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South Korea Does the Obvious and Names 'Gangnam Style' Singer New Tourism Ambassador

Where: Seoul, Korea
May 3, 2013 at 4:56 PM | by | ()

CNN reported earlier this week that Psy has been named South Korea's new tourism ambassador. To which we immediately thought: ummm...he wasn't that already? Who were they using for tourism advertising instead? Because apparently it wasn't the really popular guy whose music videos have been viewed by billions of people in the recent past. And while we're not experts at this sort of thing, it seems to us like maybe they should have been using the really popular guy whose music videos have been viewed by millions of people in the recent past.

It turns out there's an answer to that question. Since October 2012 the tourism ambassador of South Korea has been Kenny G. No punchline. We're just going to let that hang there with no comment. The face of South Korean tourism for the last 6 months? Kenny G.

What are the duties of a tourism ambassador, you ask? Promoting tourism, mostly. So they put Psy in a series of TV commercials and now they will air those commercials in over 70 countries. Normally we'd make a joke about how they should just save the money and put it on YouTube, but (a) we've already taken one cheap shot at South Korean tourism officials in this post and (b) we're pretty confident that they know about that part. "We have been looking for ways to tap into new media like social marketing and YouTube," said someone who was in charge of saying something like that.

In other Psy-related travel industry news, it turns out that the star is also going to be the honorary brand ambassador for Asiana Airlines. CNN doesn't disclose what he's getting paid for that, but does pause to note that the deal will entitle him to free tickets to any seat on any Asiana flight during his year-long stint.

We do know that Psy accepted the bare minimum in payment to be the tourism ambassador. The article has the pop star saying that "officially representing South Korea was meaningful work" and then leaving pointedly unsaid that he's already filthy rich because of brand endorsements anyway so who cares?

[Photo: officialpsy / YouTube]

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