline, many designers start their own graphic design studios. But as competition increases, given the scarcity of good jobs, many designers resort to lower pricing and free-pitching. The luckier few who manage to serve those who understand the value of design are able to avoid this fate.

If this mindset persists then even if Asia were to race ahead, it will not be served by an equally creative industry that is confident enough to do the work which reflects the vibrant Asian identity. And given the fact that few clients appreciate the purpose of meaningful and good work, many design companies believe that this is almost utopian. So as an industry we are producing a generation of graphic designers who are still conditioned by Western benchmarks and constrained by resources to produce Asian-inspired work.

In another 10 to 15 years time, we will have a rich and large critical mass of affluent middle-class. The world is also increasingly looking towards Asia for ideas. The dazzling Olympic opening in Beijing last year and the fascination with Slumdog Millionaire shows there is a viable market for Asian creativity. But to fill up this vacuum, we need content, creative stars in order to influence the market and see the value of Asian graphic design.

So we need good work to show this and this is why I applaud the efforts of the team who put this book together. Many works featured within this Asia Pacific Design shows what the world can expect from a confident Asia. I am optimistic despite the challenges; pockets of designers are doing their part to inspire the world. The works featured here also show an encouraging trend that clients are beginning to embrace the notion of an Asian identity. But more can be done.

Perhaps it’s time to start a pan Asian graphic design fraternity. Currently design associations are nation-based, maybe it’s time for an Asian body to promote graphic design. Publications like Asia Pacific are extremely important because it helps us discover the richness of ideas that exist among us. If we choose to work together, much more can be achieved. Perhaps this fraternity could be a partnership between design firms and publishers. In this way we have a guaranteed channel to promote good design. We should also have a pan-Asian graphic design index to track the progress of the industry across the continent. If we want others to believe in our work then we have to start now. We need to change mindsets and help shape a more confident Asia. Because that is ultimately the mission of designers, it is a profession in which its work is able to influence societal norms. As many young designers enter the market, hopefully They will find more peers proud of their Asian heritage and 10 years from now, hopefully our vision for graphic design will match up to our economic ambitions. This is a good start and now it’s up to us to continue its inspiration.