In September 2023, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization unveiled a high-impact national tourism promotion campaign titled “Seoul Edition 23: New Tradition.” This campaign leveraged the global star power of V, a member of the renowned K-pop group BTS and the Honorary Tourism Ambassador of Seoul. The campaign aimed to showcase the city’s unique blend of tradition and modernity while inviting global tourists to experience Seoul’s vibrant offerings. This case study delves into the campaign’s key components, its impact, and its role in redefining Seoul’s image on the world stage.
Campaign Launch and Teaser Success
On September 1, the campaign kicked off with the release of its teaser video on the official Seoul Tourism Organization YouTube channel, VisitSeoul TV. Featuring V prominently against the backdrop of Seoul, the teaser garnered a remarkable 400,000 views within just one week, setting the stage for a highly anticipated campaign.
Content Focus: “New Tradition”
The first feature video, titled “New Tradition,” aimed to portray Seoul as a city that effortlessly intertwines its rich history with contemporary life. It showcased various facets of this fusion, including Y2K fashion at Dongmyo Market, a modern café nestled within a traditional market, and the mesmerizing media façade exhibition in Gwanghwamun Square. The video concluded with a compelling message, “Seoul, Make It Yours,” encouraging global viewers to seize the opportunity to experience Seoul’s unique blend of old and new.
Upcoming Feature: “Nature in the City”
Scheduled for release on September 8, the second feature video, “Seoul Edition 23: Nature in the City,” would spotlight how Seoulites embrace nature within the bustling downtown area, further illustrating the city’s dynamic lifestyle.
Social Media Engagement: Seoul Edition Hashtag Event
To involve the global audience, the campaign introduced the Seoul Edition Hashtag Event throughout September. Participants who shared photos of the places they wanted to visit or recommended with the designated hashtag stood a chance to win a roundtrip air ticket to and from Seoul, along with a two-night voucher at a five-star hotel. This initiative engaged users across Visit Seoul’s social media channels, including Instagram (@visitseoul_official), effectively spreading the campaign’s message.
Global Exposure and Branding
The campaign held immense significance in disseminating Seoul’s new brand slogan, “Seoul, My Soul,” worldwide. Campaign content was strategically distributed through influential outdoor media channels in major cities, including Times Square in New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Taipei. The content centered around the theme of taking selfies with V, aiming to create a viral sensation among fans and global viewers.
Additionally, the campaign achieved broad coverage across the U.S., Europe, and various Asian regions through major television networks such as CNN and NBC, as well as prominent press outlets like The New York Times. This extensive reach reinforced Seoul’s status as a premier tourist destination.
Beyond Tourism: A Limited-Edition Seoul
The Seoul Tourism Organization’s campaign went beyond traditional tourism promotion, portraying Seoul as a “limited-edition item.” It highlighted the city’s ability to embrace the “newtro” trend—a fusion of the new and retro—and its harmonious relationship with the surrounding natural environment. This innovative approach aimed to attract tourists seeking unique, one-of-a-kind experiences.
The Seoul Edition 23 campaign featuring BTS’s V successfully harnessed the global appeal of K-pop to promote Seoul as a vibrant, culturally rich, and forward-thinking city. Through captivating videos, social media engagement, and strategic global exposure, the campaign not only positioned Seoul as a top tourist destination but also redefined its image as a city where tradition seamlessly blends with modernity, making it a must-visit “limited-edition” experience for travelers from around the world.