Virtual influencers have been used to promote products and brands of popular companies in South Korea targeting Seoul to open chef incubator to help GS25 to issue NFTs for student's popular riceball snack to arouse nostalgia among millennials and Gen Z start food businesses who place importance on unique lifestyles. Reah Keem, a virtual human with more than 152,000 followers, signed an agreement with entertainment company Mystic Story in January 2022 to debut as a musician. South Korea's first virtual social media influencer Rozy was selected by convenience store franchise GS25 to promote the company's products and campaigns in December 2021. Rozy has some 123,000 followers.
Dongdaemun is South Korea's commercial district with some 30,000 shops. During the Korean War in the 1950s, a wholesale market created by evacuees became popular as it sold various clothes at a low price. Since then, many other brands launched their business in Dongdaemun, creating a fashion shopping complex. Dongdaemun is the largest wholesale apparel market complex in South Korea. Data released by Seoul showed that more than 150,000 people visit Dongdaemun market every day.
"Through public voting, we will pick a virtual intern to promote domestic fashion brands with high-quality products that are obscure to the public," Seoul City's manufacturing industry innovation bureau Kim Chan-woo told Aju Business Daily on March 11. Kim added that Seoul aims to support business operators in Dongdaemun as their sales have decreased since the mid-2000s due to the increase in online shopping. According to South Korea's statistics office, online sales of apparel stood at 7.7 trillion won ($6.2 billion), accounting for up to 7.7 percent of the total online sales in January 2022.
The selected intern will serve as a model and ambassador to promote fashion brands in Dongdaemun. Seoul residents can vote to pick an intern by March 15. "Once the intern is selected, we will start creating her voice," Kim said, adding that there are three candidates -- Mo Yi-da, Ha Li-ra and Seo Ha-yi. All of them are digital women in their 20s. Unlike Mo and Seo with outgoing personalities, Seo is relatively introverted. Voters can check their personal statements on Seoul's official website.
"The virtual influencer will be used in various spaces such as e-commerce and metaverse by the fashion industry in Seoul," Seoul's economic policy bureau head Hwang Bo-yeon was quoted as saying. The capital city will promote the selected intern using social media platforms and collaborate with various designers.
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