29 December 2012

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Cheongdamdong Alice ... and Product Placement (Part I)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on December 29, 2012
I am currently rewatching old Cheongdamdong Alice episodes to get over the long wait for the new ones. And when I rewatch things, I tend to pay more attention to details. In this case, the Product Placement (PPL). Not a new topic at all: I wrote about it a while ago, and so have others. Not a new topic at all, but still one worth writing about again and again!
I'm a relative newbie to the KDrama-craze (it's been 2 and a half years only), so I would be interested to hear from the veterans (like latteholic, who has years and years and years of experience): has it become worse? Or just more blatant? Right, I remember that some laws were changed a while ago, which may have opened the PPL floodgates - but there also seems to be a change in how normal rather lengthy sequences of flat-out advertisements have become.  

Nice Guy was the last drama whose PPL severely irked people ... but now, Cheongdamdong Alice is quickly becoming the new boo drama. But then again, something big happened in between Nice Guy and Cheongdamdong Alice (CDDA): We got to know Anthony, aka The King of Dramas (KoD). KoD, which is great on so many levels, has turned us all into KDrama-production experts. We chuckle and smile to ourselves when what we hear about Dramas in the real world sounds right out of Anthony's world (which is every single time!) and we gleefully ask "What would Anthony do?" when one of them runs into trouble.
And it is from King of Dramas that we learn how important PPL is for KDrama. If you are following the show, you know that KoD's entire first episode was about PPL - or rather the refusal by the main writer to include a certain brand of orange juice into the last episode of a revenge drama. According to Anthony, this particular PPL is worth 300 million won (~280'000 USD) - and having the orange juice in there becomes a question of life and death for this production.
Re-written scene so that the Lead has orange juice for the last scene
... The final scene ...
Of course, this is over the top. But is it in essence? Probably not. I am ready to believe that this type of extra money is in fact absolutely crucial for KDrama. So ... why not let them do some PPL in return for so many drams to watch?!

So ... do I mind the PPL in CDDA? I do not. I surely notice it, but since I'm watching a lifetime of KDrama for free and without a single advertisement to disturb me, I am more than fully okay with it. Seeing the Samsung Galaxy phones and the nice cars and seeing the lovely products they sell at Paris Baguette is, in fact, fun. And because there's often a very, very, very handsome man in or next to these products, I'll dedicate Part II of this entry to Park Shi-hoo in Cheongdamdong Alice doing Product Placement. ^^ 

By the way: Did you notice that the shenanigans about the orange juice PPL was the perfect PPL? Of course, this orange juice is real ... and KoD exposed us to this particular brand about 7 times.

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