The Life of Psy: From K-POP Star to Tourism Ambassador
By Shivangi On 29 Apr, 2013 At 07:03 PM | Categorized As Celeb Spotting, International, Mixed Bag | With 0 Comments
We’ve heard Gangnam style, weve seen Gangnam style, hey, we’ve done the Gangnam style. It was the first video to exceed one billion hits on YouTube. But what the hell does it actually mean? Who or what or where is Gangnam??

Gangnam is one of Seouls’ most affluent districts and is the birthplace and home of Park Jae-sang a.k.a PSY (no rags to riches story there, he was born with a silver spoon). He put Gangnam on the map and with “Gentleman” already hitting 244million views on YouTube, it’s no wonder the Korean Tourist Organization (KTO) has picked him to be the face of their publicity abroad.

Psy has officially been officially conferred with the title of ‘Tourism Ambassador’ (definitely a step-up from Kenny G)  and will hold the honorary position for approximately one year; the same post he held for for the Gangnam district last year.
Psy has just finished taping a series of TV commercials that showing off the country. The new commercials will air in 70 countries beginning next month. The series titled “PSY’s Wiki Korea”, has the South Korean rap sensation highlighting some of the country’s major attractions, from samgyeopsal, a Korean pork belly barbecue, and the Jeju Olle trail, a walking path on Jeju Island off the country’s southwest coast, to Myeongdong, South Korea’s famed ‘shopping Mecca’ and the late-night shopping district of Dongdaemun.

“We have been looking for ways to tap into new media like social marketing and YouTube, and since Psy has become a world star that way it made sense,” said Kang Jong-soon of KTO’s brand marketing team. “Through him, we’re trying to introduce the more modern and fun Korean cultural concepts such as bul-gum.”

Loosely translated to “Fiery Fridays,” bul-gum is the Korean equivalent of the West’s “TGIF” sentiment and is the oft-cited excuse to drink large volumes of soju Friday evenings.
The adverts incorporate three key themes that capture the “sentiment of Korean culture”. They include Gi, a universal energy and sense of connectedness with the surrounding world, and Heung, an intrinsic sense of joy, as well as Jeong, a feeling of affection, attachment and consideration for others.

KTO’s new videos aim to “inspire a new generation of travellers” to visit South Korea.

Psy is doing this gig for minimal payment. “Officially representing Korea was meaningful work,” he said. He’ll be traveling in style too: earlier this month, Asiana Airlines announced that Psy would be their honorary brand ambassador for a year. He gets free tickets to the highest class seats on any Asiana flight for the year.


About - As the newest member of the content team, Shivangi Rajendran comes from the world of professional dancing. With a passion for travel and a flair for writing, the Masters in Mass Communication is just an added advantage. A gypsy at heart, she doesn’t believe in planning and is always ready to pack her bags and leave.

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