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How do Koreans in their 20s feel about digital advertising?

It is evident that much like the rest of the world, those in their 20s in South Korea are avid social media users, and settling into adulthood after having spent their teenage years online has ensured their own strong understandings and particular opinions on digital advertising and marketing efforts.

Examining display, video, and influencer advertisements, an industry survey has revealed exactly the type of digital ads this culturally influential age group pay attention to, are influenced by, strongly dislike - and interestingly, what they will even tolerate with little hesitation.

Looking at display ads, women particularly found native advertising - those that fit cohesively and naturally into web pages, such as search ads - as well as in-feed ads on social media caught their attention the most. In comparison, men found main website banner ads to be the most eye-catching. Both also found display ads on messenger apps to be attention grabbing.

Where video content dominates time spent online for these young adults, video advertising is similarly as popular.

In grabbing attention, men found that video advertisements displayed on portal and search sites were the most effective, whereas women found ‘in-stream’ ads such as pre and mid-roll video advertisements caught their eyes the most.

Advertisements amongst short form content was also considered, with product placement deemed the best way to grab the attention of both men and women, men secondarily preferring informational advertisements about products and their features, compared to women who pay attention to influencer recommendations and reviews.

The attitudes of audiences towards video advertisements was also examined; in terms of mid-stream advertisements, 66% of respondents found that pre-roll channel watching ads were more memorable than mid-roll and were most likely to grab the attention of women. Interestingly, there was a preference for ads in the style of short form content, gaining more attention (63%) than traditional horizontal video ads.

Importantly, ads of 5 seconds or less were highly preferred, and were seen to be most memorable when shown to users 2-5 times. Longer ads which were unskippable were found to cause discomfort, with 73% of respondents also revealing that ads which caused discomfort had a negative impact on their image of the product that was being advertised.

Further, ads which were related to content that users were trying to view were seen as less disruptive and undesirable, as well as those that featured celebrities or models that they liked.

When it comes to inspiring purchase, influencer marketing is most likely to do the job, being the most effective method across the genders. Women also become more interested in, and trust products from social media advertising, compared to men who find keyword advertising to be reliable.

Considering the efficacy of influencer marketing on this generation, how do Koreans in their 20s actually feel about them?

Attitudes towards influencer content

Whilst the majority of individuals are concerned about whether content they are watching from influencers is advertisement, an even greater number of respondents feel that they have no problem watching sponsored content as long as it is appropriately labelled as such.

With the absolute dominance of digital media in South Korea, engaging with a company positioned to most effectively keep up with ever-changing consumer wants and needs is necessary to succeed in the local market.

To find out more about digital marketing and advertising strategies that reach South Korean consumers, find us at


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