The notion that women's lingerie ads should feature a sexy female model has been broken.
Vivien hired actor So Ji-sub early this year to promote its bra line, making him the first man to ever model for a women's lingerie brand in Korea. The gambit drew much attention at the time, but many doubted it would prove an effective marketing ploy.
However, it turned out to be a huge success. Sales of the lingerie line increased 42 percent in the first half of this year from the same period last year, when an actress modeled for the product. This prompted Vivien to extend its contract with So for another year in August.
Industry insiders said the reason for its popularity was that the ad appealed to customers by hiring a male heartthrob, in defiance of convention.