March 23, 2016 12:59
Apartment advertisers have returned to the tried-and-tested formula of endorsements from celebrities as the market recovers.
In the early 2000s top celebrities like actresses Lee Young-ae and Kim Tae-hee and heartthrob Jang Dong-gun regularly modeled for slick apartment brands like Xi and Prugio.
The models were paid a whopping W500 million to W1 billion a year (US$1=W1,160).
But after the global financial crash in 2008 the real estate market tanked, and with it the advertising budgets.
Now the property market is recovering, the stars are back with a vengeance, and mid-range developers are particularly keen on them.
"Using high-profile celebrities is the easiest way to boost corporate image," a staffer with a mid-sized developer said. "But modeling contracts nowadays last no more than six months, that’s all smaller builders can afford."
Another characteristic is that builders now favor mature married celebrities like former Miss Korea Oh Hyun-kyung, actress Kim Nam-joo and Japanese model Yano Shiho, the wife of fighter Choo Sung-hoon.
One reason is that they are cheaper, but they also appeal more to the age group that can afford a swish apartment, while younger starlets only induce distant longings in a generation squeezed by a tough job market and dwindling incomes.
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