KB Bank ‘Seunggi Sarang’ Branch in Incheon Named After KB Endorsement Model Lee Seunggi

August 4, 2014. KB Bank Seunggi Sarang branch opening, Incheon.  English translation of the KB Bank news segment and the KBrockstar interview with the branch manager about the origin of the branch name and connection to Lee Seunggi.

Official KB Bank News segment

August 2014 2nd Week KB Bank News
English: LSGfan, Video: 국민은행 KB

At 0:22~1:00

The KB Bank Seunggi Sarang branch opened on August 4th. The newly opened Seunggi Sarang branch is located in Incheon by the Seunggi Intersection. Since the Seunggi Intersection name is the same as KB Bank endorsement model Lee Seunggi, the branch was named Seunggi Sarang. On the day of the bank’s opening, Lee Seunggi arrived and greeted customers and passed out souvenirs.

[KBrockstar] Visit to the Seunggi Sarang branch and interview with the manager

Lee Seunggi is there?  Or not?  If you go to the ‘Seunggi Sarang Branch’…
September 4, 2014 | English: LSGfan via KBrockstar

There are 3 facts we know to be true. 
First, there is a river named Seunggi-cheon that flows in Incheon, thus there is an area called ‘Seunggi Intersection.’ Second, there is entertainer ‘Lee Seunggi.’  Third, Lee Seunggi is an endorsement model for ‘KB Bank.’

What if these three were somehow connected?  Probably ‘It would be funny if Lee Seunggi promoted KB Bank at the Seunggi Intersection’ or ‘There’s something fun about imagining Lee Seunggi at Seunggi Intersection.’

Lee Seunggi is in Incheon?

However, this happened in real life.  On August 4th, Lee Seunggi appeared in Incheon at the Seunggi Intersection.  He participated in the ‘KB Bank Seunggi Sarang’ opening ceremony.  Surprising many people, but also fun and special, we personally went to find out more.

The Seunggi Sarang branch is not that different from other KB Bank branches.  However, as it is named the ‘Seunggi Sarang’ branch, many people who pass by can’t help but to take interest.

When we went inside, the branch manager (Kim Jung Tae) happily greeted us.  We can find out more about the Seunggi Sarang branch through our interview with him.

Seunggi Sarang branch Kim Jung Tae manager mini-interview

Q: Tell us about the Seunggi Sarang branch.

The Seunggi Sarang branch is named after the Seunggi Intersection and Hallyu Star Lee Seunggi, and KB Bank connected to that.  Originally, there was a branch located at ‘Shingi Intersection,’ but as that branch was relocating here, the branch name was newly established.

Q: Why did you use ‘Seunggi Sarang’ for the branch name?

If we were to go by existing policies, it should have been named ‘Seunggi Intersection Branch.’  But the name ‘Shingi Intersection’ had low name recognition for the people in the neighborhood.  Some were calling the branch ‘Dongyangjang Intersection’ and there were many people who were not familiar with the name Seunggi Intersection. 

While we were thinking about this issue, we thought of KB Financial Group endorsement model Lee Seunggi.  Lee Seunggi is a talent that has a positive, favorable image to people of all ages in Korea, right?  As the Seunggi Intersection name was the same as Lee Seunggi, we thought of applying the Lee Seunggi story here.

Q: If there was something special, particular to the Seunggi Sarang branch?

I would say the ‘Seunggi Sarang Story Zone.’  It was one of the areas we put the most effort in as we prepared to open.  Here, so that customers can rest comfortably while waiting, we created a cafe feel by placing a table with chairs here.  And we created one corner that explains the origination of the Seunggi Sarang branch.  We also put in place a board where visitors can leave a message.  Lee Seunggi fans have left a lot of messages.  There are also photos of Lee Seunggi next to the board.

Q: What was the response from customers after the opening?

The response was great.  Compared to before our re-naming/opening, visitors have increased by more than 30%.  New visitors are half Lee Seunggi fans and the other half, people from the neighborhood. Since we opened, Lee Seunggi fans are visiting a lot. Lee Seunggi fans have left a lot of messages on the story zone I mentioned earlier on. They have come from nearby areas such as Ulsan and Busan, but there have also been visitors from Japan and Vietnam.  It’s at those times I can sense Lee Seunggi’s Hallyu power.

Q: What is the future course planned for the Seunggi Sarang branch?

[Partial excerpt] There aren’t many prominent places to visit in this area but the area is developing more.  In the Seunggi Intersection area, there is an outdoor brand outlet being developed, and there are electronic stores clustered in the area.  And if you go a little further, there is an Incheon Chinatown. 

I see the outdoor outlet, electronic stores cluster, the Incheon Chinatown, and now the Seunggi Sarang branch as the top tourist attractions. As Lee Seunggi is a Hallyu star, I see this as very feasible for our branch with the star marketing of Lee Seunggi.  However, I don’t think it will serve our customers well by focusing too much on being a tourist attraction, so we’ll always keep them in mind first.

Ok, I’m cool with them using Seunggi’s name since he’s currently the CF model for KB and since 2009, but not sure how I’d feel if he were no longer their CF model.  Especially considering the recent IT fiasco and the shakeup in KB leadership at the CEO and President levels.  (The KB Board is seriously so thankful that Yuna and Seunggi are their endorsement models!)

I mean he’s been with KB for 6 years.  Kim Yuna, even longer but that makes sense KB typically used athletes in the past.  But in the case he is no longer endorsing KB, I’m not sure I’d be cool with people profiting off his name and image.

Um… like that ‘Seunggi heo-ttak’ in Busan has become one of the most popular spots and their making a ton of money off Seunggi’s name.  Hello, there’s something called copyright.  Hook should definitely get a patent for ‘Lee Seunggi’~~~!!!

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