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‘Untact’ and ‘ontact’ marketing in South Korea

Social & Digital Technology & Data

‘Untact’ and ‘ontact’ marketing in South Korea


A term has been coined in South Korea to describe a contactless world. ‘Untact’ is a trend across industries where brands utilisise technology to reduce person-to-person contact. It is also a focus area for economic growth.

Untact has been a popular term in marketing in South Korea for a few years and seems to encompass aspects of AI, automation, technology and measures that allow for a contactless experience for consumers. Unmanned kiosks and AI chat bots are some of the many technologies that subsequently dominate untact consumer trends.

According to a recent article from Bloomberg, South Korea is “making a national push to reshape its economy” around the concept by prioritising remote work and education software, as well as further investment in “robots, drones, self-driving vehicles, and other technologies”.

When it comes to marketing brands, Hyundai Card (a credit card company under Hyundai Motor Group) is taking measures beyond untact and is pushing a new era of digital marketing with the term ‘ontact’ becoming the latest in a rising trend. Ontact is a play on untact but refers to the experience of being ‘face-to-face online’. In marketing that has taken the form of digital technologies for online sales, education, hiring and video conferencing. 

Both trends have been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis when many were forced to take businesses online and consumers are looking to connect with brands and communities safely.

With the concept of ontact front of mind, Hyundai Card has created an interactive concert experience called ‘Fan-made Live’ that allows fans to request songs, costumes and dance moves from some of their favourite K-pop performers. The concerts themselves are performed in various real physical venues and released on the custom-built Dive app and uploaded on Youtube. 

Hyundai Card developed an app called Dive in 2019 which is branded as a ‘digital culture platform’ and involves users to participating together to build an more interactive content feed.

These marketing initiatives are specifically targeted to Millennial consumers, who the Hyundai Card newsroom says resonate with untact and ontact concepts: “Those in their 20s and 30s who float around numerous platforms and share [an] enormous amount of information rave about untact technology, which allows them to have personal time for themselves, disconnected to others, rather than prioritise connection and contact with other people.”


Jasmine Giuliani

Jasmine Giuliani was the Editor of Marketing Mag from March 2020 to September 2021.

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