Korean band “Red Velvet” has attracted over 230 million views with its most-streamed music video. The band’s enormous popularity attracts a lot of attention on social media – as Martin Nydegger, Director of Switzerland Tourism ST, was happy to note: in next to no time, his tweet welcoming the five Korean singers received 5,400 likes and 3,800 retweets.

Which destination among the top 15 recorded the highest percentage growth of Korean guests in 2019?

  1. Lausanne
  2. Täsch
  3. Matten near Interlaken
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Lausanne (VD) recorded the highest percentage growth in 2019 with 34% to 6026 hotel nights, followed by Täsch (VS, 26.6%) and Matten near Interlaken (BE, 16.9%).

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“Swiss Tour” achieves major media impact
In September 2019, the band spent six days in Switzerland – for promotional videos and, of course, to get to know the country. They used social media to take their millions of fans on a virtual tour of Switzerland. They visited the Abbey Library in St Gallen, travelled up the Schilthorn, took a stroll through Lucerne and saw the Matterhorn in Zermatt. The band is followed by 8.3 million fans on their official Instagram account. The extent of the band’s reach is indicated by the post from St Gallen: it received over 820,000 likes and over 3,300 comments. What’s more, “Everything that Red Velvet does is also picked up by the Korean media. This generates additional attention,” explained Jean Kim, South Korea Market Manager at ST. Local media titles “St Galler Tagblatt”, “Luzerner Zeitung” and “Blick” also carried reports on the celebrity visitors thanks to ST’s media efforts.

Summer campaign launch with “Red Velvet”
Since 2019, “Red Velvet” have been acting as the new “Swiss Friends”, i.e. ambassadors for Switzerland as a holiday destination. The launch of the “Hiking” summer campaign in May 2019 marked the introduction of the new “Swiss Friends” to a 120strong audience, among them journalists, influencers and tour operators. This led to extensive media coverage with 70 media reports (for example on Naver.com), 150 posts on social media and a total of 65 million contacts. 

Celebrity endorsements are a particularly successful advertising strategy in the Korean market. That’s why ST’s regional office in Seoul has been collaborating with “Swiss Friends” like this since 2003.