Posted by: rbbadger | May 10, 2009

The Korean Brand

A while back, over on the Marmot’s Hole site and the Western Confucian site, mention was made of a new brand for Korea.  A Presidential Council on National Branding has been convoked, hoping to raise Korea’s standing in the world.  One problem is, as the LA Times points out, is that when you hear the word “Korea”, a lot of unpleasant images come to mind ranging all the way from Kim Jong-il in North Korea to legislators literally throwing punches and locking themselves in the main chamber of the National Assembly. 

This is not the first time that they’ve tried this.  For a while, Dynamic Korea was the big thing.  Then, the Korean Tourism Organization, the government-owned tourist agency, came up with Korea, Sparkling.  Heaven only knows what they’ll come up with this time.

Branding countries is now nothing new.  The tiny principality of Liechtenstein did it in 2004. 

Much like the food, South Korea is definitely an acquired taste.  There is no other place like it on earth, both in terms of landscape and its people.  You can read about the national brand proposals here.

Steve Sailer had quite an entertaining response to the idea.  He states that perhaps the government could promote the fact that Korea has “the world’s largest and most entertaining riots”.  Anyone who had to go through the downtown area of Seoul during the infamous anti-US beef protests could vouch for that.

 ” Their amazing  riots feature well-drilled protesters, with their color-coordinated cop-whacking sticks, and their myriad riot policeman in Orc-like gear. South Korean riot police are conscripts, so there is no shortage of them. As one reader explained to me, in most countries, the job of the riot police is to stop riots. In South Korea, in contrast, the job of the riot police is to confront the rioters and Do Battle.”

Yes, there’s nowhere else like Korea.

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