How SUBWAY is Taking Over Korea | Summary and Q&A

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August 31, 2022
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Johnny Harris
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How SUBWAY is Taking Over Korea

TL;DR

Subway has become a major product placement presence in Korean dramas, using the shows as a platform to improve their brand perception and increase their sales.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ₯ͺ Subway sandwiches feature heavily in Korean dramas, with numerous shows incorporating product placement from Subway, the largest fast food chain in the world.
  • πŸ” Korean Subway sandwiches have some unique items and taste slightly better than their American counterparts, but are still prepared with mass-produced ingredients.
  • 🎬 South Korea has strict regulations against commercial breaks during TV shows, leading to the integration of product placements within the storyline.
  • πŸ“ˆ Subway saw an opportunity to tap into the popularity of K-dramas and invested heavily in product placement, leading to a brand refresh and increased market presence.
  • πŸ˜„ The strategy has been successful in both South Korea and abroad, as K-dramas gain popularity globally, allowing Subway to reach new audiences and create brand awareness.
  • β›” Some product placements in K-dramas can be cringey or excessive, risking a negative association with the brand.
  • 🌍 American brands, like Dunkin Donuts, have been able to successfully establish a new brand perception in South Korea, building a different image than in their home market.
  • πŸ“Ί Product placement in K-dramas will continue to evolve, becoming more seamless and integrated into the storylines, as the industry embraces this advertising strategy.

Transcript

(voice over loudspeaker) - Next to the product placement that Subway engages in overseas. Particularly in Korean dramas where every plot point seems to occur at a Subway. Here is two characters having a meeting at one. Here is a group of men celebrating the fact their friend's just woke up from a coma. - I'm going to South Korea, let's look into th... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why has Subway become such a dominant presence in Korean dramas?

Subway has become a dominant presence in Korean dramas because of the strict regulations against commercials on TV, which created an opportunity for product placement in shows to fund their production. Subway took advantage of this and heavily invested in K-dramas to improve their brand perception and increase their sales.

Q: How did product placement in Korean dramas benefit Subway?

Product placement in Korean dramas benefited Subway by allowing them to integrate their brand into storylines, improving their brand perception, increasing their brand awareness, and ultimately boosting their sales. It also helped Subway reach international audiences as K-dramas gained popularity worldwide.

Q: Did Subway face any challenges with their product placement in Korean dramas?

Yes, Subway faced challenges with their product placement in Korean dramas. If product placement is too obvious or forced, it can create a negative association with the brand and lead to backlash. Subway had to find a balance between getting enough screen time and integrating their brand naturally into the storylines to avoid coming across as overly promotional.

Q: How has the advertising culture in South Korea contributed to the rise of product placement in K-dramas?

South Korea has a unique advertising culture that heavily regulates commercial breaks on TV. Instead of traditional commercials, product placement is used as a way to advertise in shows. This created an opportunity for brands like Subway to integrate their products into storylines, leading to a rise in product placement in K-dramas.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Subway has done a significant amount of product placement in Korean dramas, featuring their sandwiches in numerous shows.

  • South Korea has strict regulations against commercial breaks on TV, which opened up opportunities for product placement in dramas as a way to fund the shows.

  • Subway saw the potential and poured money into K-dramas, successfully integrating their brand into storylines and increasing their brand awareness and sales.

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