When I first got into the Korean scene, I was quite the avid watcher. It was my guilty pleasure. Now that I’ve watched 5 million dramas, dramas have merged together and it’s all been the same (guys, you know what I’m talking about). Truthfully, I’m not the most observant when watching dramas so I don’t notice product placements during episodes. But when I do, it seems like it’s always super random. It’s also gotten to the point where dramas become similar to this:
Product placement in Korean dramas is more prevalent nowadays. I’ve decided to take the ones I remember and categorize them: the good, the bad and the weird.
I consider good product placement ones where I can’t notice them at all. So obviously if I can’t notice them, then I won’t be able to recognize them. Another type of good product placement is when they are weaved into the story.
For example, in the drama “You’re Beautiful”, Go Minam gets lost and Taekyung has to find her. Taekyung gets lost many times and it turns out he’s been circling the place over and over again, and he always ends up in front of a Baskin Robbins. Baskin Robbins is featured throughout the whole drama, sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle, but in this instance it’s been weaved nicely into the story without making their product placement blantatly obvious.
Another good example would be through the drama “Me too, flower”. In this drama, the main character played by Yoon Shi Yoon is the CEO of a bag company. But his identity is kept secret, so that nobody knows except his best friend/love interest. The brand of the purse was woven nicely into the story. It wasn’t something that they threw in for the heck of it.
This drama wasn’t popular, but the bags that were featured in the show became an instant hit. People online asked what kind of bag it was and who was the real maker making their name known throughout the drama sphere.
When product placements are used wisely through out episodes, it can become an important detail for the plot of the story. Communicating with their audience through dramas is a great move. Businesses are able to reach a massive amount of people domestically and internationally. When it’s used in the best way, then it benefits the company, drama and ultimately the audience.
Stay tuned guys! Next, I will investigate pretty bad product placement situations.