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Korea's Animated Characters: Pucca and Pororo!

2011/05/05 | 14962 views | Permalink | Source

The iconic Mickey Mouse from the United States is 83 years old, and still loved by young and old around the world!

Hello Kitty from Japan has also been enjoying huge popularity with fans all over the world.

Challenging Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty are homegrown Korean characters, the 11 years old "Pucca" and

"Pororo", also called President "Pororo" for its hold over children in Korea! Let's meet Korea's own characters "Pucca" and "Pororo" which have successfully made it in the overseas market.

This building in Gangnam is the birthplace of "Pucca".
A weekly meeting is taking place in the conference room and the creators of "Pucca" are sharing their ideas.

In fact, Pucca is more loved overseas than in Korea. Her image as a confident Asian girl who bosses over her boyfriend has won fans in 150 countries, bringing in 466 million US dollars in revenue with 14 million in royalties alone.

The popularity of Pucca is such that Hollywood stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow attended Pucca's launching party in the U.S. Moreover, Pucca was selected as the favorite character in South America, beating even Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty.

Pucca with her small eyes and hot red costume is winning hearts all over the world.

[Interview : Kim Bu-gyeong, CEO VOOZ] ""Pucca" is popular in France, Brazil and China where it's being aired. I think "Pucca" has created a market base abroad".

Despite the huge success, the staff of VOOZ are not resting on their laurels. They get together every week to brainstorm new designs.

Such diligence is the root of Pucca's success, and CEO Kim Bu-gyeong is the embodiment of this spirit.

[Interview : Lee Hye-sil, Product designer VOOZ] "From conceptualizing to manufacturing the final product, he looks through every detail down to each specific color before it goes to market".

[Interview : Kim Bu-gyeong, CEO VOOZ] "Before "Pucca", the character industry was focused on children, but I targeted "Pucca" at women in their teens and twenties. I thought the story should be about love but not a typical love story. "Pucca" is about the female leading the male in romance".

Pucca was created 11 years ago by Kim who wanted to make a character that could rival Mickey Mouse. He targeted his strong willed and boldly colored creation at women in their teens and twenties. However, the response of his peers were not encouraging.

[Interview : Kim Bu-gyeong, CEO VOOZ] ""Pucca" received criticism from industry insiders at first because the concept was too tough. It was difficult at first, but I stuck to the original concept because I thought the toughness was part of its charm".

The situation changed completely in the global market. People couldn't get enough of Pucca and she received calls from industry giants such as Walt Disney and Warner Brothers.

[Interview : Kim Bu-gyeong, CEO VOOZ] "There was no need to persuade foreigners on the notion of characters as brands as the industry is well established overseas. So it was easier to make it in the market overseas".

Pucca's success formula lies in strict localization. Production and marketing is delegated to local partners while the Korean company is in charge of making the contents. Although Pucca adorns more than 3000 products, none of them are made in Korea.

Meanwhile, the company brings in 14 million dollars in royalties alone. Pucca is 11 years old and still growing. The future goal of her creators is to open a Pucca theme park.

[Interview : Kim Bu-gyeong, CEO VOOZ] "Traditionally, consumer products and TV animations have been the main products of the character industry. Now I'm thinking how I could expand into different areas and create a success model for such expansion in Korea".

The "Pororo" theme park in Gyeonggi province is where children can go to meet a very special penguin. "Pororo" is nicknamed the president of children in Korea, and this theme park starring him and his friends just opened last month.

The penguin wearing an aviator's cap and goggles is none other than Pororo, the star of Korea's number 1 hit animation, "Pororo the Little Penguin".

[Interview : PD] "Do you guys know his name[Interview : ] ""Pororo"!"

[Interview : PD] "Who's your favourite among "Pororo" and his friends[Interview : ] ""Loopy"!"

[Interview : ] "Can I have this please

It is a force to be reckoned with in the market with 774 million US dollars in total sales.

Even the government has been funding the production of "Pororo" since 2009 to support its growth. Based on such domestic success, Pororo is on his way to take over the global market.

It's no doubt that the adorable penguin will win children's hearts around the world with "Pororo the Little Penguin" being aired in Europe and its products being sold in 110 countries.

[Interview : Kim Seong-hun, Marketing and operations manager Iconix Entertainment] "There is great interest for the "Pororo" theme park in Southeast Asia and neighbouring countries. We get many inquiries about that everyday. It may take a while, but I'm sure there will be interest in Japan and China for Disneyland-style "Pororo" theme parks within the next few years".

Pucca and Pororo are two of Korea's most popular animation characters. With Pucca's popularity overseas, Pororo is now set to follow suit in the global market, while Pucca is learning from Pororo's domestic success. We look forward to the day when Pororo and Pucca become two of the world's favourite animation characters!



Joining us now in the studio are the two stars of our animation package

Pucca and Pororo!

Pororo can be seen in 80 countries and he lives in the Porong Porong Forest where he gets into mischief and learns life lessons.

and Pucca is the niece of three owners of a Chinese noodle house in a small village in the mountains and she's even gone to New York Fashion Week.

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