Korean Cosmetics Commercials as Art

Kim Tae-hee Hera( Source: Hera )

This probably sounds rather hypocritical of me in light of many recent posts on photoshopping, but it’s difficult not to admire Hera’s (헤라) latest advertisements with Kim Tae-hee (김태희) and Jang Dong-gun (장동건). And particularly if you also happen to pass by 2-meter high versions on a bus going to and from work everyday, at which scale even the most narcissistic of commuters often feels compelled to stop texting for a moment to take a closer look. See here for a taste, with apologies for not finding the same for Jang Dong-gun.

Jang Dong-gun Hera( Source: Hera )

Granted, I can’t usually say the same about cosmetics commercials, which usually leave me feeling rather cold. But for a change, I rather like this one, albeit primarily because of the music (can any fellow Trance fans help me identify it? It sounds familiar):

And here’s one with Jang Dong-gun for comparison. I’ll be writing much more on recent shifts in cosmetics advertising to men soon, but a common theme of many articles on the subject is that in fact it is usually women that buy cosmetics for their partners, and I’ve also noted how cosmetic companies that only just beginning to sell products to men seem to find it difficult to deviate from the formula used for women. This possibly explains why I find this one so unmoving then:

Regardless, normally I wouldn’t have chosen to blog about aesthetically-pleasing cosmetics advertisements, lest I never stop. But the opportunity arose when no less then ten people sent me the following commercial in the last two weeks, all noting my liking of this sort of thing, and asking me to help explain why they found it so warm and compelling. It seemed a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone:

But to be precise, ten men sent it to me, and I post this to ask other readers what they think of it. Especially women, as I wonder if our attraction to the commercial is merely an echo of our heterosexual attraction to the woman featured? I suspect not though, as I find this longer, completely different version of the commercial as inane as I usually find women’s cosmetics commercials:

It’s probably more the controlled and warm tone of the woman’s voice then, which is very soothing. It belongs to actress Han Hyo-joo (한효주), whom I recently wrote about regarding a separate commercial of hers here, and the Sum37 (숨37) brand she is promoting is produced by LG through its “Household and Health Care” division; she recently signed a year-long contract with them.

Unfortunately there is little more I can tell you about the commercial other than that, as online Korean articles on advertisements tend to be rather vacuous, and since the demise of Korea Ad Times (코리아애드타임즈) back in March there is only one national magazine devoted to advertising in Korea, IM AD (아이엠애드), and that in turn devoted exclusively to online advertising. I was able to find the following though, and will happily translate it if anyone requests:

Han Hyo-ju Sum37 Info( Source: jhsshy )

Apologies for writing such a post without doing so already, rather uncharacteristic of me, but with 32 teaching hours a week and two young children then I have to be very selective about what I use for Korean study these days. Meanwhile, for screenshots of the commercial see here, and if you’ve read this far then presumably you’ll enjoy these accompanying advertisements also:

Han Hyo-ju Sum37 Wallpaper( Source: Zziixx )
Han Hyo-ju Sum37 Portrait( Source: Brkimb )

It would be nice to see more cosmetic commercials like it, although it goes without saying that is overwhelmingly women that buy themselves cosmetics rather than their male partners passing them on, so again I’d be particularly grateful for women’s opinions of it. But of course men’s also, as I and the ten readers who sent me the commercial are rather biased!


Posted in Korean Advertisements, Korean Art Tagged: 김태희, Han Hyo-joo, Hera, 숨37, 한효주, 헤라, 장동건, Jang Dong-gun, Kim Tae-hee, Sum37