The Drum | State Of The Nation: Korean Culture Is Riding A Wave Of Popularity But Can Marketers Successfully Ride It?

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The global explosion of K-Pop and Korean content has led to a wave of interest and curiosity in the country and its culture. In our latest State of the Nation series, Publicis Groupe Korea’s chief executive officer Nicole Roe ponders whether global brand marketers can tap into the Korean Wave.

2022 was a year in which the global popularity and power of the Korean Wave continued to grow. Explosive interest In Korean dramas/movies and K-Pop led to curiosity about the country itself. Cultural trends in Korea are now becoming an important keyword for global brand marketers. McDonald’s BTS Meal and Heineken’s ‘Squid Game’ post shows that global brands are already paying attention to the news and content created in Korea. So what are the trends that will hit in 2023?


In Korea, where everyone is serious about fashion and beauty, there were several Korean-born fashion concepts and trends that were popular in Asia in 2022, such as ‘Vivid’, ‘High-Teen’ and ‘Newtro’. Recently, a new concept has been emerging since late 2022 that reinterprets tradition: the so-called ‘Middle Ages European Style’. This concept is gaining popularity among Gen Z. It’s enjoyed by taking pictures together with a full set of colourful dresses, elegant hats and crowns that literally look like European aristocrats in the Middle Ages. Recently, the concept was seen in the music videos of K-Pop artists ITZY and Red Velvet. Studios, where people can borrow medieval dresses and take pictures, are fully booked, and L’Escape-style hotels with the same mood are gaining popularity, showing how this new concept has arrived. The visual impact of K-pop music videos and Korea’s passion for ‘re-kreation’ will continue to be a huge driver of trends across Asia (and beyond) in 2023.

Bite-sized k-dramas

Short-form content on platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts will rapidly expand its influence…


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About the Author: V. Moss