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Joongang Ilbo’s Listen for a Smart Life brand scores with Millennial women

By Paula Felps

INMA

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

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In 2019, South Korea’s daily newspaper Joongang Ilbo launched Listen for a Smart Life (LSL), a podcast designed to appeal to millennial women. Hosted by four trusted female journalists — who of course are Millennials — the podcast delivers information in a friendly, approachable tone that was quickly embraced by its target audience.

The podcast is hosted by four trusted female journalists, all of whom are Millennials.
The podcast is hosted by four trusted female journalists, all of whom are Millennials.

When the global pandemic hit in 2020, the need for verified information became critical. LSL saw an opportunity to reach Millennials who no longer considered legacy media trustworthy and provide them with useful information delivered in a way that was both relatable and reliable. So it created the Millennials’ Current Affairs Friend campaign to deliver important information in a conversational way.

The content was produced to fit the outlets that Millennials are most likely to use: YouTube, podcasts, and social media platforms. Rather than simply “reporting” information the way traditional media does, the hosts took a friendly, “let’s find out together” approach to topics. For every piece of content, the main priority was to ensure that experts were able to deliver accurate, verified information.

The podcast takes a friendly, "Let's find out together" approach to discovering the news.
The podcast takes a friendly, "Let's find out together" approach to discovering the news.

Four campaigns in one

Under the umbrella of the Millennials’ Current Affairs Friend campaign, LSL created four separate campaigns for 2020:

  • One Health Project. This integrated campaign showed the relationship between humans, animals, and the environment in relation to global health. In addition to podcast episodes — which received an impressive average of 100,000 plays per episode — a social media campaign provided Action Challenges provided weekly practical actions for people to participate in. The game-like structure offered ways to advance through different levels and many subscribers continue to participate in online communities formed during the campaign.
  • LSL YouTube. Expanding the podcast concept, LSL YouTube is a comprehensive content channel with series focusing on topics of interest and importance to Millennial women. WONEY (Women + Money), which looks at fundamentals of economics; Culture Center, a deep dive into important issues; and LSL Career & Life, which offers in-depth interviews on career and lifestyle topics all gave Millennials women many reasons to tune in and learn in an engaging and entertaining way.
  • LSL Articles. As the flagship programme of the LSL brand, the podcast was already blazing a trail and was named Best Korean Podcast by Apple for two consecutive years. Expanding on the success and reach of the podcast, they added LSL Articles, which took topics covered in the podcast and turned them into text that could be consumed alongside the podcast. They also added graphs and images, additional relevant information, and explanations of terms to make it more robust and appealing.
  • LSL Book Club. The creation of the LSL Book Club brought Millennial readers together in several environments — YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, E-mail and Messenger. A live online conference, LSL Library, was also created to bring readers and together for a book discussion on Zoom and also offered a session that connected participants via video to share their personal writings and stories.

Reaching a generation

The campaigns successfully entrenched LSL as a trusted brand for Korean Millennial women. In 2020, it reached more than 23 million listeners through audio and had 6.3 million video views. Brand awareness has led to more than 450,000 subscribers, and its YouTube channel boasts more than 5 million hours of viewing time.

The podcast achieved tremendous popularity, as evidenced by its numbers.
The podcast achieved tremendous popularity, as evidenced by its numbers.

LSL is continuing to grow and is embracing new opportunities, which includes providing exclusive audio content on K-pop in collaboration with FLO, one of Korea‘s largest music platforms. It has also created branded content in collaboration with P&G and Korea’s leading IT companies, Naver and KaKao.

About Paula Felps

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