Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another Slogan for the Korea Tourism Organization?

Einstein once defined madness as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By that definition, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is truly insane.

In a matter of a few years, the KTO has attempted various slogans to get tourists to visit Korea and to spend their money here. This article at The Korea Herald shows at least some of the slogans that the KTO has tried to use in the past:

  • Dynamic Korea: Hub of Asia
  • Korea Sparkling
  • Korea, Be Inspired!

Does anyone remember this little guy?
Image Source

Now, Byun Choo-suk, the KTO president, who was formerly a career ad-man and a former communication design professor, seems to think that the time has come for a new slogan.

Never mind that those slogans, as laughable as they are, usually come at a cost that is seldom laughable. The TV commercials, the newspaper ads, the pamphlets and booklets, the banners, the labor costs, the legal fees, etc., etc. all eventually pile up. It would not be surprising at all to assume that billions (in Korean won, of course) has already been spent over the years.

Has the KTO been successful? It’s dubious.

It is certainly true that the number of tourists that have come to Korea has been increasing since 2004. However, can the KTO truly take credit for this increase? Or is it more plausible that more people have been coming to Korea over the years due to increased awareness of Korea that partly sprang from the financial successes of the K-Pop industry? Whose success, by the by, did not need much help from the Korean government.

Of course, the Korean government has been involved with the entertainment industry to export K-Pop internationally. However, considering how much success (or the absolute lack thereof) that it had with something as benign as food, it’s not hard to imagine the government bungling this one, too.

But then again, Milton Friedman did once say:

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand.

Whether you agree with him or not, you have to give credit where it is due.  The man did have a way with words.
Image Source

But that’s neither here nor there, I suppose.

Ah, but it’s another year. And I am sure that they will do a spectacular job this time around!


  1. I'm partial to the commercial with the shirtless men. Although it does look more like a kpop video set to the wrong music. Yeah, dynamic shirtless Korea! Don't disappoint me now Korea I want a half a dozen of these waiting when I got off the plane.

    1. All right. I will admit it. You had me laughing there.

  2. You can be one of them John Lee. You're already my drinking buddy, and don't tell me you don't drink. You're Korean for goodness sake.