Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae has emerged as Korea's favorite Olympic star from London 2012 and is seen as the athlete most likely to appear in advertisements, edging out swimmer Park Tae-hwan, according to a poll carried out by Innocean Worldwide.
The advertisement agency said on Sunday that the results of its recent survey showed that Son, who became Korea's first rhythmic gymnast to qualify for the Olympic final, topped the list of most popular Olympic athletes.
Park was the runner-up, followed by artistic gymnast Yang Hak-seon and weightlifter Jang Mi-ran. Footballers Park Chu-young, Ki Sung-yueng, and Koo Ja-cheol ranked fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.
The poll was conducted for two days on 500 people ranging from those in their 20s to those in their 50s on Aug. 13 and 14, immediately after the closing ceremony of the London Games.
Respondents picked Son as the hottest new face for TV commercials, with Yang and Park ranking second and third in terms of how much they are expected to be favored by advertisers. Fencer Shin A-lam and archer Ki Bo-bae followed in fourth and fifth place.
The majority of those who gave their vote, or 67.6 percent, thought the five stars would be best used by local companies to improve their brand image.
Son was thought to suit cosmetics makers due to her cute looks and image, while Yang, who overcame poverty to win gold in the men's vault, was seen as a perfect fit for food companies. Park is naturally associated with water, making him a good candidate for beverages, while Ki could help sell financial products as archers are associated with accuracy, the voters said.
Footballers were thought to be suitable for car commercials that highlight their speed and power.