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South Korea's BTS commercials to play at sacred Chinese mountain

By
Elizabeth Shim
Members of South Korean boy band BTS, including Jin (L) and Jungkook (R), will be featured in videos promoting South Korea in China. File Photo by Yonhap
Members of South Korean boy band BTS, including Jin (L) and Jungkook (R), will be featured in videos promoting South Korea in China. File Photo by Yonhap

July 9 (UPI) -- A sacred mountain in China where the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius coined the proverb "the world is small" will be getting a K-pop makeover.

Visitors to Mount Taishan, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its Taoist temples, could soon encounter South Korean advertisements to visit Seoul, featuring the popular group BTS.

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Mount Taishan, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its Taoist temples and associations with Confucius, will feature commercials for South Korea's capital from July to December, Newsis reported Monday.

The deal was reached between the city of Seoul and the Taishan Scenic Area Management Committee on June 29. Videos showing BTS will be played at mountain entrances and at ticket offices, according to the report.

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The video series "BTS Life in Seoul" was released in 2017 and produced by American photographer Steve McCurry, whose most famous photo is of the "Afghan Girl," the woman with penetrating green eyes featured on the June 1985 cover of National Geographic.

About 8 million tourists visit Taishan annually, mostly from within China, and the commercials will be playing across 10 screens in the park 57 times a day, according to Newsis.

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An advertising exchange is part of the agreement, and ads for Taishan will be displayed in South Korea, including at key subway stations and at city hall.

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Kim Tae-myung, director of Seoul's tourism business division, said the publicity videos would catch the attention of tourists climbing Taishan.

"We will try to get Chinese from all regions to visit Seoul," Kim said.

BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is an award-winning seven-member boy band recently nominated to Time magazine's list of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.

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BTS's fans, known as ARMY, have helped expand their popularity online, according to Teen Vogue.

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