Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category
A visitor to the DPRK sent in the picture below. The photo was taken inside the Kwangbok Area Supermarket, and it gives the impression that the institution is aggressively seeking to earn a profit. How many other socialist department stores are offering temporary rebates?
Here is a translation of the sign:
우대표 발급 : (기간 : 4.15 – 4.29)
Preferential issuance : (Date: 4.15 – 4.29)
10만원이상 상품을 산 경우 5000원 (우대표)
Buy more than 100,000 KPW and get 5,000 KPW (preferential coupon)
20만원이상 상품을 산 경우 10000원 (우대표)
Buy more than 200,000 KPW and get 10,000 KPW (preferential coupon)
20만원이상 상품을 산 경우 식당에서 음식물의 총 가격의 10%를 무료봉사
If you buy more than 200,000 KPW you get 10% free service of the total at the food restaurant
100만원이상 상품을 산 경우 식당에서 영구적인 우대봉사 받을 수 있는 카드 1장과 10000원 우대표
If you buy more than 1,000,000 KPW you can get one lifetime preferential service coupon and 10,000 KPW (preferential coupon)
※ 우대표는 4.29일까지 사용할 수 있음.
※ Preferential coupon can be used until April 29
Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
In North Korea, a common metaphor for advertising is “flower of capitalism.” However, in the latest newspaper of Kim Il Sung University, an article stressing the need for advertisement law was published, suggesting a growing interest in commercial advertisement.
In the July issue of Kim Il Sung University newspaper (vol. 3, 2012), an article titled, “Basic Principles for Export Advertising,” argued that advertising activities are necessary to improve export growth and national leadership in the international community, and hence, an appropriate advertising act must be enacted.
It added, advertisement law must be enacted based on thorough examination to prevent capitalist elements from seeping in, and it should be pursed in the direction of promoting national economy and improve material and cultural lives of the people.
The newspaper also explained that the act should explicate the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved, sanctions for breach of law, and specify places for advertisements and target groups.
The role of state apparatus for advertisement was also mentioned: to monitor, control, and grant rights for advertising activities of businesses, as well as screen and provide registration of advertisements.
Also, sincerity, creativity, and artistry were named as important elements for effective advertisement to provide sufficient product information and attract consumer interest and motivate consumers to make purchases.
Kim Il Sung University is the first national and most prestigious university in North Korea. The position of the school also represents the interests of the North Korean government. Thus, it is likely that North Korean authorities are actively preparing laws and state organizations for advertisement.
Up to now, North Korea has established regulations for advertising in its acts for special economic zones, including Mount Kumgang Tourist resort, Kaesong Industrial Complex, and Rason Special Economic Zone, to attract foreign investments. However, this will be the first law dealing solely with advertising and advertisements.
Except for a small box-form of advertising appearing in the Pyongyang Times, there is no commercial advertising in North Korean media, including Korean Central Television, Rodong Sinmun, and the Korean Central News Agency.
Given the recent changes, the new Kim Jong Un regime is likely taking interest in commercial advertising to promote production of export items and advance into overseas markets.
A reader sends in the marketing material for a new toothpaste on offer in the DPRK:
According to the label this toothpaste is quite innovative:
“Super herb-made toothpaste”
“In a minuite you feel its efficacy as at medicine.”
“It removes saburra, disease germ, tartar (?) and bad smell”
“96.5% effective at removing bad breath”
“Not only riggs´ disease but also traumatic treatment”
Feeling traumatized? Reach for this toothpaste!
If anyone can determine the active ingredient or name of the manufacturing company/factory on the label, please let me know.
Arirang News has posted a video on the changes in consumer culture in the DPRK. It highlights just how much things have changed since the days of Kim Il-sung:
According to Yonhap:
A North Korean economic quarterly has stressed the importance of commercials to help promote the country’s exports, which rely heavily on China.
