Six million plus tune into NZ-based Korean reality show

As the final New Zealand episode of popular Korean reality television show ‘Where is my friend’s home?’ went to air last week, more than 6.1 million Korean viewers had already tuned in. To date, the show has earned the equivalent of NZD$15 million in broadcast revenue. And there’s more to come.

‘Where is my friend’s home?’ follows South Korean and foreign cast members of the South Korean television talk show Non-Summit which involves a panel of non-Korean men, living in South Korea, debating various topics and Korean culture through the eyes of a foreigner.

John Riley (right) with cast of 'Where is my friend's home? at Tamaki village

The filming follows the cast members in their home countries. In November, Tourism New Zealand brought the showto New Zealand to film 6 x 1 hour episodes featuring John Riley, Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul.

Fluent in Korean and Māori with tribal affiliations to Te Rarawa, John’s story is based around visiting his mother who lives in Auckland. The group also filmed in Queenstown, Mt. Cook, Rotorua, Taupo, Hobbiton and at Hot Water Beach.

David Craig, Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Asia says that ‘Where is my friend’s home?’ has provided a richness of New Zealand storytelling to an extensive Korean audience.

“The audience has seen six hours of destination coverage during which they’ve been able to get up close and personal with New Zealand life in a range of locations and situations,” says David.

The New Zealand episodes of ‘Where is my friend’s home?’ aired over December and January on JTBC, a South Korean nationwide general cable TV network and broadcasting company.

The show’s screening was supported with a range of social media activity over a five week period of consumer events (competitions) with the JTBC network which helped maximise audience reach. Tourism New Zealand leveraged the show further with a campaign page on linking to the consumer events and leading traffic through to information on New Zealand. 

Our Korean market continues to grow with arrivals at 65,000 for the 2015 calendar year, representing a 17 per cent increase on 2014. Read more about the Korean market.