I can’t decide if I’m getting pissed with the amount of product placement (PPL) scenes in this drama or should I be thankful that these brands have given more budget to the production team.
Ever since the PPL law in Korea relaxed back in 2010, where they are now allowed to feature products on the condition which restricts to 30 seconds for each product (I believe it means per scene/episode) and that it makes up no more than 5 percent of the total broadcast time.
This means that our 70-min episode can feature up to 3.5 mins of advertising, spread across 7 products. I can’t exactly be pissed off as I believe PPL contributes a huge amount of money to the production budget and in recent years, the quality and cinematics of K-dramas have been rather superb (includes overseas travel etc.) and they probably have to dig out money from somewhere and I guess, it doesn’t hurt to add in these extra 3.5 mins of advertising within the show.
Based on historic figures, PPL can be very successful, like in the case of Jeon Jihyun’s lipstick in You Who Came from the Stars, where they did not explicitly show the brand of lipstick and left it to the other media outlets to spread the discovery, which turned out to be incorrectly identified as YSL. The lipstick and entire skincare range was actually sponsored by Amore Pacific (Laneige, Iope etc.) and YSL had a lot of free publicity which led to a worldwide shortage of that colour. Well, that was 2014.
Today, PPL gets super explicit and you really won’t miss it unless you’re sleeping on the drama. Furthermore, they will also give a full logo disclosure at the credits section too. But I really wonder how much it would have cost. Back in 2016’s Descends of the Sun (DOTS), 3 billion won (~$3 million USD) was received from PPL alone.
Anyway, since these sponsors paid so much money for the feature, I’m gonna extend their ‘reach’ by writing and compiling this post.
On a side note, don’t you think that the PPL seems to be trumping over the confusing storyline? I can’t get the order of events right but I can remember LMH eating fried chicken every other episode.
Alright, let’s begin.
Disclaimer: If you get annoyed scrolling because this post is too long. This is exactly how I feel every single time a PPL pops up in my face while I’m watching the drama.
1. Yogiyo – Food delivery app in Korea
Yogiyo a food delivery company, something like ‘UberEats’, ‘FoodPanda’ or ‘Deliveroo’ or ‘GrabFood’ depending on your country’s context. It had been an early player in Korea’s food delivery market and it has been around for a long time (winning Best App in 2013). If you’re thinking of trying it out the next time you’re in Korea, you would need to be able to understand Korean as the app is fully in Korean.
Website: (Korean) https://www.yogiyo.co.kr
One of the police man was posing as a delivery driver to capture the criminal in the first crime scene where they found the body in the car boot.
The scene where Kim Go Eun first discovered the white horse at her house
“Wow, this thing is pretty smart.. it can recommend the stuff that Mr Lee likes..”
2. Paris Baguette
This is a famous bakery in Korea (more than 3,000 shops), likely operated on franchise model. They even expanded overseas and I think there are a couple of outlets in Singapore. I love the milk pudding and a couple of years ago, I used to eat the Patbingsoo (Red Bean Shaved Ice) quite often. No idea if it’s still on their menu now though.
Address: Paris Baguette (Hongdae) 99 Wausan-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
파리바게뜨 홍대카페점, 서울 마포구 와우산로 99 1층 (우)04055
“The bread here tastes exactly like the bread in royal court.”
“Bread should be eaten with Jam.” “Keep in mind that it tastes great without Jam as well.”
3. Georgia Coffee
It is a drink brand distributed by LG (H&H) but I think it belongs to the coca cola brand. I heard it doesn’t exactly taste nice but let me know if you do manage to try it! I’m not a fan of bottled coffee though.
Georgia Coffee: http://www.lghnh.com/global/brand/detail.jsp?gbn=3&bid1=R013
Body Health W: http://www.lghnh.com/global/brand/detail.jsp?gbn=3&bid1=R040
Gifted by LMH’s admirers in the library.
I’m pretty sure the whole trolley of goods belongs to their sponsors, but there you go, Gerogia Coffee in their trolley.
FYI, the one in the green cap is called ‘Toreta’ (fruity hydration drink) and it had been featured in Goblin previously.
4. BBQ Olive Chicken
I have a love-hate relationship with this product feature. I honestly feel like eating fried chicken every time such scenes appear in the drama and I am thankful that my country does not exactly provide much late-night supper options. I’m pretty sure the fried chicken sales go up significantly in Korea after every fried chicken feature.
This is a very rich brand. They have previously sponsored for Goblin and Crash Landing on You too. Right now, Lee Min Ho is the brand’s face and oh my gawd I wondered how much they had to pay for it. FYI: BBQ stands for Best of the Best Quality.
Note: Filming took place in their actual restaurant outlet. One was at Jong-no branch (BBQ Olive Chicken) and I’m still unsure about the other outlet in Episode 7
- A plate of chicken will cost you 19,000W to 21,000W (should be enough for 2 pax) and you can mix and match 2 flavours to get the half-and-half set that Lee Gon is so fascinated with.
5. Aston Martin Kiheung
If I’m not wrong, Kiheung is like the car distributor brand for Aston Martin in Korea. However, I’m kind of waiting for the reason why she is so rich in the show, to be able to afford 2 luxury cars. Assuming she is that rich, why does she need to work in the cafe instead of hiring more staff? Are we ever going to find out more about her background?
6. The Alley
They currently have 25 outlets in Korea but I expect it to increase significantly as they are probably using the franchise route.
