>> At this year’s Winter Games, peace between the Koreas isn’t selling. South Korea’s president says they’re the peace Olympics and an IOC official even called for the joint Korean hockey team to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. But that message isn’t catching on with the games’ sponsors from Samsung to Visa to Coca-Cola.
Some told Reuters, it puts them too close to a hot button issue, North Korea's participation in the Olympics. Reuters Liana Baker reports, none of their social media campaigns once brought up the word peace.>> Visa said that things like the joint Korean women's hockey team, it's just not pulling well.
So nobody wants to alienate the general public in Korea and abroad, and there's also an issue of propaganda. I spoke to NBC, the main broadcaster in the US, they said they have to show images of the North Korean cheerleaders for example, but they don't want to show it too much, because they need to then provide all that context around how North Korea is a brutal regime and this could be interpreted as propaganda.
Brands just don't want to touch it. Which is interesting, because Coca-Cola in 2013, they had a whole campaign trying to unite Indians and Pakistanis around vending machines and technology. Visa in the Rio Olympics in 2016 they sponsored the refugee team. So a lot of brands sometimes do try to take a page out of current events in their marketing but for this it was just too touchy, peace was kind of a dirty word.
>> Replicas of the Jersey worn by the unified Korean team aren't for sale even though hockey jerseys are a big seller after a winter games. But an executive at Olympic sponsor Lotte, the exclusive seller of Pyeongchang merchandise, told Reuters the company took notice when Seoul's decision to form a joint team saw backlash from young Koreans in their 20's and 30's, traditionally considered a liberal group.
Despite the symbolic gesture and surveys before the games, 70% of South Koreans opposed forming the team, and only four out of ten favored the plan to merge under a united Korean flag.