The popularity of Free Notes is notable around campuses, marking a ten times increase from last semester.
This extraordinary idea of making Free Notes in Korea began with Kim Jae-bong, a representative director of TMG Korea. Kim said that he was inspired by the “all by students notebook (Absnotebook),” an American business item created by a student from the Business School of Northwestern University. Kim decided to initiate this project in hopes of demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Korea.
“CSR is becoming important in Korea’s society nowadays and providing Free Notes, which are must-have items for university students, might be a great way to return the profits of corporations to the society,” Kim said.
Last spring semester around 10,000 Free Notes were distributed to university campuses all over the country. For this fall semester, over 100,000 Free Notes were given to 127 universities, including Ewha, Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Korea University among others. The 12 notable sponsoring enterprises for this fall semester include LG Electronics, Seoul Milk, Korea Tourism Organization, DHC Korea, and more.
The results of Free Notes were outstanding for the corporations whose advertisements were included in the notebooks. According to a research by Embrain, a research company in Korea, the average preference rate for sponsoring enterprises of Free Note rose 20 percent from last semester.
“LG Electronics has been putting the advertisements of the new Xnote, a notebook computer that targets the younger generations in their twenties, on Free Notes since March. Free Notes are exposed to many university students and it led to a success in our marketing,” said Hwang Hong-seok, a general manager of LG Electronics.
Not only corporations but also students had favorable responses to Free Notes.
“I am making real good use of my Free Note, which I received at the beginning of September. It would have cost me some money to buy a notebook but I am satisfied that I got it for free. Also, I can look at the advertisements and obtain new information,” Lee Ji-soo (Kyung Hee University, 1) said.
Students or departments that are interested in getting their Free Notes for next semester should fill out a form from the Free Note Web site (http://free-note.kr/). A department’s assistant instructor or member of faculty should fill out the number of students who will receive Free Notes, which will then be delivered to the department office.