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[Opinion] Marketing that Utilizes the New York Mayor

Posted September. 03, 2005 08:34,   


Department stores carry out a variety of sales promotions ahead of season. A month ago, Hyundai Department Store in COEX chose New York City (NYC) as its main theme to attract customers. By linking the urban chic image that the department store has pursued, the store decided to display pictures of NYC in the departments and market some products that can be associated with the fashion style of the city. Someone offered the idea, “It would be better if we could have a letter from the mayor of New York City.” Hence, the store asked to the U.S. Embassy in Korea very carefully, but the embassy unexpectedly promised its full support.

A letter was delivered two weeks ago contained the signature of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Starting with “Dear customers of Hyundai Department Store,” this letter said, “I hope Korean friends will visit New York City, a hometown of all hearts filled with unique vitality, to see many attractions of the city.” The mayor also sent a gift with a total weight of one ton. The gift included 5,000 copies of a New York City guidebook for tourists, 1,000 pieces of discount coupons for Macy’s Department Store and the Woodbury Outlets. Invitation letters from the general director of New York City’s tourism agency and acting U.S. ambassador in Korea also followed.

Hyundai Department Store, who got much more than expected, was really impressed with the gift from NYC and became an Ambassador of Publicity for the city. The theme of the thank-you event celebrating the 17th anniversary of the opening of the store from August 26 to September 4, became “Autumn in New York,” named after a movie starring Richard Gere and Wynona Ryder that is a lyric romance film of New York. All events, including a gift tour and fashion styling, came to target the city. The gift from Mayor Bloomberg will be distributed to customers. It is New York City that seized an opportunity of giving 10 and taking 100 back.

Mayor Bloomberg, the 34th richest man in the U.S. with fortunes worth $5 billion, typically takes sides with businessmen, because it is the businessmen who help feed the city by paying taxes. It is also because Bloomberg himself has experience of running his own media group. When his city was struggling with economic downturn last summer, he held a press conference with representatives from the tourism industry, encouraging people to come and watch popular Broadway musicals for $20 at a 20 percent discount. The source of power, which is strong enough to move Korean employees of a department store across the Pacific, is derived from an everyday business mindset.

Hong Kwon-hui, Editorial Writer, konihong@donga.com