I’m sure that most people have heard of Japanese girl group AKB48. If not, they are pretty much the Japanese equivalent of Korea’s SNSD in terms of popularity and influence. In fact, AKB48 has been described as having the ‘Midas‘ touch as everything they endorse experiences a sales boost.
However, their most recent endorsement has me scratching my head in puzzlement. The product: Government “reconstruction” bonds (read the article here). The aim is to boost investor confidence in the bonds and appeal to their ‘deeply committed male fan base’. Weird doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’d be like taking financial advice from Beyonce (haha).
The Korean Entertainment industry has also had it’s fair share of ‘weird’ endorsements. When agencies get it right, there’s success (I have a cupboard full of Laneige products thanks to Song Hye Kyo). However, at other times, I’m left thinking: ‘um why did [insert name] endorse [insert product].’
Girl Groups and Chicken Endorsements
What is it about power of FRIED CHICKEN that has the likes of SNSD, Secret, IU, Sistar (etc.) endorsing it? Call me bitter but CFs like these should be banned. Why? Because they create the absurd connection in my brain that it’s okay to eat fried chicken since SNSD can eat it and still remain slim. Lies, all lies.
And as a side note, there’s no way I’m going to look at IU and think: ‘mmm..now I feel like a delicious piece of fried chicken’. If perhaps the endorsement was for low-fat, skin-free, steamed chicken breast then I might’ve been convinced.
JYJ endorsing Painkillers
The trio have endorsed the painkiller Penzel Q as the company wants ‘more appeal to the female customer base in their teens to their 40s‘. Now if anyone could sell something to me, it would be Junsu (he could sell me air and I would buy it). But painkillers? I mean, it’s not like JYJ’s endorsing a drink or a piece of clothing that I can delude myself I into thinking: “I need it“. I need to be in pain before I buy painkillers and no matter how serious JYJ’s faces are, I can’t imagine pain. And if I was in pain, JYJ won’t be the first thing I’ll think of.
Big Bang endorsing Jeju Airlines
Jeju Airlines signed up Big Bang because the airline wanted to achieve a more “global” image, particularly in the Asia region. As weird as it is, I’ve always dreamed of endorsing an airline. They could have my face printed across the body of the plane, little peanut snacks with my face on the packet and autographed photos of me upon arrival *goes off into dreamland*. Now if you thought that was absurd, why should it be different for Big Bang? Other than the fact that they must have amassed a huge number of frequent flyer points over the years, there is no connection between Big Bang and Aeroplanes. Personally, I think the novelty of flying on a plane with T.O.P’s face on it will wear off if the service doesn’t match up to the hype.
Girls Day endorsing Headache Medication
Their hit song “Twinkle Twinkle” was used as background music for the CF. When asked why they chose Girls Day, Samjin Pharmaceutical stated,“We decided to cast them because Girl’s Day’s fresh and active image matched well with the product.” I think that this is the first time I’ve heard the words ‘fresh’ and ‘active’ used to describe headache medication…
Exo-K & Wonder Girls endorsing School Uniforms
This is quite a strange concept for me since I live in a country where school uniforms are considered quite lame. We don’t have the cute uniforms and scarfs that I often spy in dramas, let alone competing companies whose use celebrities to model ‘their latest look’. However, with the stir that Exo-K has created in the K-pop scene I can totally imagine fan girls snapping up the uniforms…assuming that the uniforms are for girls…which would be weird since Exo-K are guys…
Jang Geun Suk endorsing Japanese convenience shops
Jang Geun Suk endorses LAWSON, a Japanese shop that produces various kinds of sweets and bentos (lunch boxes) specifically for women. The decision to select Jang Geun Suk was based on his popularity in Japan and appeal amongst the female population. I can see the logic in this, but if I’m buying the product just because Jang Geun Suk told me to, my bento box had better come with Jang Geun Suk himself, or else I’m going to be severely disappointed.
Are there any other CFs or endorsements that have made you go “WTF?” If so, let us know in the comments below.