Advertising and marketing are crucial for startups looking to gain visibility, establish their brand, and attract customers. A well-planned marketing strategy can help startups reach their target audience and attract venture firms.
In today’s highly competitive business environment, advertising and marketing are vital for startups’ success. However, language barriers can significantly challenge international startups looking to market themselves in Korea. That’s why it’s essential to partner with an English-speaking advertising and marketing firm that understands the local market and can help startups achieve their goals.
By investing in effective marketing strategies, startups can establish a strong brand, attract customers, and achieve long-term growth and success. Despite language barriers in Korea, several English-language ad campaigns have become successful and helped increase brand awareness and sales for various companies in Korea.
In 2006, McDonald’s launched its famous “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign featuring K-Pop stars singing the catchy jingle in English. Coca-Cola’s “Taste the Feeling” campaign was launched in 2016 with English-language ads and a social media campaign, encouraging people to share their “Coke moments.” Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, launched in 2002, inspired people to push themselves to achieve their goals with English-language ads featuring Korean subtitles. Apple’s “Think Different” campaign, launched in 1997, established the company as a leading brand in Korea’s technology market with English-speaking ads and Korean subtitles.
Finally, Samsung’s “Do What You Can’t” campaign, launched in 2017, encouraged people to break down barriers and achieve their goals with English-language ads and Korean subtitles. Cheil Worldwide, a South Korean multinational advertising and public relations company, was the ad agency that made the successful Samsung campaign.
Here are some of Korea’s top English-speaking advertising and marketing firms that can help global startups.
Cheil Worldwide: For startups looking for English-speaking advertising and marketing firms in Korea, Cheil is the largest advertising and marketing firms to check out. With offices in more than 44 countries, it offers a wide range of services in Korea, including advertising, digital marketing, branding, and public relations. Cheil Worldwide is a subsidiary of Samsung Group and has worked with global brands like Coca-Cola, Shell, Lego, General Motors, etc.
In the Korean startup ecosystem, Cheil Worldwide helped launch the Woowa Brothers’ delivery service app Baedal Minjok (now called “Baemin”) with a creative TV commercial and digital marketing campaign, which helped the app gain significant popularity and market share in Korea’s competitive food delivery market.
Innocean: The global advertising agency offers integrated marketing solutions, including brand strategy, creative development, media planning and buying, and digital marketing. The agency is a unit of the Hyundai Motor Company and has created innovative ad campaigns for the auto giant. It has offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, UAE, the UK and US.
Innocean created an innovative marketing campaign for the startup WaterCircuit, which has developed a portable water purification device for outdoor enthusiasts. The campaign helped the startup generate buzz and interest among its target market in Korea. The agency also worked with the startup Soomgo to develop a unique branding strategy that involved creating a memorable character mascot for its app. This helped the startup differentiate itself in the crowded Korean service marketplace app market.
Ogilvy: The global English-speaking advertising and marketing agency caters to multiple companies in Korea from its office in Seoul. They specialize in brand strategy, creative development, and digital marketing.
The most popular campaigns by Ogilvy for Korean startups include the e-commerce platform Coupang and the health & fitness app Noom. Ogilvy Seoul created a memorable TV commercial for Coupang, which featured a catchy jingle and a humorous storyline, helping Coupang establish itself as a top player in the Korean e-commerce market.
The agency also worked with the startup Noom to create a comprehensive digital marketing campaign that involved social media advertising, content creation, and influencer partnerships. The campaign helped Noom raise its profile and attract new users to its weight loss app
TBWA\Korea: The advertising and marketing firm that has worked with English speaking clients such as Apple, Nissan, and Adidas, can help startups create effective and engaging marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience. TBWA\Korea has worked on several successful ad campaigns for startups in Korea.
One example is the campaign for Trazy, a Korean startup that offers travel experiences and activities in Korea and other countries. The Trazy campaign was called “Trazy Moment” aimed to showcase the unique experiences and adventures that Trazy offers to travelers. The campaign was highly successful, winning a Gold award at the Korea Advertising Awards in 2018.
Dentsu: The global advertising and marketing agency is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It has a presence in over 145 countries, including South Korea. They offer services in advertising, digital marketing, social media marketing, and more, and they have worked with clients such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Canon. With their expertise in branding and marketing, they can help startups establish a strong brand identity and reach their target audience.
HS Ad: The Korean advertising agency is affiliated with LG Group. It specializes in creating TV commercials, digital ads, and other forms of advertising. The agency’s team of creative professionals works closely with clients to develop compelling advertising campaigns that effectively communicate the client’s brand message and resonate with target audiences. The agency has worked with several well-known Korean brands and has won numerous awards for its creative work. It also caters to English speaking clients.
Galaxia SM: The ad and marketing firm affiliated with SM Entertainment specializes in sports marketing. Galaxia SM specializes in advertising, events, exhibitions, broadcasting, and digital marketing. It manages famous Korean athletes and sponsors global sports events.
Galaxia SM has worked on several popular ad campaigns in Korea like a TV commercial for Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone that featured famous Korean actor Lee Min-ho, a series of TV commercials for SK Telecom that promoted the company’s mobile phone plans and services, TV commercial for Hyundai’s Tucson SUV, TV commercial for LG’s G5 smartphone with Korean actor Lee Jong-suk and more.
Insider: The Korea-based unicorn startup Insider caters to clients in 28 countries worldwide, providing AI-based cross-channel personalized marketing solutions to more than 1,000 companies, including Samsung, LG, Lotte, Shinhan, L’Oreal, and Lightning Market. Insider’s integrated marketing platform provides personalization and artificial intelligence technology at all contact points with customers, from the web, web push, email, advertisement, and SMS, as well as messenger apps such as KakaoTalk, Line, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other offline channels.
Adriel: Based in the heart of the upmarket Gangnam district in Seoul, Adriel is an Artificial Intelligence-based digital marketing company. Adriel has a straightforward process to enable an optimized digital marketing plan for businesses. Adriel’s platform is designed to be user-friendly and accessible, even for those without extensive experience in digital marketing. The platform uses advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence to help businesses optimize their campaigns and achieve the best possible results. The platform has catered to several Korean and international clients across various industries, including e-commerce, education, and healthcare. Adriel is an ideal solution for advertisers who need more digital marketing due to high agency fees and complex digital marketing tools.
Adqua: The Korean advertising agency specializes in creating and executing digital marketing campaigns. The agency offers various services, including search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, content marketing, and web design and development.
Adqua’s approach to digital marketing is based on data-driven insights and analysis, allowing the agency to develop effective strategies tailored to each client’s unique needs and goals. The agency’s team of experts stays up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing, ensuring clients receive the most effective and innovative solutions.
In addition to its digital marketing services, Adqua offers brand strategy and creative services, helping clients develop and strengthen their brand identity and messaging across all channels. The agency has worked with several Korean and international clients across various industries, including fashion, beauty, technology, and finance.
Also, this is not an exhaustive list, and other English-speaking advertising and marketing firms in Korea can also provide valuable services to startups, including JWT Korea (J. Walter Thompson), Grey Group Korea, Leo Burnett Korea, Saatchi & Saatchi Korea, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Korea, McCann Worldgroup Korea, and more.