Image is all for celebrities in getting advertising workThe public image and brand of a celebrity determine what type of advertising that person will appear in ― or disappear from.
Recently, an advertising agent complained that a popular Korean actress with an image of being an “intelligent, sexy single” is no longer worth the hundreds of millions of won they used to pay her for provocative poses.
With a sigh, he noted that the actress did an ad for a “modest fashion brand,” and that affected her image enough to degrade the next item she was supposed to represent. “People will now have a ‘cheap’ view of the product once she advertises it,” he said.
However unfair it may seem to celebrities, the reality is that customers are image-sensitive, while clients say they have little else by which to evaluate celebrities except their public image, the agent commented.
If this is the case, two television stars appear to be in luck. In a nation where an intelligent image plays an important part in getting a good role, the two television celebrities were selected from a survey as the female and male stars who would be best suited to play smart “international students” studying at a foreign college.
The two are Kim Tae-hee, the actress who starred in the blockbuster dramas “Stairway to Heaven” and “Love Story in Harvard,” and Kim Je-dong, the host of a TV entertainment program.
The survey, conducted by Chongro Overseas Educational Institute last week, asked its student members studying overseas which Korean actors would be most suited to play model international students.
Out of some 135 students who took part in the survey, 70 people, or 52 percent, answered that Kim Tae-hee would make the best female international student, while 50 people, or 37 percent, said Kim Je-dong could fill the male role.
In real life, Ms. Lee is a student at Seoul National University, considered the nation’s top school. It may be her academic background, but many people say, “She looks like she would be a good student.”
Also, her previous role as an international student at Harvard on SBS-TV helped her gain the image of being smart.
Mr. Kim attained an intelligent image from the ad-libbed witty remarks he makes while performing live in response to questions he gets on the spot from the audience, which have become known as the “Quotations from Kim Je-dong.”
But a recent incident made him more popular, or wiser, some critics say.
A publishing company turned the so-called “Quotations from Kim Je-dong” into a book. But Mr. Kim filed a suit asking the court to stop the publishing company from selling it.
According to Mr. Kim’s agent, the celebrity said he was able to create the smart quotes with his fans’ help. Without his fans’ permission, he reportedly said, he had no right to commercialize something that was not his.
The two may have found different ways to acquire a “smart” public image, though it’s not clear what can help them maintain that image for a long time.
Meanwhile, the advertising agent is still grumbling in his search to find another intelligent-looking model to represent his client.
by Lee Min-a