Web logs turn into marketing tools for firms

JoongAng Daily. June 3, 2004
Chung Sun-gu, Wohn Dong-hee

Blogs, or Web logs, are interactive Internet-based bulletin boards that can be linked to similar Web sites of other people. Now, these personal homepages are being used as a channel for corporate marketing.

Mr. Park, a finance manager at Samsung Life, runs a blog that contains information on insurance, personal writings, and a board on which customers can present suggestions. Through this site, he maintains strong relations with his clients. Samsung Life provides these blogs for its managers.
“We don’t know how effective blog marketing is in terms of income and expenditure yet, but through the Internet we have been able to become closer to our customers,” said an official at Samsung Life.

Movie marketers are also actively using blogs as promotion tools. The Korean movie “Woman is the Future of Man,” which was released in theaters last month, was promoted by creating a blog for actress Sung Hyun-ah, who played the leading female character.
This was especially effective because many people were already interested in Ms. Sung, who had created controversy last year by publishing a book containing nude photographs of herself.
The movie “The President’s Barber” also attracted the interaction of many Internet users by creating a blog.

Casual apparel and luxury brands are using blogs as well. The brand 1492 Miles opened a blog that was especially popular among teenagers, attracting tens of thousands. Givenchy, a luxury French brand, created a blog to promote its perfumes.

Blogs are also used for cultural events. A special exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of painter Salvador Dali, which will begin Saturday at the Seoul Arts Center, contains information on the artist as well as the exhibition itself.
Dynamic Duo, a new rap group formed with famous Korean hip hop stars, created a blog to promote the launch of its new album and promotional concerts.

Even educational institutions are using blogs. Online and offline hagwon, or cram schools, are using blogs to lure more students to their institutions.

“Compared to regular Internet Web sites, blogs are more interactive and have a personal touch, which are what marketers are aiming at,” said an analyst at Cheil Communications, a large advertising agency. “It is also inexpensive but requires a lot of attention.”


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