Korea Tourism Organization

Raising awareness of South Korea as a travel destination

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is the official promoter of tourism for the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Its goal is to spread information about the country’s unique heritage worldwide, to promote Korea as a world-class travel destination, and to create awareness of Korean culture by strengthening and developing its tourism industry.

About the collaboration

KTO wanted to promote their competition ‘Win a Trip to Korea’ in the UK and the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). The competition ran in November and December 2019. The main goal of the campaign was to drive traffic to a competition landing page. To do this, we were given four videos promoting Korea as a tourism destination.

The goal was clear and simple: "increase by at least 10% the number of people watching the four videos (compared to the same campaign in 2018). Adding 10% on to 2018’s figures would take us to a target VCR for 2019 of 38.5%.


Our chosen metric was View Completion Rate (VCR). The statistics from the previous two years were 21.45% (2017) and 35.83% (2018).

The collaboration included

YouTube campaign

After careful consideration with KTO, we decided to focus most of their budget on YouTube advertising. We initially wanted the split to be around 85% YouTube, and the remaining 15% on Programmatic (see below). We adapted this ratio at various points during the project based on the data we were receiving.

The heavy weighting towards YouTube was down to the channel’s popularity – especially for the target demographic:

  • K-pop fans
  • 14 – 35 years old

Programmatic video advertising

When KTO came to us, the idea was to do 100% YouTube advertising. We advocated a more nuanced approach by including Programmatic in the mix.

Programmatic video advertising allows videos to be seen in advertising space on relevant pages across the internet – not just on YouTube. We knew there would be some success with this approach thanks to how specific the demographic information was that we had from KTO:

  • K-pop fans
  • Looking at long-haul holidays recently
  • Frequent travellers
  • Lovers of and travellers to Asian destinations
  • Interested in Asian food

The decision to go with Programmatic paid off. We started conservatively by focusing 15% of our budget here. As the days went by (we adjusted every day), our analysis of the data showed us that there was some real traction to be gained by increasing the amount of non-YouTube presence we were giving the videos. By the end, we were showing over 25% of the videos programmatically.

In the UK, we had a much higher View Completion Rate (VCR) than for YouTube; in the Nordics, the VCR was virtually the same.

Watch a video from the YouTube campaign


Novicell reached the goal of helping KTO increase awareness of South Korea through video advertising. The competition was a success, and KTO made a few individuals very happy by announcing them as the winners of their competition.

The View Completion Rates (VCR) in the UK and the Nordics were significantly higher than the industry average of 15-20%.

KTO also achieved impressive results from the campaign overall, and surpassed expectations for impressions and video views.

Results in the UK




video views


View Completion Rate (VCR)

Results in the Nordics




video views


View Completion Rate (VCR)

Why Novicell

KTO chose Novicell to help them with advertising in the UK and the Nordics for a few reasons.

Firstly, KTO was aware of Novicell’s offices in the UK, Denmark and Norway. As a result, they also knew that Novicell had insights and knowledge about the Nordic market.

Novicell had also shown some great results from other video campaigns with customers such as the British and Irish Modern Music Institute and Excedo (Nikkei/FT).

(Don’t say this too loud, but we also ranked quite high in Google for video marketing. That’s how KTO found us originally. Massive high five to our SEO team for boosting those organic search results.)

The results Novicell helped us achieve exceeded our expectations. They managed to reach our target audience with information about the contest and they got them to convert. It was a very successful collaboration, and we are happy to work together with them in the future.

Olivia Buckley, Marketing Assistant, Korea Tourism Organization

Want to know more about our solution for KTO? 

Feel free to contact me