Korean Sociological Image #70: “The Healthy Man-Meat Ham”


Alas, the irony here is probably unintentional: Koreans actually say “the water is good” (물이 좋다) when there’s lots of hot bodies around, not that it’s a meat market. So, if you want a real satire on that theme, go see Kara’s wonderful effort for Cob Chicken instead, back when male objectification in Korean ads was really taking off.

Still this commercial does make me laugh. Especially when the meat in question is miniature hot-dog sausages:

The actor is Cheon Jeong-myeong, and the company is CJ Freshian. The text reads:

사람들은 더할수록 완성된다고 믿는다 People believe that the more you add to something, the more complete it will be

하지만 더 건강한 햄은 But as for the healthy ham

빼고, 빼고, 빼고 Remove, Remove, Remove

(無) 합성아질산나트륨, 무첨가 No added sodium nitrate


“無”, or “moo/무”,  literally means “no, not, nothing”, but here it’s also a clever pun because the Chinese/Hanja character looks like a six-pack. The usual choice though, would be “王”, or “wang/왕” , or the Korean one ““chocolate abs” (choco-lat-bok-gun/초콜릿복근) that was made popular in early-2010.

Continuing, the voiceover says:

합성착향료, 합성보존료, 에리쏘르빈산나트륨, 전분 무첨가 No added flavorings, preservatives, sodium erythorbate (an antioxidant), or flour

필요없는 것을 빼고 Remove things that are not needed

맜있게, 더 건강하게, 프리시안 더건강한 햄 Deliciously, more healthily, Freshian the healthy ham


For comparison, see the discussion at Korean Sociological Image #35, about Lotte Chilsung’s (롯데칠성음료) 2010 commercials for “Hot 6iX” (핫식스), which featured both men’s and women’s shirts bursting open:

(For more posts in the Korean Sociological Image series, see here)