The South Korean government produced a video about tourism during the coronavirus. Here’s what you can learn from it.

March 30, 2020

When a video about COVID-19 that was produced by a government tourism ministry gained three million views it piqued my curiosity about what I could learn from what they did.

The (South) Korean Culture and Information Service — an affiliate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism — produced the video called “Korea, Wonderland?” It rightfully celebrates South Korea’s ability to stop the growth of COVID-19 cases, even while the country did not shut down factories or shopping malls. The head of the World Health Organization said the rest of the world could learn how to respond to the pandemic by following South Korea’s example.

I will share the video with you below, then go through it line-by-line to explain what journalists can learn about video storytelling from this example. I found lessons about sentence structure, story structure, character development, video sequencing, story focus and both effective and ineffective uses of production and music techniques.

Here’s the original video. My deconstruction will be more helpful if you watch this first.

Now, watch my deconstruction of the “Wonderland” video.

This is one of a number of these video deconstructions I have built over the years. I often use Super Bowl commercials for my examples.

Here’s the “Puppy Love” Budweiser ad from 2014 deconstructed.

In this video, I deconstruct the 2018 Budweiser Super Bowl ad.

And this ad never aired during the Super Bowl program, but PETA still got a lot of attention because of it. We deconstruct it line-by-line.

Al Tompkins is senior faculty at Poynter. He can be reached at atompkins@poynter.org or on Twitter, @atompkins.