Jun Ji Hyun gazes at the night sky, captured with the perfect camera angle against the blue-black starry canvas. In this serious atmosphere, what decidedly takes the spotlight is the trench coat that Jun Ji Hyun is wearing. Immediately following that episode of “Man From the Stars,” the various internet sites blew up with searches of “Jun Ji Hyun trench coat,” “Jun Ji Hyun fashion,” “Chun Song Yi style,” etc. This is a perfect example of sponsorship, star marketing, and product placement (PPL) in dramas.
Fashion brands directly see a positive effect from drama contents. The halo effect (a bias shown towards certain items because of a positive impression of something related) that stars have on the outfits and accessories they wear and beauty items they use in dramas, goes far above and beyond what one might imagine. So how much influence does this star marketing actually have?
The khaki trench coat that Jun Ji Hyun wore in “Man From the Stars” was originally released on January 25, and before it appeared in the drama, 150 units of the coat were sold over the course of 5 days. Following the episode in which Jun Ji Hyun wore the coat, over the course of just 8 days from January 30 to February 6, 3,000 units of the coat were sold, bringing in sales of 600,000,000 won ($564,000) in a short time. The original 2500 units that were produced were sold out, and the remaining 500 were backordered. Also, the oversized coat that Jun Ji Hyun wore sold out of all 2500 units just two weeks after the coat appeared in “Man From the Stars.”
And it doesn’t stop with Jun Ji Hyun. The backpack that Kim Soo Hyun wore in the second episode of “Man From the Stars” sold out in three weeks, and two jackets worn by Kim Ji Soo in “A Word From a Warm Heart” were also sold out within a week after appearing on TV.
The outdoor brand that recently has seen the most effects from star marketing is probably Discovery. With the so-called “Yoon Eun Hye padding,” Discovery became the top beneficiary of star marketing. Following last year’s “Marry Him if You Dare,” Discovery continually sponsored shows like “1 Night, 2 Days” and “Prime Minister and I,” and continued to see a residual ‘Yoon Eun Hye padding effect.’ Discovery sold 5000 of both male and female milford down jackets each, for a total of 10,000 units sold, and an increase in sales of 6,500,000,000 won ($6.1 million). The down jackets sold out completely in two days, and had to be reordered 3 times. Riding on the fame of the milford down jacket, Discovery is working on a new product with less bulk for the 2014 S/S season.
Director Choi Jung Wook of female brand Shesmiss said, “It’s been 20 years since we’ve been launching brands. We wanted to change our image, so we signed an advertisement contract with Jun Ji Hyun. As her drama got more popular, our brand also received spotlight, and we’ve had an inflow of customers in their 20s. She’s our company model, so we asked her to wear our clothes, but we had no idea she would wear the same product as in the ad. It’s something she personally chose.”
Marketing head Jo Eun Joo of Kolon FnC said, “Star marketing is done with the goal of connecting the star’s image with the product and increasing its appeal, effectively increasing sales. However, too much product placement or sponsorship can interrupt the flow and rhythm of dramas. Currently product placement is no different than regular advertisements.”