There’s a multitude of television networks and channels broadcasting in Seoul and across the Republic of South Korea. With developed technology, broadcasting television has been growing fast, bringing the latest news and entertainment to Koreans.
As a part of our study tour to Seoul, we were fortunate to visit the only international English-language network, Arirang TV. With many channels on the go, it’s a single TV network that represents South Korea globally, sharing the local charm and values of the Korean culture.
Launched in 1997, Arirang TV is now viewed by millions of households in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Middle East, North, and South America 24 hours per day. The network has 3 active channels: Arirang World, Arirang Arab, and Arirang Korea that are available in Korean, English, and a few other languages. These channels broadcast everything from news & magazine, documentary & culture, movies to food and education. However, the network doesn’t stop here. It has its own social media hub with the online presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and a blogging platform.
“Among Asian countries, between Asia and the world as a center of communication become of Korea.”
Besides Arirang TV, we encountered a seemingly large number of other TV channels that unobtrusively interact of an average citizen. Korean television channels broadcast various programs in public places, such as subway trains, subway stops, airports, and, certainly, pubs. By engaging consumers, television stations also push promotional content integrated into programing, thus supporting both local programing, and advertised brands.
Yet, the most interesting episode of the encounter with Korean TV happened to me at Dunkin Donuts near the Seoul City Hall during a lunch break. Having ordered a usual medium latté, I received a buzzer, which is quite customary in Korea. However, it was not a regular buzzer. On the top panel, it had a small TV that aired some local soap opera, which is a popular genre in the country. Also, it aired a few advertisements every 3-4 minutes, which has been a part of a rather effective marketing, as consumers are often at ease when buying coffee or pastry at a coffee shop.
Such collaboration between Korean TV and advertisers benefits both parties and brings news and entertainment to consumers wherever they go. From a marketing communication’s perspective, we, Americans should take the Korean way as an example of combining both industries for the common advantage of broadcasters, marketers, and consumers.