“We should promote our economic prowess abroad and decisively increase exports of products by taking advantage of commercials in foreign trade,” North Korean quarterly magazine, Economic Research, reported in its October edition, a copy of which was obtained by Yonhap News Agency.
The publication, which mostly deals with the North’s economic policies, said exports should contribute to achieving the country’s stated goal of ushering in a prosperous nation by this year.
The year 2012 has political significance to North Korea as it marks the centennial of the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il-sung, grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.
The quarterly also called for high quality commercials to penetrate capitalist markets and increase exports of its products.
The North’s move came more than two years after an earlier short-lived experiment with commercial advertising.
In July 2009, the North’s television aired commercials that showed young women in traditional clothes serving frothy mugs of Taedonggang beer, billed as the “Pride of Pyongyang.”
Other products, including ginseng and quail, soon appeared in television advertisements, fueling speculation the isolated country may start to embrace a capitalist mode of life.
However, the commercials disappeared a month later when then-leader Kim Jong-il sacked his television point man in anger over what he described as aping China’s early reforms.
China has repeatedly pressed the North to follow in its footsteps in embracing reform similar to that which lifted millions of Chinese out of poverty and helped Beijing’s rise to become the world’s second-largest economy.
1. Here is a link to the infamous Taedonggang Beer Commercial and a longer ten-minute infomercial. Here is the ginseng advert. Here is the quail advert. Yonhap reported that Kim Jong-il was unhappy with these ads.
2. The only commercial billboards that appear in Pyongyang are those for the Phyonghwa Motors vehicles produced domestically by a joint venture deal with the Unification Church. See one of these billboards here.
3. There is apparently a Korea Advertising Company.
Read the full story here:
N. Korea calls for high quality commercials to boost exports
This shirt obviously originated in China and was purchased in a local market. The “Chinglish” reads: “I Love Jesus” and “Tinkerbell, Trust and Pixie Dust”.
Follow-up: I allowed RFA to use this image, but it has shown up elsewhere along with quotes attributed to me that I never made. The Korea Times story is the only one that I can read, but I never spoke to them about this picture. Here are all the media stories that I am aware of: Korea Times, Yonhap, Choson Ilbo, RFA.
Apparently Kim Jong il is growing intolerant of North Korean television advertising anything other than how great he and his father are. According to Yonhap:
“Recently, Kim saw the commercials while watching TV. He was enraged, asking where the commercials came from and describing them as the prototype of China’s early reforms,” one source said.
Starting July 2, North Korea’s television played commercials that showed young women in traditional clothes serving frothy mugs of Taedonggang beer billed as “Pride of Pyongyang.”
Other products, including ginseng and quail, soon followed in television advertisements, which had rarely been seen in the country, generating outside speculation that North Korea may be starting to embrace the capitalist mode of life.
But according to Yonhap News Agency’s own analysis, the commercials disappeared as of the end of August. The sources said Cha Sung-su, the North’s top broadcaster, has also been discharged.
One source said Cha may have been unduly victimized in the case because the commercials were a product of Kim’s earlier instruction to create “more interesting and diverse” television programs.
Cha, 69, is one of Kim’s closest aides, having accompanied him on public inspections at least six times since the leader reportedly had a stroke last year and then recovered.
He is the North’s top television man, having served on the communist country’s broadcasting committee for about four decades. He is also known in North Korea for his numerous poems.
I previously blogged about the beer commercials (as did most other K-bloggers) and included a link to a longer 10-minute “infomercial”.
Here is the ginseng commercial (Koryo Insam).
Click on image to see advert
In a rare nod to commercial motives in the resolutely communist nation, the TV advert features a thirsty worker holding a mug of frothy beer.
Young women in traditional Korean dress are shown serving trays of beer to men in Western suits.
Billed as the “Pride of Pyongyang”, the advert promises drinkers that the beer will help ease stress.
“It represents the new look of Pyongyang,” the two-and-a-half minute advert says. “It will be a familiar part of our lives.”
Taedonggang Beer Factory has been making the brew since buying a British brewery and shipping it lock, stock and barrel from the UK in 2002.
