Seoul, South Korea – Luxury travel brand TUMI has recently opened a pop-up experience in South Korea at the Lotte World Atrium in the capital city of Seoul. Said experience is open from July 3 to 15, and features an exhibition of current installations and artwork that creates an environment that highlights the qualities of each new item.

Professional football player, Son Heung-min and TUMI have also worked together, and personally autographed a range of memorabilia and goods for the pop-up event.

The pop-up has a sculptured front that was designed to mimic the lines of the TUMI 19 Degree Aluminum and also features a selection of TUMI’s avant-garde Hypercraft design concepts. 

At the centre of the pop-up, an artwork titled ‘TUMI Hypercraft Sculpture’ by American artist and perceptual art pioneer Michael Murphy pays homage to TUMI’s revered 19 Degree design. This sculpture, composed of suspended elements arranged in a complex pattern, takes centre stage and plays with the viewer’s perception. As one moves around it, the sculpture creates an illusion, seemingly transforming a 19 Degree Aluminum piece into the distinctive letter ‘T’ of the TUMI logo.

Victor Sanz, creative director at TUMI, said, “We’re thrilled to be presenting a manifestation of our brand and the Fall 2023 collection through the Fall 2023 Essentially Beautiful Pop-Up. TUMI’s relentless pursuit of excellence and passion for what we do is displayed beautifully through the installations. Collaborating with Michael Murphy and Son Heung-min underlines our obsession with finding beauty in the details and constantly elevating performance.” 

Meanwhile, Heung-min expressed, “I’m thrilled to be a part of TUMI’s pop-up – and even more so that we’re in my home country. Excited that everyone gets to experience the Essentially Beautiful campaign in this special place.” 

Seoul, South Korea – Popular streaming platform Netflix has announced that it has pledged US$2.5b in investment to South Korea’s entertainment scene, including the creation of films, series, and other unscripted shows for the next four years.

The announcement was made following a meeting with Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos with South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol following the latter’s ongoing state trip in the United States.

According to Sarandos, said investment is twice the company had previously pledged in the Korean market since they started service in Korea in 2016.

“We were able to make this decision because we have great confidence that the Korean creative industry will continue to tell great stories. We were also inspired by the President’s love and strong support for the Korean entertainment industry and fueling the Korean wave,” he said.

Sarandos also added that with the partnership, they will continue to grow with the local industry while sharing the joy of entertainment with Korean storytellers to their fans around the world.

“I have no doubt our investment will strengthen our long-term partnership with Korea and Korea’s creative ecosystem. We are deepening our partnership with the Korean creative industry, which has produced global hits such as ‘Squid Game’, ‘The Glory’, and ‘Physical:100’,” he concluded.

Singapore – Popular beauty retail brand Sephora has appointed Jenny Cheah to be its managing director for Southeast Asia, Oceania, and South Korea. In her new role, she will be reporting directly to Alia Gogi, president of Sephora Asia.

Cheah recently came from popular luxury fashion brand Bulgari, where she spent seven years building the brand and leading the growth and expansion of South Asia as its regional managing director and subsequently, as president of Greater China.

Previously, she was also with LVMH, where she spent 25 years with. It started off when she joined as a management trainee at DFS, where she honed her leadership skills and business acumen to oversee different aspects of the business, from merchandising and retail operations to business development and management.

Speaking on her appointment, Cheah said, “I’m beyond excited to join Sephora at a time when we continue to reimagine, redefine and challenge the perception of beauty. Our corporate purpose that is deeply anchored in empowering the extraordinary in each and all of us, is something that I profoundly believe in, and I can’t wait to work with my amazing teams across Southeast Asia, Oceania and South Korea to bring this to life.”

South Korea Wunderman Thompson has announced the appointment of KJ Lee as its managing director for South Korea to lead the agency’s operations in the country and build a business with creativity and technology at its core. 

Lee will also support the growth ambitions of existing clients by collaborating with the APAC network whilst securing new businesses by delivering innovative solutions to the challenges being faced by Korean brands.

Lee brings with him a 20-year working experience in advertising companies. In his last stint, he was with creative agency Serviceplan Group as executive director. Working with at advertising agency Leo Burnett, tobacco company Philp Morris International, and WPP’s Geometry Global were also some of his previous experiences.

Furthermore, Lee formerly served as Havas’ vice president, where he led the team’s growth in a highly competitive market. Aside from winning the lead creative agency for premium brand BMW Korea during his stint, he was able to expand client categories to healthcare, and mobile game and platform industries.

Ewen Sturgeon, international CEO at Wunderman Thompson said that they are thrilled to have Lee in their leadership team due to his deep understanding of the challenges in the modern marketing industry.

Meanwhile, Lee said that he aims to strengthen the agency’s presence in Korea by making it a positively recognized, highly recommended, and deeply respected agency in the country.

“The Wunderman Thompson network, including Korea, has the data and innovative strategic and execution tools to build inspiring consumer-centric, omnichannel communications – adding value and meaning to our clients and partners,” he added.

Earlier this month, the Indian leg of Wunderman Thompson has also appointed Richa Dholi as vice president of strategy planning in India.

