Korean Photoshop Disaster #8: The 100% Korean Lady Burger

A photoshop disaster, or a deliberate satire of the way models are typically presented on women’s magazine covers?

Alas, given how difficult it is to find this particular version, then unfortunately probably the former. But with that face held fast between the “A” and the “D”, as if prepped for cosmetic surgery? That X-line? And especially that emaciated look of her skin? Then for her at least, Lotteria’s Hanwoo Lady Burger is a “must eat” indeed.

But much more interesting than the bad photoshopping though, or what the ad says about women’s body images in the media, is the explicit gendered marketing contained therein. After all, you can’t call something a “Lady Burger” – and not even allow men to buy it – without explaining what it is exactly that supposedly makes it only appropriate for women.

Yet there are no physiological reasons why men and women can’t and don’t enjoy the same foods and drinks, so branding is the only real reason many are still marketed to only one sex nevertheless. Woe betide the company that actually admits that though, and hence Lotteria’s public rationale for Lady Burgers below comes across as rather artificial.

As indeed, do Lotteria’s products themselves, and not for nothing have I completely avoided the chain for the last 5 years (source, above):

롯데리아, 女心잡는 ‘한우레이디버거’ 출시 Lotteria Launches the ‘Lady Burger’ to Catch Women’s Hearts

한우레이디버거는 100% 한우 패티에 국내산 쌀 떡이 첨가된 떡갈비 형태의 프리미엄 버거로, 여성들이 선호하는 파프리카, 토마토, 양상추 등의 야채로 뒷맛이 상큼하고 깔끔한다는게 회사측 설명이다. 특히 쌀떡의 쫄깃함과 한우의 고소함의 조화도 느낄수 있다고. 가격은 단품 4500원, 세트 6000원.

As the company explains, the Hanwoo Lady Burger is a premium burger made from 100% Korean beef patty with ricecake made from Korean rice added, giving the form of ddokgalbi [ribs with ricecake added].  To that is added what women prefer: paprika, tomato, and lettuce, making the vegetable aftertaste both fresh and clean, and in particular, the ricecake’s chewiness and the Korean beef’s sesame taste harmonize well. The price for one is 4500 won, and for a set 6000 won.

특히, 전국한우협회가 인정하는 100% 한우만을 사용, 매월 1회 DNA 판정 검사를 실시해 인증을 받고 있다.

In particular, only beef that has been approved as 100% Korean beef by the Hanwoo Association is used, and every month its DNA is examined in order to receive that certification.

롯데리아 관계자는 “‘한우레이디버거’는 철저한 고객 세분화 전략으로 여성의 입맛을 고려한 제품”이라며, “기존의 한우불고기와는 제품에서부터 차별화시켜, 여성을 위한 햄버거로 자리잡을 예정이다”라고 설명했다.

According to a Lotteria spokesperson, “after formulating a strategy based on the segmentalization of the market, the Hanwoo Lady Burger was considered a product appropriate for women’s tastes”, and that “this is a means to distinguish the product from existing barbecued Korean beef dishes, and we expect it to dominate the market for burgers aimed towards women”.

롯데리아는 출시기념으로 세트 구매 고객에게는 치즈스틱과 알뜰 디저트 쿠폰을 무료로 증정하는 행사를 11월30일까지 진행한다. 알뜰 디저트 쿠폰은 콜라, 콘샐러드, 포테이토 등 디저트 3종을 1000원에 구입 가능한 것으로, 해당쿠폰은 12월 말까지 사용 가능하다.

To commemorate the launching of this product, until the end of November customers that buy it will receive a free cheesestick and a “Thrifty Desert” coupon, allowing them to buy desserts of either cola, corn salad, or potato for the price of 1000 won. These coupons will be valid until the end of December (James: yes, those don’t sound like “desserts” to me either).

한편, 롯데리아 한우제품은 한우레이디버거와 한우불고기버거 등 총 2가지로, 일반 버거 대비 1.5배 사이즈인 한우 불고기 버거는 폭넓은 남성 선호층을 확보하고 있다.

This is the second Korean beef product sold by Lotteria, the first being the Hanwoo Bulgogi Burger. In order to make sure to appeal to men’s preferences, that is 1.5 times larger than normal burgers. (end)

And with translating that last, I suddenly remembered this segment about the financial rationale to gendered burger marketing from page 91 of Essentials of Contemporary Advertising, by William Arens and David Schaefer (2007 edition):

Sorry for the poor quality: it was difficult to fit into the scanner. By way of compensation then, I’ve managed to find the 2003 ad with model Cameron Richardson referred to:

See here, here, here, and here for more examples of Korean gendered marketing, and here for more posts in the Korean Photoshop Disasters series. Meanwhile, have any readers actually tried one of those Thickburgers of Hardees’? Only 1,410 calories!

Update 1: See here for a much better version of the original Lady Burger ad, taken of a poster in a Lotteria window.

Update 2: The Bobster also has an interesting post on the Lady Burger.


