Kim Jong-il – A Career in Advertising?

Kim Jong-il – A Career in Advertising?

Marketers and advertisers say that lately North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has become a more influential advertising figure than top actresses like Kim Tae-hee and Jeon Ji-hyun. It’s said half in jest, but it indicates the huge popularity of products that were used in the inter-Korean summit.

A tea set from Haengnam Chinaware has become popular since copies were given by President Roh Moo-hyun to senior North Korean officials including Chairman Kim. The set includes a tea pot and tea cups emblazoned with a gold Cheong Wa Dae emblem and President Roh’s name. The company plans to display the tea set in stores and sell it to consumers through a reservation system.

Romanson’s TM7238 watch was another gift from the South to the North. The watch was originally designed to be sold overseas, but a flood of inquiries has prompted the company to make it available in Korea. The watch is expected to debut in November for W198,000 (US$1=W919).

Liquor companies have also received inquiries about the wine that the two Korean leaders drank at a summit luncheon. The North Koreans served French wine, one of which — Cote de Nuits Villages — costs about US$50.

Cheonnyeon Yaksok, which means “millennium promise,” a traditional-style wine that the two leaders drank when they made a toast, is also enjoying explosive sales. The vintner’s manager said sales of Cheonnyeon Yaksok have increased by 40 percent since last week.

Korean media covered every detail of the summit, generating unplanned advertising worth several billions of won for the products. Moreover, consumers believe the products used by the leaders must be top quality. “The summit was a successful advertising event, where products, characters and drama created unmatched influence,” said an advertising industry watcher.


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