Iconology Korea
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i·co·nol·o·gy |ˌīkəˈnäləjē/ | noun.

the study of visual imagery and its symbolism and interpretation, especially in social or political terms.


The white paper for Google on which we led the research.

The white paper for Google on which we led the research.

Most PR agencies strategize how to coordinate actions into a purposeful campaign. Whether it's an Instagram feed, web presence, or Twitter stream, few PR shops can provide meaningful content to prop up the front. Also, few marketing firms generate truly useful market research on the ground, but rely on expected and easy solutions such as surveys and focus groups. While blunt tools are useful for some things, some jobs require a scalpel. Not only is going deeper better, but going deeper is cheaper.  We reduce or eliminate unnecessary outsourcing/sub-contracting out to expensive-but-talented specialists by having said specialists inside our company, as one core competency among several:

  • quality, qualitative market research using real ethnographic data
  • All members of our team are actual Creators so we rarely outsource
  • we want to turn your store, product, or service into a content marketing channel
  • customized guerrilla marketing that is only possible by executing with our ethnographic/street-based familiarity with the Korean market


ICONOLOGY KOREA's big idea is to take the capabilities of our founders and the people they will recruit to create a singular, reputable agency that will produce and manage INBOUND and OUTBOUND knowledge about Korea, while also providing domestic INTERNAL cultural consulting services to the many members of the culture producers market with unmet needs or whose needs are currently being haphazardly and amateurishly met. South Korea, our company, and the Core Creators within it are all  uniquely positioned at the intersection of the global & the local that actually is the enervating space where dynamic Korean culture gets created, where the "K" gets POPPED. Our people are essentially ethnographers who study and know the culture before recording and re-presenting it in a package for easy consumption. And when we don't know something, we know enough to know what we don't know and find the right tool



Being in Korea

Being in Korea

ICONOLOGY KOREA is positioned at the nexus of the global and the local, where global forms and practices get parsed through local interpretation and practices. Understood simply, it's the Bulgogi Burger at McDonald's Korea. Understood in a more nuanced way, it's K-POP – a media practice/artistic genre that not only appropriates and Koreanizes mostly American musical forms into an altogether new fusion, yet keeps elements of the familiar that makes the music quite compelling for many outside of Korea. The same power of glocality holds true for Korean street fashion, cinema, and food, in our analysis. We see data through this kind of theoretical lens to reach truly useful conclusions. In short, we know Korea, its streets, its realities, its sensibilities. Many operators in this space of "cultural consulting" put up a front that they know the ins and outs, the angles and exigencies, all the key points one needs to know about where Korea hits the ground. We don't have to keep up this front, because it shows in all of our successful projects and published analyses.



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ICONOLOGY KOREA doesn't make big claims to be able to do the best job possible for you, then outsource the very incapabilities that end up making the work more expensive. We believe that customized creation around client needs, while requiring a bit more thought up front, can result in a better and cheaper solution that maximizes the advantages of a small project footprint and the mobility it brings while combinging careful planning with just the right tools that ends up yielding a stronger product that tells the client's story in the best, most thoughtfully curated way possible. 

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Zyon Barreto Movie Comp Card Project

A good example of balancing divergent client needs: industry/specific agency-standard guidelines and strictures vs. the client's need to stand out above the rest of the pack. Read more about it here.