The Science of Lotteria Commercials

Update, December 2013: My translation of an article from pages 108-9 of the July 2008 edition of IMAD (아이엠애드) magazine, which has since been discontinued. I’ve removed my original commentary (and readers’ comments), but am keeping the translation up in case someone finds it useful one day:

소비자의 추억을 자극하라 Stimulating Consumer’s Memories

롯데리아 아바카도 통새우버거 TV CF 제작 현장 The Making of the Lotteria Avocado Whole Shrimp Burger Television Commercial

어린 시절 누구나 가지고 있는 추억이 있다. 신나는 동요 소리에 달려나가면 골목  어귀에 서 있던 늠름한 만들. 100원 동전 하나로 리어카에 스프링으로 매달려 있는 말을 타고 멋지게 달렸던 기억.

Everybody has many memories from their childhood, and one many Koreans cherish is suddenly hearing a nursery rhyme playing in the alleyway outside, which meant they could run out excitedly and pay 100won to ride on a magnificent mechanical horse driven around the neighborhood.

웰빙 트렌드를 반영하면서 먹거리에서도 많은 변화가 일어나고 있다. 햄버거도 가공식품의 느낌이 아닌 원재료의 느낌을 그대로 살린 제품이 출시된다. 이번 TV CF도 그런 제품의 특징을 살리고 빠른 시간 내애 소비자의 인식 속에 롯데리아 아보카도 통새우버거를 자리잡도록 하는 것이 목표였다.

Reflecting the “Well-Being” trend, the food consumers eat is undergoing many changes. Hamburger makers too are trying to remove their product’s image of being unhealthy processed food, and to emphasize the taste of their original, healthy ingredients to consumers instead. Thus, the aim of this particular television commercial is both to grab viewers’ attentions within a short time and to convince them that this new burger is also a well-being food.

‘나는 새우’ 라는 동요를 듣고 카피라터가 찾아왔다. 몇 번을 반복해 듣던 중 머리에 스치는 건 어린 시절 동요를 들으며 타고 놀았던 리어카의 장난감 말이었다. “새우를 타보는 건 어떨까?” 이 한마디로 이지아가 새우를 타게 됐다. 제작에 들어가니 한두 군데 손이 가는 것이 아니었다. 우선 가장 큰일은 새우를 만드는 것이었다. 기본 디자인은 회전목마의 모습에서 따오기로 했다. 여신의 모습으로 커다란 통새우를 타고 치마를 휘날리는 이지아의 모습에 팝송이나 클래식이 어울리지 않을까라고 생각하지만, 기획의도부터 언밸런스를 유도하여 처음 보는 소비자도 금방 기억할 수 있는 CF를 만드는 것이 목표였다.

The “Flying Shrimp” song was copyrighted for this commercial. While listening to it many times, the producer realized that it reminded him of the nursery rhymes played by the owners of mechanical horses that visited his neighborhood when he was a child, and so somebody suggested that in the commercial the model Lee Ji-ah should ride a shrimp similar to those. However, there were many to things to do to bring that concept from the drawing board to actual production, and ultimately the basic design of the shrimp used was more similar to a horse from a merry-go-round. In the commercial Lee Ji-ah represents a female goddess, her skirt fluttering in the breeze as she rides a shrimp of equally god-like proportions. The producer originally felt that classical music or a pop song would have been most appropriate for that image, but to capture consumers’ attention quickly he felt that an “unbalancing” nursery rhyme would be more effective.

촬영장소로 선택한 곳은 제주 함덕 해수욕장. 얕은 수심과 에메랄드 빛 바다로 유명한 이것은 CF촬용장소로 많이 찾는 곳이기도 하다. 전날 육지에서 배로 옮긴 통새우를 바닷가에 설치하고 촬영이 시작되었다. 밀물과 썰물의 차 때문에 바다에서의 촬영은 초를 다툴 만큼 어려웠다. 2D에서 나무를 합성해도 되지만 느낌을 최대한 살리기 위해 바다 중간에 모래로 섬을 만들고 나무도 심었다.

Hamdok Beach in Jeju was chosen as the shooting area, well-known amongst producers of commercial because of its shallow water and emerald-like glittering sea. Time was saved by taking the model of the shrimp was taken by boat from the shore and setting it up the day before shooting, but still, because of the difference between high tide and low tide the production crew was literally fighting against the clock on the day itself. This was not helped by having to make a small island out of sand in the background and planting two trees on it, because it was thought that real trees would give of a more lifelike and vivid atmosphere than the 2D ones called for in the original plan.

통새우의 이미지는 물론, 소비자가 CF를 봤을 때 먹고 싶게 만드는 것도 중요하다. 보통 시즐 촐용은 모델 촬영이 끝난 후 남는 시간에 졸린 눈을 비벼가며 야간에 찍는 것이 보통이다. 하지만 이번 CF에서 중요한 건 통새우와 아보카도를 알리는 것이기 때문에 우리는 시즐 촬영에 이틀의 시가늘 쏟아부었다. 최상의 컨디션과 신선한 재료로 최고로 먹음직스러워 보이는 화면을 찍기에는 이 시간도 짧게만 느껴졌다.

While the image of the shrimp was important, of course the main purpose of the commercial is simply to make people want to eat. Usually, in commercials of this nature the “sizzle” shot is quickly done at night after the main shooting with a model during the day, often when the commercial crew is very tired, but in this case it was felt that convincing consumers of the healthiness of the new avocado and shrimp burger was so important that 2 entire days were spent on it. Because all ingredients had to be shot fresh and in the best condition, those two days also felt too short!