Case Study

Collaboration with Brands and Kidults Culture in South Korea

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H&M lured a lot of shoppers all around the world thanks to the collaboration with Balmain recently. In front of the H&M store in Myeongdong, Seoul, South Korea, people wanting to buy the H&M x Balmain items had camped from a week before of the event.

People Camping to Queue up in front of H&M Store <Image Source: Newsis> 

It was said that about 400 people in line were divided into groups of 30 people in this branch, and roughly 1,100 people queued up in advance in total across 4 branches in H&M stores in South Korea. They were allowed to shop for 10 minutes and every item was sold out in three hours. This sounds rather extreme, but the collaboration strategy certainly worked.

Talking of collaboration, it seems companies in South Korea also love to work with other brands for sales, especially targeting ‘kidults’ nowadays. Kidults is a term combining two words ‘kid’ and ‘adult’, indicating grown-ups who still want to keep child-like tastes. They feel nostalgia for their childhood and want to recall it through toys they used to play with or cartoon characters that were popular back in those days. The concept seems expanded in that now it doesn’t seem goods necessarily have to be the exact items that were popular when they were young; kidults like to enjoy buying and collecting items that look cute and child-like as long as the products can make them feel they are back to their childhood.

Between in late twenties and forties they are those who can actually purchase nostalgic items, less influenced by price, to appreciate their child-like hobbies. This has appealed to marketers in South Korea. They have started to pair up with other character/cartoon brands to design their products with the characters on to attract kidult consumers.

The following examples might illustrate how popular collaboration, particularly with character brands, is in South Korea at the moment. It was almost countless; as a result the collection of the examples below may be also rather long.

1. Cosmetics

  • A’PIEU x Doraemon
A'PIEU x Doraemon
<Image Source: A’PIEU Website > 
  • LAPCOS x Disney
LAPCOS x Disney
<Image Source: LAP Korea Website > 
  • VDL x Kakao Friends
VDL x Kakao Friends
<Image Source: VDL Website> 
<Image Source: CODE Website> 

atom3atom 2

<Image Source: TONYMOLY Website> 

  • Innisfree x Line Friends
<Image Source: Inisfree Website> 

2. Clothing

  • BEANPOLE x Kakao Friends

bean pole  bean2 bean  bean3

<Image Source: SSFshop Website>

3. Culture

  • MEGABOX (Cinema) x Oxford
<Image Source: Megabox Website> 
  • CGV (Cinema) x Kakao Friends
<Image Source: CGV Website> 
  • CU (Convenient Store) x Oxford
<Image Source: CU Blog> 

4. Food & Drink

  • Samlip x Line Friends (: random character stickers inside)
<Image Source: > 
  • First Soju (alcoholic drinks) X SML



<Image Source: First Soju Facebook Page>

5. Etc.

  • T-Money (Transportation Card) x Mini Bus Tayo
  • T-Money x Line Friends



<Image Source: T-Money Shop>

  • Thermos x Line Friends
<Image Source: Line Friends Store> 

[Articles read and sites visited for this post]


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