Skip to Content

Sex in Advertising

Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context: Download

(Sources: SeoulBeats & personal scan)

Welcome Busan National University students, and please click here for the PowerPoint presentation that accompanies my guest lecture next week. I look forward to meeting you!


Shin Min-a Shows Us How to Pose Like a Woman

(Source)

Yeah, I eat sitting on my kitchen bench all the time too.

Fearing they hadn’t already made things quite awkward enough for Shin Min-a (신민아) in their latest entirely unconvincing “slice of regular life” photoshoot however, Giordano decided to go one better with this next shot. But which I have to admit, did at least get my attention:


Lessons about Korean ads from a Hong Kong woman

How cool is it that someone so young makes a video starting like this:

Now, I’ve been here [in Hong Kong] for about…3 and a half years…and I think that if you look at common stereotypes, and you look at the way women are portrayed in the media, there are basically 3 main categories of role models for young girls to look up to. I call them: the sex-object, the virgin baby-machine, and the [bitchy] career woman. And the thing is, I can’t help but feel that it doesn’t matter which category a woman finds herself falling into…cause they all suck! And no matter what she chooses, she just can’t win!


Korean Sociological Image #52: Are Celebrities Removing the Stigma of Lingerie Modelling?

After writing about double-standards in the objectification of men’s and women’s bodies in the Korean media last month, this month I was looking forward to wrapping that up. Finally, I thought, I’d be able to remove the prominent “Abs vs. Breasts” folder on my Firefox toolbar.


Korean Sociological Image #51: Male Objectification & Double Standards

What would be your reaction if this flashed on your TV screen?

Mine was thinking that abs aren’t exactly the best analogy for airbags. But my mistake: they’re not supposed to be. Rather, Hyundai needed something to signify the number of airbags as the voiceover went through various specs of the car.

Which to be fair, is much clearer in the full commercial.

How about if a proper airbag analogy had been used instead, like Mercedes Benz did back in 2006?


“Want to Sleep With a Foreign Girlfriend?”

A provocative article title from Yahoo! Korea yesterday, yes?

Alas, actually it’s only about one lawmaker’s concern over the growing number of “lewd” internet advertisements these days, among which presumably that’s a common slogan. But that does underlie some of the street harassment and groping that many foreign women experience here, so it’s interesting in its own right.


Real & Presumed Causes of Racism Against Interracial Couples in Korea

( Sources – left: GR X Hermark; right )

Over at a recent post on Noona Blog: Seoul, an excellent blog written by a Swedish woman in a relationship with a Korean man, currently there’s several interesting comments about the sources of racism often directed ag


Korean Photoshop Disaster #6: I like it hot, strong, and black! (Updated)

( Source )

Do men pay more attention to men’s chests than women?

As a gym addict 10-15 years ago, I read somewhere in a newspaper that they do. And with my self-confidence back then wholly tied to how much I buffed up, it certainly matched my own experience.


Korean Sociological Image #48: The Male Gaze

( Source: L-C-R. Reproduced with permission )

Like photographer L-C-R says, this 2008 Gundam advertisement is a prime example of a woman being portrayed as a child and/or sex object, of which she saw entirely too much of while she was in Korea.

You may be very surprised then, when you learn whom it was actually aimed at.


Creative Korean Advertising #24: Will They? Won’t They?

Apologies for the slow posting folks: last week, I developed a “swellbow” from writing at my computer for too long, and it’s made sleeping a little difficult, let alone blogging. And I could mention the heatwave and my daughter’s kindergarten closing for 2 weeks too, but you get the idea!


Korean Sociological Image #47: East End Girls, meet West End Boys

Yes, it had to happen eventually! A big round of applause to Nextour (넥스투어) for producing the very first Korean commercial to feature a Korean woman literally dreaming of having a romantic and/or sexual relationship with a Western man, and with no suggestion that there will be anything but happiness once she succeeds.


Korean Sociological Image #44: Westerners, Nipples, and the Presentation of Sexuality in the Korean Media

( Source: Metro, July 8 2010, p. 7. Cropped slightly)

It’s amazing what pops up in Korean newspapers these days.

Yes, however difficult it may be for overseas readers to believe, that is the actually the first nipple my Korean wife, friends, and I have ever seen in a Korean advertisement. Moreover, it’s probably no coincidence that it belongs to a Caucasian model too, and one that looks like she’s about to get involved in a ménage à trois at that.


Korean Sociological Image #43: ESL Students on Top?


Korean Sociological Image #42: Sunset for the Red She-Devils?

( Source: ROKetship. Reproduced with permission. )

Like Joe McPherson of ZenKimchi fame says of the above cartoon, either way, it’s a win for my gender, so I was surprised that this was the first time I’d ever really noticed this curious Korean social more.


Korean Sociological Image #38: Gendered Marketing

With the exception of some medicines such as painkillers, presumably the majority of things that humans can eat or drink taste exactly the same and have exactly the same physiological effects on both sexes.

So why are so many marketed so differently to both, or even almost exclusively just to one? It’s really quite bizarre:


Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context: The Mile High Club

( Source )

Quick question: for want of a better word, what vibe do you get from the above image? How does it make you feel?

Part of this Korean Air advertisement, how about with the caption:


Everybody Bubi!


Korean Sociological Image #35: Ready for some Hot 6iX?

( Source )

For all the misreadings of the title that undoubtedly brought many of you to this post(!), “Hot 6iX” (핫식스) is just a simple energy drink really, albeit a deliberate attempt by Lotte Chilsung (롯데칠성음료) to produce a Korean equivalent of Red Bull for the domestic market.


“Gender Advertisements” in the Korean Context: A Request

( Source )

If you’d told me a week ago that I’d be spending much of my birthday looking for images of Korean men touching themselves, I’d probably have politely told you never to comment on my blog again.


Beauties and the Beast? Understanding and Subverting the Male Gaze through Soju Advertisements

It’s not often that I laugh at soju advertisements.

Flying in the face of decades-old traditions that they should feature demure and virginal-looking women though, this one with singer Baek Ji-young (백지영) for Yipsejoo (잎새주) literally had me in tears.


Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group