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[Drama-induced Shopping] The winding roads product placement took me down


Bride of the Water God

By @willow

When I first started watching K-dramas, encountering the massive product placement shocked and fascinated me at the same time. One reason for that might be that here in Germany, laws are very strict when it comes to advertisements in TV series. You’d only see rather mild forms of PPL here and there and it is generally considered something really awkward and cringe-worthy.

So, while exploring the wonderful world of K-dramas during the past six years, they not only offered me a wide range of products to improve my life, but also took me down the weirdest roads when it came to advertisement. Like, placing nutritious dog food (in a not so subtle manner) in a drama dealing with a tragic love story and a heavy topic like resistance against the Japanese occupation of Korea? No problem for Chicago Typewriter!


Chicago Typewriter

And recently Cross introduced me to the fanciest way to rest in peace I might have ever seen. Why not spend your afterlife in a library, your ashes enclosed in a beautiful book? The show kindly even gives you the name of the funeral company providing this kind of service. No matter what your life (or afterlife) situation is, chances are that K-dramas will always give you a perfectly fitting solution.


Cross

I would consider myself a rather skeptical consumer, but in 2016, product placement in K-dramas finally got me too. My drama-induced shopping started with Oh Hae-young’s handbag—one of the countless handbags the heroine sported in Oh Hae-young Again. I’m still wondering where she’d store them all, given the tiny shack she was living in. I fell in love with Episode 12’s handbag (her whole outfit, actually), and spotted it on a website. I was a bit hesitant ordering it at first, since Oh Hae-young ends up a crying mess while wearing it. Call me superstitious, if you want.

In the end, I never regretted purchasing it and even prefer it to the couple of fancier designer ones I own. Whenever I get compliments on it, I have a funny little story to tell about how I first saw it in a drama, and then it was delivered to me from Korea all the way to Central Europe. Depending on the other person, the story will earn me an amused or polite smile, or most likely, an is-she-really-that-crazy glance.


Oh Hae-young Again

By the end of last year, I was due for a new car. Even though some of the fanciest and most desirable cars in the world are produced in my country, I felt the urgent need to look into Korean ones. Of course K-dramas are to blame for the fact that I ended up at my local Hyundai dealer. I got curious when Bride of the Water God taught me that Hyundai is the preferred car brand of handsome water gods (and their brides) and Jealousy Incarnate showed me attractive guys going totally nuts while fighting for a rather clumsy and not very successful single woman, once she owned a … yes, exactly, a Hyundai. So, basically there was no reason for me not to buy one.

I didn’t get Habaek’s Kona nor Pyo Na-ri’s i30, but a cute little i10, perfectly fitting the narrow lanes and almost zero parking in the small medieval town I’m living in (yes, exactly that kind of European town which could be the backdrop for an extra romantic scene in a drama). Needless to say, I absolutely enjoy driving it, preferably while listening to some OSTs.

Well, those were the obvious and official reasons why I went for a Hyundai. My subconscious, however, is probably secretly waiting for a hot Jung-won to throw himself onto my hood in order to fight for my love, miserably crying and desperately begging me not to go. I’m still agonizing over the fact that Pyo Na-ri heartlessly drove away, leaving a soaked Jung-won puppy standing in the rain. Re-watching that scene totally tempts me to pick him up… in my brand new Hyundai.


Jealousy Incarnate

As you might have guessed, a handbag, a car, and lots of OSTs are not the only things dramas made me buy. There’s also the rice cooker that talks to me in Korean, which I refuse to put into English mode, because that just seems lame to me. There’s the vintage alarm clock that looks very Answer Me 1988. There’s lots of dried seaweed, enough to provide all my family and friends with soup on their birthdays for probably the next ten years, and black bean paste for jajangmyun I have to prepare myself due to the lack of strong deliverymen in my area. And after recently being introduced to Korean face masks, my local German drugstore will most likely earn a fortune from me as a customer, because this noona wants to stay pretty.

There’s even more on my growing drama shopping list. I think all the adorable bunny plushies I’ve seen in various dramas would make excellent co-drivers. And next winter I’d love to wear that amazing red coat Shin Se-kyung wore in Black Knight. But I would have to find a magical tailor first…


Black Knight

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Wow, buying a car is next level PPL goals!

"There’s also the rice cooker that talks to me in Korean, which I refuse to put into English mode, because that just seems lame to me."
I loved this! I'd totally do the same (much to my mom and brother's chagrin heh) <3

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Haha, yes, it keeps me motivated to work on my Korean skills! ^^

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Even better, lol, Korean motivation, one serving of rice at a time!

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What a fun write up!! Thank you for this!
I also can't help being amused by the in-your-face advertising. It can be so bad, it is hilarious.
(*´∀`)

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Consider me blown away. ^^ A car, rice cookers to dog food. I hope the PPL team in dramaland is reading because they'll be so happy. They need to send (insert favorite Oppa name here) to your beautiful town quick, for a romance [drama] that involves the witty @willow!

