How primitive energy went viral from Asia to Africa

How a Korean Air ad got tons of people around the world upset.


  1. Korean Air's marketing department was seriously pushing the airline's website. On every other website I visited from Tokyo (where I live these days), a Korean Air banner popped-up. I clicked on the banner at some stage and saw the airline offered flights to Kenya. Honestly, I was somewhat amazed that an airline from this part of the world started offering flights to East Africa. As a bit of an aviation buff, I know it's quite a long stretch and I wasn't sure of the economics behind it. So, just out of curiosity I read their ad, which has since been pulled and tweeted the now infamous line. 
  2. I thought it should be retweeted at some stage (this doesn't happen to me everyday). It took an hour or so, but then the Voice of America's Seoul bureau chief Steve Herman (@W7VOA) hit the RT button. Within minutes of his RT, at least 10 others decided to retweet.

    By the time Monday morning had started in East Africa, Kenyans woke up as the RTs increased. All hell broke loose.

    Some people laughed.
  3. Others wanted an apology, also from yours truly.
    (obviously, I meant "hilariously stupid", a tiny number of people failed to understand.. *sigh* poor souls)
  4. Meanwhile, Kenyan tweeters were all over the twittersphere, thanks in particular to #KOT
  5. In Kenya, #PrimitiveEnergy must have been trending on Monday 18 June
  6. After hours of tweets and well over 100 RTs @KoreanAir_KE came with an apology to me and the twitter community
  7. The only Korean-born guy I know personally (who happens to visit Kenya quite often!) was less cool about the whole episode :-)
  8. While the last Kenyan guy I met in person (sometime ago in Amsterdam) was cracking jokes all along
  9. Still, @musyoka had the best idea of the day!