Kowloon, Hong Kong With the aim of increasing its store portfolio across the Asia-Pacific, Starbucks has announced its plans to open 400 new stores in the region in 2023 to serve additional communities in its major cities.

Starbucks also plans to build on its existing portfolio of over 300 stores across 40 cities in India by extending its footprint into at least five new cities. The company also targets expanding its stores beyond the metropolitan areas of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, as well as opening a new store in Laos. 

“Asia Pacific is a dynamic and diverse engine of growth for Starbucks globally. As recovery continues, the region achieved over 20% sales growth year on year, demonstrating the strength and relevance of the brand,” said Michael Conway, group president of International and Channel Development for Starbucks.

He also added that the company is well-positioned for further growth with its licensed business partners.

Moreover, the company has also unveiled its new store in Gwangyang-si, South Korea today, February 16, which marks its 5,000th store milestone in APAC. According to Starbucks, the new store has the latest digital features and technology and a new drive-thru store that offers customers on-the-go more convenience.

To this, Conway commented, “The opening of our 5,000th store in Asia Pacific reaffirms our commitment to bring the unparalleled Starbucks Experience to more customers in one of our fastest growing regions.”

Emmy Kan, president of Starbucks Asia Pacific also said, “That our 5,000th store in Asia Pacific is a drive-thru store speaks both to the changing habits of our customers, and of our determination to meet them where it is most convenient, while still offering the Starbucks connection.” 

She also added that the company will continue to enhance its store formats and innovate to cater to changing customer behaviours and fuel growth in the region.

Building on the welcoming ‘third place’ experience, Starbucks also plans to open more Starbucks Reserve stores across APAC to bring customers an ‘intimate, multi-sensory coffee experience’.

Seoul, South Korea – EssenceMediacom, GroupM’s newest media agency that combines Essence and MediaCom, has appointed Jin Choi as its new CEO for South Korea. Choi, who has been heading MediaCom as managing director in South Korea for over three years, will be leading the merged agency, which launches in January 2023.

Reporting to both Michael Beecroft, GroupM’s CEO for Northeast Asia, and Rupert McPetrie, EssenceMediacom’s CEO for APAC, Choi’s appointment will be effective from January 2023. Meanwhile, Jay Lee, who has been heading Essence as managing director in South Korea for over four years, will take up leadership of GroupM Nexus in the market.

The EssenceMediacom merger, which was announced in April 2022, will blend the digital strategy, data, analytics and creative technology DNA of Essence with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel audience planning and strategic media expertise, to create an advantage for clients. The ambition is a technology-driven, scaled agency with a performance mindset designed to excel at what a future-facing agency should do.

Commenting on his appointment, Choi said, “I am thrilled to take on the leadership of our new combined agency, and evolve our innovative thinking and best-in-class solutions, in line with consumers’ lifecycles today and in the future. I look forward to leading our phenomenal team in South Korea, and continuing to partner with our diverse and ambitious clients in delivering excellent work, with an agile and proactive approach.” 

Meanwhile, Beecroft said, “Jin is a modern agency leader, with a great balance of deep technical experience, and a proven track record of building and leading high-performance teams. Since he joined the agency in 2019, MediaCom has grown by over 40% through bringing new clients into the agency as well as expanding scope with existing partners, including an e-commerce assignment with P&G.”

“Jay has done an incredible job working with GroupM agencies across markets for more than 16 years, and whilst leading Essence South Korea, has spearheaded the group’s performance marketing, analytics and consulting capabilities. I am excited to continue working with him in his new role,” he added. 

McPetrie said, “Over the last years leading MediaCom, he has put people at the heart of the operation, built strong and sustainable partnerships with our clients, as well as developed new capabilities and products to help solve clients’ business challenges. With Jin leading our merged business, I am confident that our progress will further accelerate.”

Singapore – South Korean grocery app Market Kurly is entering the Singapore market via a tie-up with local online grocery service RedMart, Bloomberg first reported.

According to the report, Singaporeans will be able to buy Market Kurly’s ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meals via the app. The initial launch is composed of 44 products, ranging from frozen snacks and Korean-style cold soba from Gwanghwamun Mijin, a decades-old restaurant in Seoul.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Sophie Kim, CEO at Market Kurly said that the initial product lineup will be gradually expanded to chilled food and possibly non-food daily products in the future.

“Singapore is a melting pot of culture and food. Lazada and RedMart’s nationwide reach allows us to tap their expertise and skills, and the ability for us to use that data for future product roll-outs,” Kim said.

This marks Market Kurly’s first overseas expansion since it was first established in 2015. It has attracted around KRW1b in investment during its IPO. Some of its investors include Millennium Management, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital.

South Korea – Xaxis, the outcome media specialist under GroupM, has elevated Ji Young Jung, its former programmatic trading lead, to be the new head of Xaxis South Korea.

Jung will be leading her team toward Xaxis’ vision of scaling up and optimising its performance and digital offerings across APAC. Her passion for developing the programmatic advertising landscape in South Korea centres around helping the country’s leading brands and advertisers navigate an evolving landscape, all the while bringing in ever-stronger results from their media investments.

