Exports Plugged by TV Stars Soar Despite Overall Slump

  • By Yi We-jae

    August 30, 2016 11:03

    The hit TV series "Descendants of the Sun" took China by storm in March and boosted sales of products endorsed by the program and its actors.

    Product placement covered anything from cosmetics to watches and sunglasses, which sold out quickly. A search on Chinese online shopping mall Taobao for the star Song Hye-kyo brings up close to 100,000 products.

    According to the Beijing office of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, sales of Hyundai Motor's Tucson SUV and Genesis premium sedan, which were driven by the stars in the drama benefited noticeably.

    The Institute for International Trade on Monday said products plugged by Korean stars generally perform well in countries with an appetite for K-pop and soaps.

    Overall exports of Korean consumer goods in the first half of this year dropped 7.8 percent on-year, but shipments of products linked to K-stars rose 15.2 percent.

    The biggest jump was among bathroom products like soap and shampoo at US$171 million, up 42.1 percent on-year.

    Next were cosmetics, whose sales soared 38.5 percent. Fashion goods rebounded after shrinking last year. Clothing shipments grew 18.4 percent and bags and belts 13.4 percent each.

    The effect is visible both in advanced and emerging economies. Sales to advanced countries in the first half grew 13.2 percent and to emerging countries 14.7 percent.

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