Chinese, Southeast Asian Advertisers Embrace Korean Soaps

  • By Yang Ji-ho

    March 10, 2021 13:06

    A little-known confectionery and beverage firm called Kopiko from Indonesia is one of the big sponsors of actor Song Joong-ki's latest TV series "Vincenzo" airing on tvN. The company does not have a presence in Korea but is big in Southeast Asia, where many are addicted to Korean soaps.

    A growing number of Korean dramas target audiences around the world through Netflix and other streaming services, which has prompted Chinese and Southeast Asian companies to place their products on them.

    Indonesia's Kopiko appears as a sponsor of cable channel tvN's TV series "Vincenzo."

    Ads for instant noodles by Zi Hai Guo of China appeared on tvN's another drama "True Beauty" which ended last month. Zi Hai Guo too does not sell any products in Korea but aims at consumers in China.

    Chinese e-commerce company Jingdong, which also sponsored "Vincenzo" as well as "True Beauty" and "It's Okay Not to Be Okay" caters to customers in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.

    Kopiko's signature coffee-flavored candy has yet to appear on "Vincenzo," but Indonesian media have reported that it will be munched by Song.

    Chinese company Zi Hai Guo's instant noodle cup is seen on cable channel tvN's TV series "True Beauty."

    A staffer at Studio Dragon, which produces "Vincenzo," said, "The proportion of production costs shouldered by multinational companies rose from 11 percent in 2018 to 17 percent last year." The release of Korean dramas on streaming media platforms has led to an increase in product placements by foreign companies that have no presence in Korea."

    Lesser-known French brand Roger Vivier provided the handbags and shoes worn by Kim Hee-ae in the 2020 hit soap "The World of the Married." After the remake of the BBC hit "Doctor Foster" finished airing, Roger Vivier's sales in Asia jumped to account for 60 to 70 percent of its global sales.

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