A growing number of companies are seeking to ride on the popularity of Pengsoo, an outspoken penguin character going viral online, according to industry officials, Friday.
They said companies are striving to use the character for commecials, collaborative goods and other types of ads as consumers are buying all Pengsoo goods in sight.
According to E-Land Group, its apparel brand SPAO will roll out a number of clothing items using the image of Pengsoo in the middle of next month, and drop more products in January next year.
"SPAO and Pengsoo are both 10 years old this year and the company believes the collaboration will provide interesting products, concepts and other content," E-Land Group said in a statement.
An E-Land Group official said winning the bid was "very competitive" as not only its rival apparel brands but also firms from other industries expressed keen interest in using the character. He added that contracts for using Pengsoo now cost as much as using globally renowned Disney characters and the value is going up quickly.
Pengsoo is a 10-year-old male penguin character performed by an actor wearing a costume. It rose to its current stardom via the 835,000-subscriber YouTube channel Giant PengTV, run by education broadcaster EBS.
Initially targeted at children, young adults in their 20s and 30s have been the actual viewers of Giant PengTV, because the penguin character's humor appeals to adults and shows empathy for salaried workers.
The popularity was soon transformed into a lucrative business. The character's 2,500 won emoticon pack, available of messaging app Kakao Talk, comprised of 24 images of the character, became the top-selling emoticon pack on the massaging app as soon as it was released last week.
Online retailer Yes24 saw its stock price setting a 52-week high of 7,400 won on Nov. 11, after it began selling limited-edition Pengsoo merchandise.
As Pengsoo becomes a marketing sensation, food firms including Lotte Confectionery, Dongwon F&B, Binggrae as well as other firms including budget carrier T'way Air and travel agency Modetour have already expressed their interest, with their marketing officials leaving "desperate comments" jokingly wooing the character. Of them, Dongwon and Lotte reportedly had an actual business meeting with EBS.
As companies are vying for Pengsoo-related content, retail industry officials say companies are rather pitching their brand philosophies and profitability "to Pengsoo" to have the penguin character come on board.
"Pengsoo has more marketing power because its fans are mostly in their 20s or 30s, this is a difference from EBS' another sensation character Pororo, whose target customers were kids," Meritz Securities analyst Ha In-hwan said in a recent report.
He's got almost 1 million YT subscribers. I don't know how to tag this lol, sorry.
source: KOCOWA TV & The Korea Times