Advertising has developed beyond a mere means to sell more products into essential cultural content that can have a powerful impact on the way the public see the world. Among professionals, actors are particularly in love with advertising and the steady income it can provide -- not to mention the stellar fees for some top earners who stand to make more from commercials than from a movie or TV series. Some advertisers are complaining that the trend has led to a bubble in the amount stars charge for flogging products. The Chosun Ilbo takes a look at the prices of some top stars.
A survey of 30 producers, account executives, designers and copywriters in six major advertising companies shows that some top stars like Jang Dong-gun
, Lee Young-ae
, Go Hyun-jung
, Lee Hyori
, and Jun Ji-hyun
get between W700 million (US$=W935) and W1 billion for a one-year contract that requires them to shoot a TV and two print advertisements or two commercials and a print ad, and W400-500 million for a six-month contract to shoot a TV commercial and a print ad. Some were paid as much as W1.2 billion for a one-year contract. The respondents were unanimous in saying that is way too much.
Many said the amount is disproportionate to production and other costs and should not exceed W500 million for a year. They said prices should come down 30 to 40 percent given that some stars appear in six or seven ads at the same time. Others said fees should be cut by half or not exceed W300 million.
The advertising professionals warned the fees can cause a sense of inequality, and point out that it is consumers who have to pay for them. Cutting the fees paid to stars and using the savings for production will make for much better ads, they say. "Stars should try to use their appearance in an ad campaign as an opportunity to create another image, but some seem to care only about the money", one lamented.
We also asked respondents who they think are the best advertising models. They were asked to name the three stars they would most like to work with on a scale of 1 to 3, with 3 being the best. Jang Dong-gun
came first with 42 out of 90 full points. Reasons cited include, "He is capable of changing his image in one way or another to match different products he represents", and "He has unrivalled charisma".
Rain came second with 25 points. "Although he has appeared in so many ads, he still appeals to the public. He is particularly suitable for ads for products with a short life cycle, like mobile phones", one comment read. "It can't be ignored that the public think of him of as a global star", read another. In third place was Jung Woo-sung
with 19 points. "He is careful in managing his private life, with no scandals", said one professional. "He is also stylish and is in perfect physical condition to be a model".
Among women, Jun Ji-hyun
led the pack with 26 points, followed by Moon Geun-young
and Lee Hyori
, who shared second place with 17 points. Respondents said that Jeon, despite her strong sexy-girl image, still has appealing charm. They praised Moon for her rich facial expressions and Lee for her liveliness.
As stars with big potential to become top advertising models, the respondents named Joo Jin-mo
(13 points), Song Il-gook
(10), and Lee Min-ki
(9). Joo won plaudits for his fine features and constant efforts to improve his image through drama and film, while Song was valued for his acting skills and favorable and trustworthy image due to his role in MBC hit drama "Jumong
". Among women, Kim Ah-joong
ranked first with 20, followed by Han Hye-jin
with 7 and Hyun Young