PyeongChang 2018 mascots emoticonised in free texting service18.06.2016
Koreans exchange 10 million emoticons every day to express their feelings.
The official mascots for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are now available as animated emoticons in the free instant messaging application Kakao Talk.
Kakao Talk allows Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone users to send and receive messages for free, and animated “Soohorang” and “Bandabi” emoticons will be available for free to the first hundred thousand downloaders in Korea. In Korea, 97 per cent of cellphone users use this must-have texting application and users exchange 10 million emoticons every day to express their feelings.
One of the main considerations in designing “Soohorang” and Bandabi” was to utilise these PyeongChang 2018 Ambassadors as a communication tool to express a wide spectrum of emotions. Providing mascot emoticons through Kakao Talk will allow “Soohorang” and “Bandabi” to interact with Korean people’s daily lives, and POCOG will continue to introduce creative initiatives in bringing the mascots closer to everyone.
“Bandabi,” the Paralympic Games mascot is an Asiatic black bear, which symbolises strong willpower and courage. The Asiatic Black Bear is also the symbol animal of Gangwon Province. “Bandabi” is a warm-hearted friend who takes the lead for equality and harmony, and encourages the athletes to push their limits.
The Olympic mascot “Soohorang,” took its motif from the white tiger, and is a trustworthy friend who protects the athletes, spectators and all participants in the Olympic Games. Tigers traditionally represent the shape of the Korean peninsula, and the white tiger is considered a sacred guardian animal. Its color is also indicative of the snow and ice of winter sports.
On 20 July, POCOG will hold launching ceremonies to introduce “Soohorang” and “Bandabi” at Seoul and PyeongChang. The mascots will make their international debut at the PyeongChang 2018 House during the Rio 2016 Games in August and September and continue their busy schedule by traveling all around Korea attending many events and exhibitions.