SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Korea Bizwire) – It’s not uncommon to see celebrities appearing in ads, hawking a multinational company’s latest hair gel or next-generation vacuum cleaner, especially in South Korea, where those in the public eye are seen in advertisements for virtually anything with financial value.
In a saturated market of public figure-endorsed product advertisements, recent marketing ploys by Burger King Korea and Kia are standing out from the crowd with their clever and subtle branded content, music videos featuring musicians with a dash of “wink-wink” clues about the relevant brand thrown in.
Produced by food company Cheil Jedang, the ‘Burger King X Hiphop Music’ video plays out like one of the many typical tunes produced for and targeted to the younger generation, with lyrics and video reflecting these tendencies. A second glance, however, reveals carefully inlaid details that an unwitting observer may not pick up so quickly. The font used throughout the video is identical to that used by the restaurant, and the suspiciously frequent appearance of the word “King” gives away the video’s advertising intentions.
Kia also got into the act last month with the release of ‘GHOOD MORNING’, which features Korean-American rapper Junoflo. As the music video progresses, a Kia “All-new Morning”, a small compact car, makes an appearance, though the video is designed so that its presence is unobtrusive; rather, the focus is on Junoflo, and the car is woven into the fabric of the story, playing supporting actor to the hip-hop musician.
The branded content with the greatest success so far may be music video ‘Reborn’ with former idol group member Jay Park, released in August. Based on the ‘American Idol’-esque contestant show ‘Show Me the Money’ but swapping out ballads and pop renditions for rhymes and hooks, traces of a product or company being marketed are nonexistent except for a pink fan in the background, the logo of Dong Wha Pharmaceuticals Co, maker of a popular herbal drink named Whal Myung Su.
According to Oricom, the production company behind ‘Reborn’, the video has amassed over 10 million views from YouTube, Facebook, and other video platforms online. It even crossed over to the music world proper by being ranked first on Olleh Music and fifth on Bugs! Music Chart. The top ranking on Olleh Music is the first time a song used in a branded content production has attained such lofty recognition.