Expect More Nudity During This Recession

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to notice Duoback’s advertisement for its new “Alpha” chair a few days ago. Yes, that one:

korean-duoback-alpha-chair-advertisement-듀오백알파-광고(Source: Metro)

It’s always nice to be proved right. Even if it is true that my earlier observations about the advertisement were common-sense really, and that it just so happens to be a tabloid-style article from Yahoo Korea that provides the first confirmation of them:

Recessions Lead to Nude Advertisements…and Flustered Commuters

인 박인숙 (35세, 가명)씨는 출근 후 회사에 비치된 신문들을 훑어보며 깜짝 놀랐다.

After arriving at work one day, a 35 year-old woman that we’ll call Park In-sook (not her real name) was surprised at what she saw while browsing a newspaper provided by her company.

맨살을 훤히 드러낸 한 여성의 뒷모습이 담긴 광고가 눈에 띄었기 때문. 녹색의 투명한 타올이 엉덩이에 살짝 걸쳐 있을 뿐 전라에 가깝다. 신문에 실린 이 광고의 품목은 여성전용 제품이 아니었다. 기능성 의자 광고였다.

Her eyes were drawn to an advertisement which featured the back side *cough* of a woman, completely naked but for a green transparent towel lightly covering her buttocks. The advertisement wasn’t actually for any product specifically for women, but was for an expensive ergonomic chair instead.

‘인간의 몸을 기억하다’는 메시지를 담고 있는 이 광고는 여성 누드 사진을 이용해 독자들의 눈길을 끌고 있다.

The accompanying message in the advertisement was that “This chair remembers the human form,” and the nude woman was clearly placed in it simply to draw the attention of readers.

duoback-loves-your-body-듀오백또 다른 신문엔 여성의 상체 누드(뒷모습) 사진이 전면광고로 실렸다. 이 광고는 한 아울렛을 소개하는 것으로 역시 여성의 알몸이 등장할 만한 제품과 거리가 멀었다.

A different full-page advertisement for a outlet store featuring only a woman’s nude back has already been in another newspaper, and in that earlier advertisement too the product(s) advertised had little to do with nor required nude women (James: not the one on the right for another Duoback chair, although it seems a strange coincidence that it’s the only other Duoback chair featuring nudity, and that the “outlet store” is unnamed; I think the report made a mistake).

최근 이처럼 일간지에 여성의 누드 사진이 활용된 광고가 눈에 띄게 늘자 독자들은 낯 뜨겁다는 반응이다. 아침부터 신문에 누드 사진과 다름없는 광고를 보게 돼 불쾌하다는 설명이다.

Recently, there has been a spate of advertisements featuring nudity in daily newspapers, and these have been making many readers embarrassed and uncomfortable when they encounter them. But these days, it is almost impossible to escape them.

박인숙씨는 “신문광고에 누드사진이 실리면 시선을 집중시킬 순 있겠지만 너무 선정적인 광고로 인해 불쾌해지는 사람들도 많을 것”이라며 “상쾌한 기분으로 아침을 시작해야하는데 이런 광고는 달갑지 않다”고 토로했다.

According to Park In-sook, “Certainly advertisements featuring nudity will get many reader’s attentions, but sensational and shocking advertisements can also make many people uncomfortable. It is important to start every day with a fresh mind, and advertisements like these aren’t helping.”

한 편으론 독자의 시선을 한 번에 끌어당길 수 있다는 측면에서 광고효과가 극대화된다는 평가다. 특히 요즘같이 불황에는 사람들의 감각을 자극하는 광고기법이 먹힌다는 속설대로 제품을 하나라도 더 팔려고 하는 회사들이 이런 광고를 자주 하고 있다는 분석이 나온다.

On the other hand, advertisements like this are more effective because they attract consumers’ attentions with just one glance. And as both modern analysis and a traditional saying advise, during a recession companies should use dependable advertisement techniques which are well proven to do so.

한 광고회사 PD는 “통상적으로 경제가 어려울 땐 자신의 소득을 기준으로 이성적인 구매를 하기 마련인데 회사 입장에선 조금이라도 자극적인 광고를 통해 소비자를 유혹하려고 한다”며 “섹스어필처럼 감각에 호소하는 광고는 단기적으로 큰 효과가 있다”고 말했다.

According to a spokesperson for the advertisement company PD behind the Duoback advertisement, “People naturally spend rationally and frugally during a recession, so from a company’s perspective it is best to use stimulating and direct advertisements that appeal to basic human senses, and those with sex-appeal especially will certainly get a quick result.”

이어 “많은 돈을 들여 톱스타를 쓰지 못하는 중소기업에서 이런 광고를 선호한다”며 “경기 불황일수록 이런 광고를 더욱 많이 하게 될 것”이라고 덧붙였다.

Moreover, “Small and medium-sized that can’t afford top stars tend to prefer these kinds of advertisements, and as the economy gets worse we can expect to see more like these.”

9 thoughts on “Expect More Nudity During This Recession

  1. featured the back side *cough* of a woman

    Good pun. For the longest time I did not know that the British use of “backside” actually meant buttocks. It was on that day that I became determined to memorize and eat every page of the dictionary.


  2. Wait, I’m confused. Is the Kwon Sang-woo picture actually an ad?

    Incidentally, it’s somewhat ironic that the chairs they’re trying to sell with images of beautiful female bodies are so darn ugly.

    [James — In a later edit, the Kwon Sang-woo picture was removed. Sorry for any confusion!]


    1. Sarah: Sorry yes, where I put the shot of him into the post does make it look like I imply that it’s an ad, and if I wasn’t writing the post at 2am and too tired to find something else then I wouldn’t have used it either(!). But I do mention later that it’s from a photobook, and serendipitously it’s still a good example of parallel trends of stars using nudity for advertising themselves, and which in this particular case many netizens in the link I gave considered a bit desperate of him.

      Kusibo: Thanks, and you may be surprised at some more of the linguistic differences regarding that. Took me a while to figure out that “bum” didn’t mean buttocks in American English for instance, and I’m still surprised at how “fanny” means completely different things in both countries too…


  3. I’ll have to investigate the linguistic history of the posterier more, because I’ve used and heard bum and backside all the time. A-s-s is considered a little vulgar, so the replacement is butt. But sometimes butt is apparently considered too . . . forward, so you’ll hear it replaced by bum or backside or rear end. I don’t know if those are European imports or what.


  4. It’s been many years since I’ve used either term sorry, as I’ve long avoided using British English as a–cough–means of rebellion against my decidedly British and Anglophone parents. But if you’re interested in its use in England, NZ, and Australia at least, then I can say that “bum” is considered very, very mild and almost childish there, like “tummy” say. But although I shouldn’t really venture to guess for “backside” really–it’s just been too long–if someone begged for my opinion(!) then I suppose I’d say that although it’s definitely not a swear word, it is still quite a bit stronger than “bum,” and usually used in negative contexts.


    1. That summary accurately describes my own experience as a small-town Californian as well. “Rear end” would fit in about halfway between “bum” and “backside,” I’d say. Most often, we said “bottom” (between “bum” and “rear end”) in my home. We’d get spanked if we were so brash as to say “butt!” (Until middle school, when our parents got divorced and found themselves with bigger fish to fry. With our newfound freedom, we three kids invented new and exciting insults, such as “poopy-butt.”) When we decided “butt” wasn’t erudite enough, we graduated to “posterior” or “dérriere.” I have on occasion also heard “behind.”


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