Advertisement Critique in Different Cultures/Countries

As a Korean American, “Killing Me Softly” was a really interesting documentary because I could compare American and Korean style advertising.

Take a look at the following commercial for Korean style vodka.

The female in this video is a very popular 19 year old pop singer. Her style of dancing, clothes, and song choice is very sexual. The 19 symbol in the beginning of the video is the same symbol used to mark rated R movies in Korea.

The company’s use of this image shows understanding of Korean culture. Alcohol consumption is a very important part of Korean culture for men. It is how men first talk with their future father- in- laws, how businessmen make important contacts, and how male college students first meet fellow classmates. Drinking alcohol and getting drunk is still a very “male” activity in Korea. By using a sexy, young female for their advertisement (as they have done ever since marketing this drink), the company wishes to attract heterosexual male consumers.

Also, this brand is also one of the cheapest made alcohol, with very little alcohol content. The company is using this image because it knows that young people are the main buyers. By using a party themed commercial, the company relates its drink to youth and sex appeal.

In conclusion, a lot of the ideas about sexualization of women for male gratification in “Killing Me Softly” is still applicable in Korean culture. Although Korea comes from a completely different history, it is interesting how both societies desire a similar image of sex appeal and youth.

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