The beer has been occasionally available in South Korea and is said to be of high quality.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, said to have a fondness for fine wines and brandy, has taken a personal interest in the brewery.
“Watching good quality beer coming out in an uninterrupted flow for a long while, he noted with great pleasure that it has now become possible to supply more fresh beer to people in all seasons,” North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA, said after he visited the brewery in 2002.
The DPRK did allow a ten minute “infomercial” to be made about Taedonggang Beer (probably by the Chongryun). You can see it here:
Click on image to see video
The full article can be found here:
North Korea launches beer advert
Park Hyun Min
The North Korean authorities have been expanding the construction of facilities that laud and idolize Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il throughout North Korea, in order to unite the people in spite of the severe economic crisis.
Up until the end of the 1990s, North Korea had been focusing on creating “revolutionary memorial halls” or ‘historic sites,’ or erecting statues in order to idolize the Kim family.
The main structure of idolatry, above all, is the Kim Il Sung statue. Among all the statues, the one in front of the Museum of Korean Revolution on the top of Mansudae hill in Pyongyang, erected in April 1972 to celebrate Kim Il Sung’s 60th birthday, is best-known. It is 23 meters (75.5 feet) high, including a 3 meter pedestal. The statue was once covered with gold, but it was removed.
Similar, less grandiose statues are located in all 70 major cities of North Korea. In total, there are 140,000 structures designed to idolize the Kim regime.
Especially after the death of Kim Il Sung, and the succession of Kim Jong Il three years later, in 1997, many mosaic murals were created throughout North Korea with the father and the son as the theme, and many of the revolutionary monuments were erected.
Mosaic murals mainly feature Kim Il Sung, the father with Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Il’s mother, Kim Jung Sook, made with glass or tiles of natural rocks baked at 1,200.
According to reports from the North Korean state-run media since 2000, one mural was made in 2000, four in 2002, then the number increased to 19 in 2003, 49 in 2004, and a sharp increase to 70 in 2005. Then in 2006, 55 murals were made while 67 were made last year. 88 murals have been made this year alone.
Furthermore, the size of the mosaic murals is growing. On average, the length and height of a mural is 5–10 meters. However, bigger murals with dimensions of 30 meters by 20 meters have been under construction.
The most well-known murals are located on Tongil (Unification) Street in Raknang district and on Kwangbok Street in Mankyungdae district in Pyongyang. The one on Kwangbok Street was made to celebrate Kim Sung Il’s 95th birthday in April, 2008, and goes by the name of “My great country, my nation, live forever.” The height and length of the murals are respectively 42 meters and 25 meters.
The other mural that was completed on Tongil Street the day before that was 33.7 meters long and 22 meters high.
Chosun Sinbo reported with great fanfare, “These murals are the biggest mosaic murals in the nation.”
Revolutionary monuments or historic memorials at places where Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il are known to have been, are being made constantly.
North Korea put up 31 revolutionary memorial slabs last year in places such as Pyongyang Music School or Pyongyang Shoe Factory, and 37 so far this year, in places like Suncheon First Middle School and Kangkye Pig Factory. Last year, revolutionary monuments were erected in five places, including the public building of the People’s Safety Agency in North Hamkyung Province and so far four monuments have been erected in places like Pyongyang 3.26 cable factory.
Jane Portal, the author of “Art under Control in North Korea” visited North Korea twice and assessed this idolatry as the world’s most intense, saying that Stalin and Mao Zedong’s idolatry cannot be compared with Kim Il Sung’s hunger for praise.
Additionally, North Korea is focusing on boosting people’s loyalty and revolutionary consciousness through collective visits to these historic sites, and by excavating or renovating them.
Chosun (North Korea) Central Broadcasting (the state-controlled radio station) last month hinted at the strengthened idolization process, saying that “Plans to revive historic sites in North Hamkyung province and the efforts of party members and laborers working on these projects are processing well.”