Hallyu content: perfect for curing COVID-19 blues

Date Sep 24, 2020

International content contest attracts 42,110 entries from 170 countries


Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo and Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) Director Park Jung-Youl announced that the seventh annual Korea-related content contest Talk Talk Korea attracted a record-high 42,110 entries from 170 countries.

*Talk Talk Korea is a contest for Korea-related content for both locals and foreign nationals. This year saw the event's seventh edition since the inaugural one in 2014. The competition has had Hallyu stars promoting the event under specific themes, attracting ever-rising participation from abroad.


Reconfirmation of high overseas interest in Hallyu content


Talk Talk Korea ran for about four months from May 15 to Sept. 15, during which 42,110 entries poured in, up from 32,519 last year. This reconfirmed keen global interest in Korea and Hallyu despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Korea's boosted popularity could stem from the country's effective response to COVID-19, strengthened communication with contestants by offering the contest website in eight languages, and active utilization of the estimated 3,000 Korea.net Honorary Reporters worldwide.


TikTok videos of up to 15 seconds were submitted and attracted more than 50 million views, showing how Hallyu changed contestants. The wider spread of online content also occurred during the holding of Talk Talk Korea.


The highest number of works by continent was from Asia, followed by Europe, South America, North and Central America, and Africa. By nation, the Philippines led all others, trailed by India, Indonesia, Mexico and Peru. The number of entries from select countries including India, Pakistan and Romania jumped more than three-fold from last year. Countries showing high participation in Talk Talk Korea last year such as Indonesia, Mexico and Peru continued that growth trend this year, showing that Hallyu is no passing fad.


"How Hallyu Changed Me" (TikTok videos) was the theme that saw the most entries, followed by "K-pop Dance and Song Covers" (#koreacover), "Korea-related Objects" (photos), "Unique Experience" (illustration), "Korea's Strengths" (video) and "Introduction to Korean Vocabulary" (video). An estimated 1,242 entries came in for the "Overcome Together Challenge," in which participants shared how they stayed safe from COVID-19.


Among photos of Korea-related objects, those of night views and fancy alleys gained attention, whereas for entries on unique experiences in Korea, those on Korean street food were popular. For videos explaining Korean vocabulary, frequently used neologisms such as daebak and gguljaem were the most explained. As for the Overcome Together Challenge, works showing participants wearing masks and practicing social distancing attracted high interest worldwide.


Online awards ceremony announces 123 winning works, gives gifts


The entries will undergo internal and expert screening. A combined 123 works – 20 on each of the six topics on Korea and three on the Overcome Together Challenge – will be selected by the end of October and announced on a livestreamed awards ceremony.* The grand prize winner of each topic will receive a special K-button and gifts worth KRW 2 million. Second to sixth place will also receive gifts related to online content production such as smartphones and tablet PCs.

*The ceremony will be aired on Korea.net's official YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/GatewayToKorea


Entries can be found on Talk Talk Korea's website (www.talktalkkorea.or.kr). Those winning awards from other events hosted in Korea and by Korean Cultural Centers abroad are also shown online.

KOCIS Director Park Jung-Youl said, "We plan to widely spread Korean culture through the excellent content submitted in this year's contest, which attracted a record number of participants. Through Hallyu content, we will also strive to console the world amid the pandemic."