If they were really savvy, Seoul City would be silently encouraging these kinds of groups to make these kinds of goofy videos featuring Seoul, and sending them out viral-wise on the InterWebs, instead of taking the heavy-handed "Press Release Names Seoul New Hub Of Asian Tourism; Seoul Mayor Expects People to Flock Here on Sheer Power of his Declaration That it Will Be So; Releases Advertising Video that Resembles North Korean Propaganda With More Cellphones" tack. (OK, it's not QUITE that bad...) Tourism Korea ad 1: come to korea, where everyone has a cellphone, and you can eat side-dishes; Ad 2: Come to the Computer Generated Land of Korea, where Hangeul Characters float around like clouds, and people play traditional instruments over disco basslines, and we're going to try and fit EVERY SINGLE THING we think is cool about Korea into one five-minute ad, while white people make faces of bliss, tasting Korean food; Ad 3 (after World Cup '02): Come to Korea, where Soccer Fans wear traditional masks; Ad 4: Let a star who's famous here, but you unknown to you, convince you to come to Korea. Ad 5: We can't decide what's the best thing about Korea, so we're going to throw it all up against the wall, and hope something sticks. (Which, according to Dale Carnegie, is bad sales.) OK. Sarcasm off.
An ACTUAL "Tour North Korea" ad, date unknown.
I know what you're thinking: How can I get these guys to pitch MY product?
(I don't know: maybe the Tour Israel people could think of a better way to sell Korea. They sure know how to raise bloodline pride.)
Of course, everyone knows by now that this Canon Rock-playing baseball-cap-faced Youtube Legend is also a Korean...for a country that loves the internet so much, I wonder if Korea could savvy up to the fact the internet could be a really effective way to increase its visibility in the world through videos and content...and create an image a little more flexible and varied than what people get from official, imperious sounding press releases, newspaper ads, TV spots, and the world news (where Korea always seems to come off looking bad, between associations with North Korea and the economic troubles these days) It would help if the entire Korean internet, and almost all content about Korea were not sequestered behind Naver and Daum's gilded cage bars (not showing up on google searches), so that my blog comes up higher on Google than most of the content created by citizens of the most wired country in the world. Anyway, ranting about the puzzling techno-ass-backward-ness of Korea (it's a really odd contradiction...) is more Chosun Bimbo's turf than mine, so go there if you want to read some really great vitriol about Korea's addiction to Windows and ActiveX programs.
The Hub Of Sparkle is down with server problems right now (we're working on it), which is a pain, because there's supposed to be a Hub of Sparkle Get-Together tonight, and people might be wanting to check for directions, so I hope they find this instead.
If you're looking for instructions to hang out with the Sparkly People, here's how: 1. you can check for detailed instructions on the Hub of Sparkle's Facebook Page. At six we'll meet at a great spit-roast-barbequed-stuffed-chicken place near Hansung University Station (Seoul Metro, Line 4, exit 6, walk five or seven minutes, look on your right), called Cham Namu Dalk Nara (Gingko Tree Chicken Country), that looks like this. We'll start there, and from there, at 8 (or whenever the crowd gets too big for the little restaurant,) go farther down the road in the same direction to Song's Kitchen (Fatmanseoul wrote about this, but Fatman is also down right now, so here are some pictures I took of it.) You have to go down some stairs into a little hanok gully beside the road, but once you get in there, it's pretty darn cool. This is what it looks like (though it looks much nicer when it's lit up at night, or photographed on a pretty day). Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 It's a bit of a walk from the station: you have to follow the road around a corner, so don't be worried if you've gone a little ways. You'll know you're close when you pass a bank on your right, and then a spot where the road starts going up, but to the right, there are some Hanok (traditional Korean style) houses whose roofs are at or below the level of the street. (On the left there's a big church.) If you have trouble finding either spots, there's emergency contact information at The Hub of Sparkle's Facebook page.
Hope to see you there!