Korean Air’s New Ad Campaign Is… Really Strange?

Filed Under: Korean Air, Videos

I’m a sucker for a good airline marketing campaign.

Singapore Airlines’ ad campaigns? Love them.

Air France’s “France Is In The Air” campaign? Okay, I actually have no clue what’s going on, but it’s so chic and French, and I can’t help but like it.

Well, Korean Air has just unveiled their new ad campaign, and it’s… unusual. Keep in mind the airline has been involved in all kinds of scandals lately, given that the family that runs the airline just seems to be awful, and can’t stay out of the spotlight. So I’m guessing they wanted to come up with a new campaign in part to boost the reputation of the airline, given that it seems to be suffering a bit among all these challenges.

Korean Air’s new ad is called “Go Korean,” and since the airline is named after the country, it seems to be promoting both the country and the airline. But it’s just… very strange and very cheesy. Maybe there’s something cultural I’m missing here, but this is an English campaign that will play on international stations in English.

I just… don’t get it?


One of Korean Air’s old ad campaigns had the tagline “Excellence In Flight,” and while I thought it was a bit much, it at least made the airline seem a bit glamorous, and had a message:

Does anyone like/get/have a different take on Korean Air’s new ad campaign?

  1. All I can say is that none of that happened to me when I flew KE F in February from Singapore to Washington. It was an excellent journey (I’d give an A+ to each of the flights I was on), so I’d definitely fly them again, regardless of this rather strange ad.

  2. Not any less brilliant than AF or SQ Campaigns.
    It rides nicely the positive vibe Kpop and Seoul fashion have (mostly in Asia).

    I think it fits well the new Terminal they launched.

  3. I actually didn’t like the “excellence in flight” ads, because nothing shown in the ad really speaks to the tagline (are they advertising service to many cities or the onboard product?). I can fly dozens of airlines to Shanghai — why would I fly KE?

    The new campaign makes nods to the modern trend of farm-to-table eating, and with the somewhat cheesy kpop moves, speaks to the korean cultural references foreigners are most likely to recognize. Especially thinking about their primary competitor (OZ) the message is blunt: you have many ways to fly, but you should fly us because we’re Korean.

  4. I don’t understand any of these k-pop references. Isn’t this commercial geared more towards European pop music?

  5. Korean Air is way too tacky, from the flight attendants’ uniforms to the sickly blue they paint their planes in. Their ad campaigns reflect as such.

  6. I’m a Korean native – lived in Korea all my life – and I don’t get it at all. I don’t recognize the music – it definitely isn’t one of those hit K-Pops.

  7. The second daughter of Korean Air’s chairman got in trouble when she threw water in the face of an executive from one of the airline’s advertising agencies. Lucky, you might be able to sympathise with her situation if this was the ad they were presenting to her.

  8. Agree with @Andy that this new advert plays like an awareness building campaign for both KE & Korea.

    In ~60 secs, the vid connects key KE/Korea USPs: modern/stylish, delicious food, high tech, K-pop, animation, airlines.

    Target demo for branding campaign probably is first timers who’d benefit from seeing all these disparate references threaded together—hopefully resulting in a “Oh, that’s Korea? It seems really cool! I should go there (on KE)” moment.

    IMO, brilliant if it can achieve this. You probably don’t *get it* because you’re not the intended audience @Lucky

  9. South Korea as a country hypes themselves to the max. They want to be viewed as hyper modern which this commercial pushes. But the country is kinda a mess. I know so many people who where so excited to visit South Korea but where then disappointed. Should have gone to Japan which is wonderful.

  10. There are mountains and there are molehills…
    Let’s not make mountains out of molehills.

  11. The idea is super simple. Korean pop culture is world famous. If you want to experience cool culture, go Korean airlines
    BTS is so so so hot! Much better than Shawn Mendes

  12. Besides the karate bit I actually like it and get it, I think it is meant to show way Korean air infuses the culture within the airline product e.g. food , music in the entertainment system etc I actually really like it

  13. I think because it’s so different, it’s meant to grab your attention. It certainly kept my attention.

  14. Probably a poor translation of the original Korean voiceover script, plus the delivery of said voiceover is not great. Turn down the sound and it’s visually an interesting spot, no better or worse than AF’s effort.

    However, I’m sorry, that old Korean spot from 2010 is terrible, I mean like cringe worthy. It’s essentially a retail spot proclaiming loudly about it’s global reach with heavy handed, tired visual metaphors. I actually couldn’t believe that one was from 2010, looks and feels more like 1995. TV advertising is my business, I can spot a turd a mile away.

  15. I love the Korean Air new ad. The colors and sounds are definitely refreshing and a welcome to the more traditional advertisements of hospitality like Singapore Airlines.

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