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A 15-meter-tall teddy bear is displayed at Pier 17 in Manhattan Thursday. Photo courtesy of Lotte Home Shopping

Lotte Home Shopping’s teddy bear taps into global markets

A super giant bear has attracted New Yorker just as it did in South Korea _ it’s a 15-meter-tall teddy bear installed by Lotte Home Shopping this week.

The Seoul-based retailer announced on Sept. 19 that it had displayed the pink-colored bear, named Bellygom, at Pier 17 in Manhattan on the sidelines of the Korea Brand Expo in New York last week.

The character, which debuted in 2018, is already famous as it has more than 1.2 million followers on social media and its YouTube video clips have amassed up to 3 millions of views.

The popularity prompted Lotte Home Shopping to come up with a plan to nurture Bellygom as a global intellectual property, which it believes would help its global business.

In particular, the South Korean company was encouraged to go abroad with Bellygom as more than 40 percent of viewers on the character’s YouTube channel were foreigners.

This is not the first time for the character to be displayed in public.

In April, the teddy bear was installed on the lawn in front of Lotte Tower in Seoul to attract more than 3.2 million visitors, according to Lotte Home Shopping.

Earlier this month, it was demonstrated at an expo in Berlin.

“The New York event drew many people. We will continue to prepare for similar events across the world,” a Lotte Home Shopping official said. “The events are also geared toward helping South Korea host the 2030 World Expo.”

South Korea strives to host the 2030 World Expo in the country’s second-largest city Busan. It is now competing with Italy’s Rome and Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh.

The host city will be decided later next year.

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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.