I loved this post! You write so well. ^^

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Your comment made my day! Sadly Go Kyung-pyo is enlisting very soon, so they can't send him over. But if he came, this German noona would happily buy him lots of food and beer! ^^

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@willow the Cross PPL seemed the most absurd but also the most intriguing! "My subconscious, however, is probably secretly waiting for a hot Jung-won to throw himself onto my hood in order to fight for my love, miserably crying and desperately begging me not to go." 😂😂 SAME

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You have such good taste !!and a very good sense of humor 😂😂I enjoyed reading your entry so much !~
the ppl I remember the most is the subway one when the hero was dying and seeing a vision where he was with his beloved eating subway sandwiches 😂😂😂 this still cracks me up to this day ,can you guess the drama?
P.s. your love for your town shows through your writing and it made me want to visit ❤

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I kinda love the PPL scenes like that one that are so egregious that we'll never forget them. That one was definitely one of the most hilarious. Maybe we should've seen it coming though, as that drama had previously given us the ♫I could have danced all night... with the ramyeon♪ scene.

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I still remember him going to Subway at the end of that and saying, "I always come here, it must be good", like he wasn't entirely sure how he always ended up there.

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If my rice cooker talked, I’d totally leave it in Korean mode. I didn’t get a rice cooker until after I started watching kdramas, but mine’s not fancy enough to talk. Do you think the gang from I Am Not a Robot will come around and upgrade it for me?

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I'm sure they'll do it, if you provide them with enough instant ramyeon!

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How did you id those handbags? I love jinah's handbag, from the first episode, the one that fit her training shoes, anyone know what it is?
Is there any blog or Instagram account that specifically work on identifying fashion of kdrama?

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I want this info too hehe

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same! Dramabeans should open a blog spot/page thing where someone posts something they've been looking for (from a drama) and we all give suggestions to something similar or the exact same model

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Nice!! Kinda like name that drama but merchandise??

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https://www.instagram.com/kdrama_fashion/?hl=en
I think you can find some of them here, I found this account looking for one of her dresses. But it was sold already :(

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I got the handbag on http://www.momokorea.com. They are specialized in kdrama fashion/items. It's a Korean website and it seems to be reliable. At least it (obviously) worked well for me. :)

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Another really fun read-- well done, @willow! I think most of us can relate to the "Dramas made me buy it!" defense-- whether we're buying a Hyundai or a pair of pink rubber gloves.

Wow, the Cross you-can-spend-eternity-in-a-library PPL was something else! "No matter what your life (or afterlife) situation is, chances are that K-dramas will always give you a perfectly fitting solution. Hehe and ain't that the truth!

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PPL in Kdramas really has no limits! At least that scene in Cross was beautifully and touchingly acted.

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Omg your essay is all manners of wonderful! I loooved your Oh Hae Young handbag story. It still pains me to see a screenshot of that angsty scene in ep 12. But their angst hurt so good and surprisingly I never bought anything because of Another Oh Hae Young but that bag is lovely!

Also that red coat is so beautiful! Hope you're able to find something similar soon :D

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Hello fellow German Beanie :)
Which drugstore is it you buy your face masks from?
Also let me know if you ever find out where to buy that red coat :D

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You can find them in dm, Rossmann, douglas etc. The only downside is the price. In Korea I bought 10 sheets for approximate 4-5€, here 1 sheet costs 4€.

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Thanks for your reply :)

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It felt kinda surreal when I entered my local dm a couple of month ago and spotted all these items with Hangeul writing on it! It was like kdrama suddenly entered my real world!

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Hi, @swunnie, I know that this has nothing to do with the thread -or rossmann whatsoever, lol- but... I would like you to please write me in regard to Duesseldorf. My incognito email address is [email protected]
If you could write me soon... it would be great. Thanks a lot!!

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Thank you so much for your message 😊 I just wrote you an email 😊

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Hi, @swunnie. I also reply your Email!!!!

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Wow you have a serious love of all things Korean when you are buying things from Germany. I have total respect for you in that. I can't say I have bought things that I have seen in dramas although I really wanted them. I would say the food is what influences me for example if I see characters in dramas eat certain foods then I may get a craving for it. I'm lucky tho to be living in near LA so I can get pretty much all the Korean foods that I see in the dramas. I enjoyed your article!

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I was craving jjajangmyeon all the time while watching Strongest Deliveryman! There are a couple of Asian markets in my town, but they only sell Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai foods, plus maybe some Japanese instant ramen. Never saw anything Korean there. Luckily there are possibilities to order Korean ingredients online.

