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Online Commercials As Popular As Those on TV

Posted March. 24, 2007 09:18,   


Lim Seong-hyeon (34), who launched an Internet shopping business titled “Funny Home Shopping” last month, selling interior decorating crafts, including furniture, is now pouring in as much effort to produce online commercials.

Every week, he produces two videos introducing his products in different formats, including a talk show, a comedy skit, and a soap opera, and posts them on his online shopping mall site. The rumor has spread that his videos are “interesting,” and “funny.” They have even spread to websites for user-created content (UCC), including Pandora TV and Aura, and now more than 1,000 users visit his shopping mall every day.

Lim said, “Comedy skits are not only fun but also make it easier for customers to understand how to use and operate the products as they are shown,” adding, “Videos have become an excellent product manual and promotional tool, reaping handsome revenues.”

The wave of video UCC has hit the online market as well. Product merchandisers and sellers have begun to utilize UCC in selling their products. Seller-created content (SCC) produced to sell products has emerged and is gaining popularity.

Yun Yeong-seok, planning director at the website Auction, said, “UCC is now commercially used,” adding, “UCC has become a new profit model for the second generation of the Internet thanks to the consolidation of UCC and SCC in e-commerce.”

Making Money with SCC -

Auction and G-Market, popular e-market sites that started posting SCC last month, are seeing about 100 SCC posts a day produced by sellers.

CJ Mall, an Internet shopping mall, sold about 300 products using SCC starting last year, and hour-long, live SCC has been aired enabling real-time chatting with consumers since last month.

Individual sellers who raise revenues by making eye-catching SCC are increasing in numbers as well.

Kim Dae-yong (32) who sells pork ribs under the brand, “Chimmokhyang Village” doubled his revenues thanks to his SCC post, a parody of the recent hit comedy program “The Modern Jobless” which pokes fun at the daily life of the jobless.

Lee Gi-ung (34), who sells accessories, also enjoyed a spike in sales volume as his video of him shouting and clapping hands on an apple box has been increasingly popular among Internet users.

Juinjang.com, an online shopping network, and other specialized websites selling products with videos have emerged, along with agencies that produce SCC for sellers who cannot produce videos themselves.

This is a byproduct of the needs of both sellers and consumers who are sick and tired of the online marketplace where few presentation options were available aside from photos and manuals.

Online Market Evolving Toward UCC -

Even consumers are voicing their opinions via “customer-created contents” (CCC).

More and more consumers are making CCC with photos and videos on how they use certain products they bought on online shopping malls like Interpark and G-Market and what they think about them.

As consumers have been active in monitoring products and exchanging information via UCC, they are no longer information takers from the sellers.

Professor Lee Gyeong-jeon of Business Administration at Kyung Hee University said, “SCC has even reached a point where product sellers mimic TV commercials,” predicting, “The TV commercial market could shrink in the future because promotion has been made possible at a much lower cost than TV commercials.”

Lee Bong-jae, planning director at Interpark, evaluated, “The online market is now evolving into an “infotainment” zone where consumers have fun while shopping thanks to UCC.”

imsoo@donga.com jinhup@donga.com