이 독도 광고는 현지 시간으로 1일 0시부터 맨해튼 타임스 스퀘어의 CNN뉴스 광고판에서 상영되기 시작했으며, 앞으로 4개월간 1시간에 2회씩 하루 총 48회 상영된다.
30초 분량의 광고는 낱말 퍼즐의 형식을 빌려 제작됐다. "하와이는 미국땅, 시칠리아는 이탈리아땅, 발리는 인도네시아땅"이라고 열거한 뒤 "독도는 한국땅"임을 퍼즐 퀴즈의 형식으로 강조한다.
이어 '동해(East sea)'가 표기된 한국과 일본 인근의 지도를 보여주면서 '이것들은 매우 간명한 사실(These are very simple facts)'이라는 자막을 내보낸다. 광고는 마지막으로 "한국의 아름다운 섬, 독도를 방문하세요"라는 메시지로 끝을 맺는다.
Visit Dokdo " The beautiful island of Korea
독도 광고는 타임스 스퀘어뿐 아니라 엠파이어 스테이트 빌딩과 유명 백화점 등이 밀집해 있는 맨해튼 내 32번가 코리아타운 입구의 대형 전광판에서도 상영되기 시작했다.
광고를 기획한 서 교수는 "각 나라를 대표하는 섬들을 예로 들면서 'Visit Dokdo(독도방문)'라는 콘셉트로 자연스럽게 관광을 유도하는 전략으로 광고를 제작했다"며 "앞으로 타임스 스퀘어에 대한민국을 홍보할 수 있는 전문 광고판을 만들어 한식과 한글 등 한국의 문화와 역사를 24시간 외국인에게 알리는 방안을 추진할 계획"이라고 밝혔다.
가수 김장훈씨도 ""독도 문제는 결국 국제사회를 설득하는 싸움"이라면서 "끈질기고 치열하게 고증하고 이를 근거로 국제사회에 정정당당하게 홍보하는 것이 진정한 독도 외교"라고 말했다.
Marking the 91st anniversary of Korea's Independence Movement Day, New York's Times Square will feature a 30-second promotional video of Dokdo starting from Mar. 1st. Dokdo is a Korean island located off the eastern coast of the peninsula that has often been a source of vibrant nationalism whenever Japan challenges its ownership.
The latest Dokdo advertisement, highlighting Korea's unyielding claim to the island, is organized by Seo Kyoung-duk, a Korean PR expert, and Kim Jang-hoon, a well-known Korean singer.
“The ad will be featured in between the CNN news, twice per hour, 48 times a day,” Seo said. “We made a four-month contract first. Depending on the feedback we may extend it.”
As the scale of this promotion is bigger than previous advertisements, Seo tried to attract donations from local businesses at first. Things didn't go too well and at the end it was singer Kim who stepped in to shoulder all the expenses for the video, from production to display. “I believe companies were reluctant to get involved in such sensitive issues like territorial rights. But in New York's Times Square we are free to advertise our culture, food, history and just about everything about our country. I hope this advertisement can be an inspiration to others," Kim said.
“With the concept of ‘island' at the center, we made this ad simple and easy to follow,” Seo said, explaining the idea behind the video. Seo and Kim went on to say that they're planning many other steps to promote not just the issue of Dokdo but also the name of the East Sea and all other matters regarding Korea.
Korea is also waging an uphill battle to restore the original name of the body of water that divides Korea and Japan, from Sea of Japan to East Sea.
“When we refer to Dokdo, we usually think of a rocky island in the sea but the new advertisement Seo showed me in advance really caught me off guard,” Kim wrote on his personal website after being one of the first to see the completed piece before its premiere. “It did cross my mind that it may not be such a bad idea to go beyond territorial issues to introduce Dokdo and the East Sea in terms of culture and tourism,” he added, further hinting to the upcoming contents.
“Seo said he received some help from people of two famous advertising companies who took two months to come up with the concept. I clapped after watching the finished film. I'm so grateful to Seo and his network,” Kim said.
The same ad will also be screened on an outdoor billboard located next to Korea Town in Manhattan on Mar. 1.
This is not the first time Seo and Kim have teamed up to promote crucial issues about Korea. Some of their works include production of the documentary film “Forgive us, Dokdo,” as well as numerous advertisements regarding Korea's territorial issues in big papers like the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
The Independence Movement Day, known as “Samil-jeol” (March 1st Day) in Korean, is one of the Korea's favorite national holidays, commemorating the country's effort to demonstrate its will to be liberated from Japan. Korea was colonized by Japan from 1919 to 1945.
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