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Title [Events] CICI survey shows BTS most popular Koreans [The Korea Times 2019-06-05]
Posted by webmaster Hit 7783 Date 2019.06.05

K-pop boy band BTS. Korea Times file

By Dong Sun-hwa

K-pop sensation BTS and its creator Bang Si-hyuk have played the most pivotal roles in promoting Korea, according to a recent survey of 606 opinion leaders, including diplomats. 

The Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI) conducted the survey of 341 Koreans and 265 foreigners from March 25 to May 24, asking respondents about Korea's general image. It disclosed the result during Tuesday's Korea CQ Forum at the French Embassy in Seoul. 

More than 48 percent of the Korean nationals and 65 percent of the foreigners picked BTS as the Koreans they most want to meet. The seven-piece band edged out Son Heung-min, a striker for England football club Tottenham Hotspur, who ranked second. 

Bang Si-hyuk. Courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment

Bang, the founder and co-CEO of Big Hit Entertainment that represents BTS, was singled out as the flagship Korean "creator." Some 55 percent of the Koreans and 40 percent of the foreigners selected him. The founder of video art Paik Nam-june was next. 

"It seems K-pop has grabbed much attention thanks to BTS's musical feat," a CICI spokesperson said. "The team reigned atop the Billboard 200 chart three times."

The Koreans and foreigners said Korea needs more fresh and diverse cultural content. They singled out food as the most competitive Korean content, despite the rise of K-pop. Information technology (IT) devices such as mobile phones were the first thing that came to mind when they thought of Korea. 

The participants found Korean products easy to access, but were concerned about their safety. Their favorite place was Gangnam. They also said they were fond of the combination of traditional and modern culture in Seoul. 

CICI members. Courtesy of CICI

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