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I couldn't finish Bride of the Water God but the red coat looks so gorgeous! I would definitely buy it, if I ever find it...
Thanks for the lovely post, @willow! May I ask in which city you live? Your description made me curious 😉

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Wow, loved your write-up and very much related as I've bought OST and oversized tops/sweaters. Watching so much K-dramas/movies influenced my visiting Seoul twice now and planning a another visit next year.

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A plane ticket to Seoul is definitely also on my shopping list!

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I want to see the handbag from Another Oh Hae Yang! Do you mind sharing the link to the website you bought it from! LOL

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Thanks @willow! Will definitely check this out!

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Your article was so fun to read. I love all the drama references at the end "strong deliverymen", "this noona wants to stay pretty" 😂😂😂

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What a fun post.
That shot of the dog and his food his hilarious.
So many great coats and bags in dramas.
For one minute I was tempted to buy a goblin keychain.

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Haha, yes, the placement of the dog food was actually totally random and completely out of context in that scene! And I guess only drama dogs would calmly lie down right next to a bag of yummy dog food! ^^

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I've decided my next car will be a Toyota Camry Hybrid for no other reason than that epic Lee Min Ho evil twin commercial I found on the internet. "Wow! That's amazing!" "No. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is amazing."

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OMG, I'd completely forgotten about that mini-drama ad!

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@jjijji,

Thanks for mentioning this epic commercial. It's better than some dramas I've seen. Season 2 has a great ending. ;-)

Season 1, episode 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSvqPTi1_Ko

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One thing that I learned about you @willow, aside from you're funny, is that you're a fan of Go Kyung-pyo, right? HAHAHA

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Hahaha shrewd!

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Aren't we all?, deep down and ALSO on the surface?

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You are right, who isn't even anyway? Hahaha! And I'm gonna use that phrase too from now on "deep down and also on the surface". HAHA

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Haha, I guess I made it too obvious! ;) Well, yes, I absolutely adore him! Still trying to cope with the fact that he's enlisting in a couple of weeks... ㅠㅠ

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It breaks my heart! He doesn't need to go RIGHT NOW since he hasn't maxed out the age limit but T_T. Dong Ha is also enlisting this May 1 and EVERYONE'S LEAVING I CAN'T DEAL WITH IT

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Wonderfully written and funny to boot! ❤️❤️ your article

***send finger hearts your way***

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Aww, thanks for your lovely comment!

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I loooove my Korean speaking rice cooker!!! 😍

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Btw this was one of the best purchases ever and I highly recommend a bit advanced rice cooker to any stay-at-home mom with small children. I often prepared the rice (or rice dish) in advance, set the time and when we came back from a walk or whatever activity, a warm lunch was ready. I also found handy to have warm rice constant available for making the baby porridge (fruit or vegetable ones). And my teenagers time to time appreciate warm rice in the morning (which I can prepare the evening before).

...and the toddlers looove all the train noises the cooker makes 😂😂😂

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The train noises are so cool! And I like how it introduces itself in Korean as soon as you plug it in! When the rice is ready I'm always tempted to answer with 감사합니다 ^^

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""Like, placing nutritious dog food (in a not so subtle manner) in a drama dealing with a tragic love story and a heavy topic like resistance against the Japanese occupation of Korea? ""

HAHAHAHAHA this sentence was GOLD! Beautiful writing!

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every time I read a "KDrama-Induced Shopping" piece, I am surprised at how cute and adorable (and amazingly well-written) each piece is. and yours, @willow, was no exception.

thank you for sharing your experience! and that rice cooker that talks in Korean: gold ! LOL

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i loved reading this write up and your amusing way with words! not to mention how true the shopping urge can be! my family sometimes rolls thier eyes at me but they don't hesitate to eat the korean food i make or even watching kdramas with me or better yet attending kconcerts in japan and korea with me!!!

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Really enjoyed your writing.
Sincerely wish you a handsome oppa dropped on your hood.
Please let us know too when you find a magic tailor for your next winter coat.

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All the PPL is working their magic effects. Haha. I cringed a lot when PPL is awkward or doesn't seem suitable with the scenes, but nowadays I noticed that the PPL are more subtle and scene-appropriate. Guess all the writers have a crash course in how to write PPL into their scripts..haha

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Great write up! Could it be that Go Kyung-pyo might be the 1 to influence you PPL induced shopping? Can help but notice most of the drama mentioned are ones with GKp in it. Hehe.

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Love this! And the coat is gorgeous..

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Hello.This post was really fascinating, especially since I was searching
for thoughts on this subject last Saturday.

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I count 5 references to Go Kyung Pyo's works. Are you a fan @willow?

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Haha, yes, absolutely! I adore him! And that‘s why I‘m eternally sad that he‘s enlisting in a couple of weeks ㅠㅠㅠㅠ

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Oh no! Have you finished watching all the movies and tv shows he starred in? That's what I do when my fav Korean actor is in the army.

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This was a great little piece! Such a fun write! But i really suggest you never turning on QVC, i would be worried for your wallet lol

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