The Korean Ad Industry’s Celebrity Obsession

(Sources: left, right)

See Busan Haps for the full article. It was prompted by Yoo In-na (유인나) and then Kim Sa-rang (김사랑; left) endorsing Gillette razors last year, when suddenly a lot of celebrities seemed to be endorsing products not normally associated with their sex.

Granted, women have been used to sell things to men for as long as advertisements have existed. And as for using Hyun Bin (현빈; right) to advertise a tea-drink that supposedly gives you a “V-line”, that’s just common sense: not only will he appeal to women, but so too might some men be encouraged to think about their own, hitherto exclusively feminine V-lines, thereby creating a whole new market.

But still: I’d wager that there has indeed been a great deal of gender-bending in the Korean advertising industry in the last couple of years. For instance, I’ve definitely never heard of a guy advertising bras before, no matter how dishy I’m assured this one (So Ji-sub; 소지섭) happens to be:

(Source)

Was he chosen just because he’s a pretty face? Or was the reasoning much more subtle than that? I can’t say in this case. But I do know that celebrities have a much greater effect on our consumption choices than we all like to think. Please read the article for more on how and why…

For some hints, here is the interview with Fame Junkies author Jake Halpern that I refer to in it. If for some reason that the video below doesn’t immediately take you to it though (it’s at 34:30), then please click here instead:

Finally, if you’ve read this far, then I heartily recommend watching Starsuckers in its entirety. For me, it was especially what the narrator says at 45:45 that sold me on it, and which I encourage you all to refer to the next time someone accuses you of reading too much into anything you see in the media:

p.s. Sorry for sounding so mercenary, but please let me remind everyone that any donations for my writing, however small, are very much appreciated. Unfortunately though, I haven’t actually received any since January 21(!), and I don’t get paid for my Busan Haps articles!^^

8 thoughts on “The Korean Ad Industry’s Celebrity Obsession

    • Thanks for passing that on. I’ve heard of him before, but didn’t realize he’d done an ad for bras. But while it’s good for getting people’s attention, do you think women would consider actually buying the bra(s) because of the ad? (And speaking of which, it’ll be interesting to see how well Vivien’s campagin with So Ji-sub goes)

      • Considering that the ad is for push-up bras? Definitely. I mean, if the people even realize that he’s male. My mom’s a double a cup, so she’d probably love one those if they can give a guy nice looking boobs!
        Looking closer the ad says it adds two cup sizes I think.

  1. it’s probably the result of botox the jawline or full blown jaw reduction surgery. they’re both so common nowadays.

  2. Pingback: ROK Drop Weekly Linklets – April 15, 2012 | ROK Drop

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