Korean Photoshop Disaster #1: Magic Hole

MagicHole Advertisiement UEE Lee Min-ho Kim Hyun Joong

Naturally, the unfortunate name of Anycall’s new phone has already led to a great deal of speculation as to what was meant by it exactly. But as a one-time astronomy major, and considering how stretched and warped poor UEE, Lee Min-ho, and Kim Hyun-joong’s bodies are respectively, then it behooves me to suggest that perhaps “black hole” would have been more appropriate…

Apologies for the poor quality of the above photo, taken while crouched in front of my local phone store earlier this (overcast) afternoon. But it’s probably no coincidence that I haven’t been able to find the full-length version of the advertisement online, even at the MagicHole website (IE required):


Hat tip to the Photoshop Disasters blog for the inspiration for this rather belated series, and see #19 here, here, here, the “X-line” here, and here for some recent examples on the blog, with many more to come!

If you reside in South Korea, you can donate via wire transfer: Turnbull James Edward (Kookmin Bank/국민은행, 563401-01-214324)

6 thoughts on “Korean Photoshop Disaster #1: Magic Hole

    1. Considering the complete lack of input by fluent English speakers that normally goes into the English phrases in Korean advertisements and songs, I’d wager that that had just as good a chance as being chosen!


      1. Ah, I actually have something worthwhile to input for once! One of my close friends in Korea is a native English speaker who works for a large and quite successful advertising agency here. They’ve produced adverts for some of the biggest chaebols, although I won’t name them. He’s the only native speaker in the office, and is often required to correct or invent slogans in English. However, he often finds that his corrections are re-corrected by the Koreans. When questioned on this, they say that they know their English isn’t correct, means something stupid or doesn’t mean anything at all, but to the Korean way of thinking it works, so this is what they go with. It would appear that they’re allowing some of these ridiculous English slogans to pass knowing full well that they just don’t actually work in English.

        Naturally, this shouldn’t be taken to represent the whole industry or all in it etc etc.


        1. I suspected as much to be honest, and it does have a certain logic.

          Not that you’re commenting on this, but the bizarre English in songs is much more problematic, limiting as it does the potential overseas appeal of them, although of course ambitious Korean groups would have many hurdles to overcome just to get non-Koreans to be thinking about their songs’ lyrics in the first place (and popular songs by native speakers are frequently unintelligible even to native speakers themselves anyway). Still, it’s simply bizarre that music companies don’t ever consider hiring a fluent English speaker for a whole hour or so checking all the indefinite articles and so on that should be in the lyrics actually are, and I don’t think the changes would have much effect on Koreans’ appreciation of the song either.


  1. Oh God, that just reminded me of the awful six months where I couldn’t say “ten minutes” to my class without them all starting to sing “just one ten minute!” I’ve never wanted to throttle a person as badly as I did Lee Hyori back then . . . Less common but just as annoying was Jang Nara’s “It’s gonna be another day with a sunshine” which fortunately turned into a classroom exercise where students had to spot and correct Konglish in songs . . .
    Even in my editing work for an English-language academic journal, I’ve had professors call my office to complain or challenge corrections I’ve made to their work to prepare it for publication. There seems to be an direct connection between the awfulness of their English and their own personal confidence that they know better than I do.


    1. That was to high school boys, right? As for me, my own tipping point was Rain’s “비비디 바비디 부” commercials that came out earlier this year. Partially because I think he’s vastly overrated as a singer and performer of course, but mostly because they came out at the about the same time that I’d resolved never to teach Korean children at a school or institute ever again. And while it would have been harsh to judge my middle-schoolers on them presuming that that was actually English (although naturally I did), I certainly had no hesitations after the little shits asked me repeatedly about it for several weeks, a bittersweet reminder of their goldfish-like memories of anything that came out of my mouth!

      Ahem…sorry for the rant. I’m just really bitter at what little punks many Korean schoolkids have become compared to when I first started teaching them 9 years ago.


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