[PPL Round-up] Drink me, charge me
It’s finally time for the next PPL round-up! In this installment we take a look at the PPL from the last three months (or so) of drama-watching, and chat about the product placement that we noticed, liked, or that made us want to pull our hair out. In the last round-up we had vacuum cleaners up the wahzoo, some of the best instant coffee PPL ever, and the return of the sandwich-pushing green menace. What’s new in PPL since then? Let’s take a quick survey.
Even assassins and fangirls get thirsty
Product: Ades Almond Milk (by Coca Cola)
Desirability: I’ll happily consume this, especially if it comes from Jang Ki-yong’s fridge
Nothing says cold-blooded assassin like an ice cold bottle of almond milk, right? In Kill It, Soo-hyun (Jang Ki-yong), his handler, his love interest/childhood friend, and the teen he took under his wing all regularly shared and enjoyed a nice individually-sized bottle of almond milk.
The first time I saw this beverage (especially in Kill It of all shows), I was completely amused. What a nice change from the energy drinks and teas that we’re so used to seeing — and I mean, how delightful to have shower-fresh, wet-haired Jang Ki-yong enjoying some almond milk in his batcave?
Turns out he’s not the only one that relaxes as home with a cold one — Ryan Gold (Kim Jae-wook) of Her Private Life also enjoyed some in his gallery-like home while stirring up mischief on Shi-an is My Life. But then again, he wasn’t the only one. Everyone from our curator (Park Min-young) with a double life to her sorta brother (Ahn Bo-hyun) enjoyed this beverage as well. Best consumed while stressed and/or contemplating something important, and often suggested as a breakfast substitute. I don’t know how that’s possible without getting hangry, but there it is.
Mate your cellphones to show you care
Product: Samsung Power Share charging feature
Desirability: I like the concept, but I have questions
Next up is Samsung’s cool new (ish?) charging feature, where you set your beloved device to Power Share mode and share your juice with another phone, just by placing them on top of each other. It’s neat and it’s convenient, but did Samsung ever think about the loneliness this feature can elicit? When set up as drama PPL, it’s always couples that are “coupling” their phones and sharing a charge with each other.
We saw it in the closing picnic of happiness in That Psychometric Guy, and we saw it in Her Private Life with our fake-dating power couple. But what happens when Kim Jae-wook or Jinyoung are not at your side with a fully-charged phone to help save the day? #marketingfail
Watch my watch
Product: Samsung smart watch; Rosemont anything
Whether you are going for a run to clear your head of murder, mayhem, and psychometric guys like Shin Ye-eun — or if you just need to doll up to see your idol with the proper level of accessorizing — the watch PPL is aplenty.
From Park Min-young’s carefully selected Rosemont watch from her treasure trove, to Shin Ye-eun’s generous demonstration of how her smart watch helps her get the most out of her run… well, if you’re a watch person this PPL might excite you. I’m not, so I merely chuckled and wondered how much a Rosemont watch actually costs.
Coffee is always a good idea
Product: Maxim Gold and Maxim Kanu
Desirability: Always. Want. Coffee.
It wouldn’t be a proper PPL article if we didn’t talk coffee. Instant or mix coffee PPL is some of the greatest and most omnipresent PPL of all, and recent dramas are no exception. Maxim leads the way once again (though Ediya Coffee is all over One Spring Night), and usually it’s Maxim Gold, with the adorable yellow cups that accompany all preparations thereof.
Park Min-young prepared coffee several times throughout Her Private Life, painstakingly showing us what coffee it was (as if all the yellow wasn’t enough of an earmark). Maxim Gold was also a favorite in the prosecution office in Kill It. In fact, while writing this article I finally realized the purpose of Ji Il-joo’s role in the drama: to handle the Maxim product placement.
Maxim also had a big hand in The Secret Life of My Secretary, when Gal-hee (Jin Ki-joo) is role-playing Veronica Park and dreams about having people shine her shoes and mix her instant coffee for her. As for the assassins of dramaland, they seems to prefer Maxim Kanu instead.
I haven’t seen bbq Olive Chicken around in dramaland very much of late, but it made a convenient appearance in One Spring Night. Ji-ho (Jung Hae-in) goes out with one of his friends, and they chat over chi-maek. The opportunity to talk about how good the chicken is, and what a great livelihood it would be, is not missed. But, overall, this was pretty subtle compared to shoving them in the nearest Subway. Thank you, Director-nim.
The most well-embedded PPL of this quarter probably goes to Her Private Life and their Canon PPL. For a drama about a sasaeng fan and her fangirling ways, seeing her excited over getting the latest Canon camera model was pretty seamless. You go, show! (Sure, she also randomly vacuums with her PPL Dyson, but we’ll leave that one alone for now.)
Lastly, we have our recent cosmetics PPL, and in this round-up it’s mostly what I call emotional expression through cosmetics.
The sunscreen of lies: Gal-hee prepares to role-play Veronica Park in The Secret Life of My Secretary and applies some expensive sunscreen (Anessa is a much-loved Japanese sunscreen that runs about $40 a bottle). This one got a chuckle out of me for its loudness.
The skincare ritual of contemplation: Jung-in (Han Ji-min) does her nightly routine with a full run of the Donginbi skincare line, lost in thought over her conflicted attraction to Ji-ho. And is then caught texting him. This PPL wasn’t exactly subtle, but skincare as a time of reflection — and a peek into how Han Ji-min takes care of her gorgeous skin — made this a win for me.
PPL comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms, and picking it apart never gets old — at least for me! Sometimes it affects me like Pavlov’s dogs (give me coffee! give me almond milk!) and sometimes it just leaves me shrugging.
The above product placement moments don’t represent all of the recent PPL moments, but these were the ones that stood out to me. Have you enjoyed any recent PPL that I didn’t cover here? Maybe it made you cringe, maybe it made you eye-roll — or maybe it made you pause your drama to do some quick online shopping. Regardless, recent PPL has surely reminded us of one important thing: always take the time to smell the coffee.