Jung brings a hands-on experience of both the buy and sell sides of programmatic advertising and previously to Xaxis, spent several years at companies such as The Trade Desk and A1 Media Group. She will be taking over the role from Junsu Bae, who has been elevated to the position of head of digital investment at GroupM South Korea.

Commenting on her appointment, Jung said, “I’m excited for this next chapter in my journey with Xaxis. There are so many opportunities to grow the programmatic landscape in South Korea, and with our blend of innovative AI technology, cross-channel solutions and a wealth of programmatic expertise for our clients to tap into, we’re in a perfect position to lead this charge.”

Meanwhile, Michael Beecroft, GroupM’s CEO of Northeast Asia, said, “Ji Young is a pragmatic leader whose experience is backed up by a full range of hands-on experience in the programmatic advertising space. I’m looking forward to seeing how her wealth of industry knowledge inspires the team around her and drives continued success for the Xaxis South Korea team.”

Bae noted, “Since joining in 2019, Ji Young has created a remarkable imprint on the programmatic advertising industry in South Korea. She has shown time and again her ability to create successful business outcomes for Xaxis and our clients, and I’m delighted to be working alongside her when developing and launching future GroupM products in South Korea.”

Seoul, South Korea – COM2US, a global multi-content and gaming platform company in South Korea, has partnered with programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) adtech Hivestack, to launch its first cross-border programmatic DOOH campaign in the USA via Open Exchange through the Hivestack DSP.

Using the Hivestack Custom Audience and Geotargeting technology, COM2US has advertised its new baseball game ‘MLB 9 innings 22’, to a custom audience of baseball enthusiasts in the Los Angeles area and at specific points of interests (POI) including the Angel Baseball Stadium of Anaheim during the Major League Baseball tournament. 

Through this partnership, COM2US has successfully connected and engaged further with its target audience leveraging trigger targeting capabilities available within the Hivestack DSP, activating the campaign every three hours before the game was set to begin using a proximity geofence of a 10km radius of the stadium.

Hivestack said that its advanced programmatic DOOH technology enables local and global buyers to access premium DOOH screens in over 25 markets across the world. In turn, media owners can benefit from both domestic and international revenue from brands, agencies and omnichannel DSPs – a revolutionary evolution of the OOH channel.

Hoon Lee, Hivestack’s vice president of demand and supply for Korea, commented that through this innovative, cross-border campaign, COM2US are setting a new global digital paradigm in the gaming industry in Korea. 

“Throughout the campaign, we were able to adjust campaign parameters in real-time and select the most suitable DOOH locations for the target audience. We look forward to expanding our partnership with COM2US to launch numerous campaigns internationally in the future,” said Lee.

Meanwhile, Youngjoo Park, COM2US’s director of marketing and content center, shared that the collaboration with the Hivestack team has enabled COM2US to light up new markets and bring our campaigns to a global audience.

“With Hivestack’s Geotargeting technology, we were able to deliver the advertisements at the right time, at the right place, to the right customer,” said Park.

Most recently, Hivestack has extended its partnership with Asiaray, an out-of-home (OOH) media company with a strategic focus on mega transport advertising media management. This partnership will see Asiaray offering both domestic and international buyers the opportunity to activate programmatic DOOH campaigns via Private Marketplace (PMP) deals through the Hivestack SSP and direct deals via the Hivestack Ad Server.

South Korea – ONE Holdings’ esports media company ONE Esports has been appointed as the official media partner for League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK). The League of Legends tournament is organised by League of Legends Champions Korea Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Riot Games Korea Limited.

The LCK Summer Split 2022, which will take place from 15 June to August 2022 in South Korea, will see 10 of the best League of Legends teams from Korea compete for a US$370,000 prize pool.

Through this appointment, ONE Esports will manage the production of localised content related to the LCK Summer Split 2022, including short-form videos and written coverage. All video content, including tournament highlights, player interviews, and fan interactions, amongst others, will be distributed across ONE Esports’ digital channels. 

Moreover, ONE Esports will also publish a series of articles covering the LCK in localised languages to be distributed exclusively on the ONE Esports website,

Carlos Alimurung, CEO of ONE Esports, said that it is motivating to work with the dedicated team at League of Legends Champions Korea Limited who are committed to delivering high-quality events and telling remarkable stories. 

“The popularity of League of Legends Champions Korea, coupled with ONE Esports’ passionate fanbase and extensive reach, will take the tournament’s phenomenal success to the global stage,” said Alimurung.

Meanwhile, Aiden Lee, secretary-general of League of Legends Champions Korea, commented that they are excited to welcome ONE Esports as their newest partner for League of Legends Champions Korea.

“Storytelling is such an important aspect in esports because it allows our audience to engage with our brand and talents in deep and meaningful ways. We are thrilled that with ONE Esports’ expertise and presence in esports, we will be able to bring LCK closer to fans around the world,” said Lee.

In April 2022, ONE Esports has also been tapped by gaming company Riot Games to be its official media partner for the upcoming League of Legends: Wild Rift Championships SEA tournament, to be held from 23 April to 8 May 2022.