Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Today I was reminded of just how insular some of my coworkers and interns can be.

Joking around at the water cooler, I asked which song would best suit a new product.  They know that the product will be marketed primarily in the United States.

By the time lunch was done, I had received 15 email suggestions.  85% of the suggestions were for K-pop tunes.

I sent out an email to the department in response with a list of songs I thought might work.  I included two Korean songs.

This generated an increased return of 21 replies with 65% favoring one of the two Korean songs.  3 of the emails admitted knowing none of the non Korean songs on the list so they couldn't make a judgement.

All the songs I had chosen were common, pretty well known back home.  Beastie Boys, White Stripes, PJ Harvey, Nirvana. . . they had heard of the last, but didn't know the top 40 song.

Wow.  Many of the respondents studied or lived in the US (or want to), and were hired since they are supposed to have insight into the culture.

In a way, it brought to mind when LG did their XI (Xian / Chai) Apartment commercial, and used the Magnetic Fields song 100000 Fireflies to try and sell a lifestyle.

Sadly, the commercial disappeared when one of my adult students at the time sent a rather detailed email outlining why it was an inappropriate song to sell an apartment in Korea.  The song talks about suicide, a couple fighting, and how most of their friends live far away in New York.  Non of my waeg friends admits to being on the team in charge of those commercials.

Sadly, I can't find it now.  It was a good example of inappropriate English use, as those in charge may have chosen it because it is in English and sounds 'nice'.

Huge Kudos to anyone who can provide a link to that commercial.


Anonymous said...

You sound old. Did you consider that maybe a Kpop song would work well?

Spike said...

Who the fuck is PJ Harvey?

F5Waeg said...

Guess I am too old. PJ Harvey was fairly big a few years back. She's awesome.

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