Note: the ‘cafe’ in the drama is not a real cafe. It’s only a production set in Cheongju which may be torn down after filming is completed.
- Brown Sugar Deerioca: 5,300W
Website: The Alley Korea
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To be honest, this looks super sweet and I might want to give it a try once.
Reusable cup can be purchased at 7,000W and you will get a 300W discount when you use it.
7. Chung Jung One Fresh
This is a famous brand established since 1956. I’m pretty sure you have bought some of their products before in your local Korean Mart. They have an english website which features their product offerings but it is not very updated.
If you’re in Korea, you can shop from the drama promotion products here.
Stir-fry eel: (korean) http://www.chungjungone.com/brandstory/product/productView.do?pi_seq=506
Costs about 8,000W for a box.
9. Cheong Kwan Jang Red Ginseng Extract
If you have been watching K-dramas, the Red Ginseng Extract (red packaging) is a common feature. I remember it was rather prominent in DOTS where Song Joongki kept eating it randomly in every other episode.
Website: Red Ginseng Extract
10. Jongga Stir-fry Kimchi
Jongga is a 30-year old traditional brand specializing in korean food. Mainly Kimchi, side dishes (pan chan) etc.
Link to Kimchi: http://www.jongga.co.kr/product/productView.do?prd_no=92
“You need Kimchi with Sweet Potatoes” seriously.. this combination, is it delicious or pure randomness?
Whole Cabbage Kimchi: http://www.jongga.co.kr/product/productView.do?prd_no=163
11. Kahi Skincare
I think it is not just this balm stick, but her entire range of skincare is sponsored by Kahi. I can’t seem to find much information about Kahi. It seems like a really new brand (by Korea Tech) which just launched in April 2020. Kim Go Eun is also the official spokesperson for this brand.
Website: KAHI Skincare
Link to item: (42,000W) Kahi Balm Stick
Salmon Collagen for dry skin care, wrinkle bounce care that repels wrinkles, enhances makeup lasting power
Link to item: (49,000W) Kahi Golden Time Mist Ampoule
This brand does not ship ‘overseas’ but if you’re keen on getting the item, Trazy has a proxy shopping service where you will be able to purchase the item via them and they will ship it to your country!
Flagship store in Korea: 12 Bongeunsa-ro 49-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Nonhyeon-dong) Korea Tech Building
Nearest Station: Seonjeongneung Station (Line 9)
12. CELLRETURN LED mask
This LED mask was launched back in 2014, where Kang Sora had been the face of the brand. It had evolved from having 200 LEDs to 1,026 LEDs today. Lee Minho has also become the face of this brand since Jan 2020.
The price of the most premium mask (platinum) cost 2,100 USD, so do think twice before clicking the link above.
The cheapest version of the mask is 1,370 USD and I think I can have 15 to 20 facial sessions with that amount of money. Haha.
13. DPARKS HANDPHONE CASE
Jang Tae Eul’s Cover: Back to the future (30,000W): Link to item
Lee Gon’s Cover: Maximus horse (30,000W): Link to item
(Can someone help to provide episode and time stamp for a screenshot for Eunsob’s casing?)
EunSob’s Cover: X-ray Dinosaurs (30,000W): Link to item
While I am not 100% sure how agreements with sponsors work, their brands are not highlighted in the drama, but they are able to shout out on their individual SNS accounts and/or websites to say that they were a part of the drama’s production. I believe that these brands either provide a heavy discount or perhaps do sponsorship in return for some limited publicity.
I’m putting ‘Gentle Monster’ as a sponsor, not a PPL as there was no explicit mention of the brand (except for credits) or extended 3-seconds feature of the product.
Style – BLING 02(BR): Link to item (Please note that the product link may be invalid when the collection is over, assuming you’re reading this post a few years later.)
Style – JACK BYE 01: Link to item
Style – HER 01: Link to item
Style – CHAMELEON 02(BR): Link to item
Most, if not all of her earrings and necklaces are by this brand. In case you’re wondering why they BLING so much, that’s because they have a price tag of >$20,000.
Traditional Korean Jewellery/Accessories: http://en.naschenka.com/
Scandinavian Lifestyle Kitchen brand: https://www.odenseofficial.com/
Tea set, tea cup and tea leaves: http://wadmall.com/product/list.html?cate_no=894
Office Furniture, shelving, kids playroom: http://www.yjc81.com/prcenter/prcenter1?seq=625&page=1
I think they are the brick sponsors.
More photos can be found here: https://blog.naver.com/shb7007/221907975253
Sponsor of furnishing: https://www.instagram.com/blackmuseum_official/
Endorsement for the bed and mattress in Lee Minho’s bedroom: Crow Goose
More furnishing endorsement: Gain Living
Furnishing endorsement for window blinds: Space Blinds
White Horse (Maximus – its real name) is from Horse Masters
According to some articles that I’ve read, two horses were used for the filming as one horse was better for staying still and the other horse was better for riding. Kind of funny that even horses need to use stunt doubles right =p
Hoeng Seong Beef
I can’t determine if this was a product placement or a sponsor as the screen time is quite short. This is a beef supplier, not a feature for any particular restaurant. Anyway, if you do have the chance to visit Korea, you can give hanwoo a try but bear in mind, the price is usually x2 or x3 more expensive than the US/Australia beef.
Website: (korean) http://www.hbeef.com/
To be updated..