December 05, 2007

Commercials after commercials for Coffee Princes..

If we google for the main characters of The First Shop of Coffee Prince and commercials, several pictures and blogs come up, although more often than not (unfortunately), they are written in Korean. However, there is a blog entry “Coffee Prince’ Actor Gong Yoo Replaces Rain as Ohui Model.”

For those who have absolutely no clue about Korean celebrities, Rain is a singer with a very hot body that many Korean teenage girls adore. Rain was popular for his singing, dancing, and acting in various popular dramas. He appeared in numerous commercials that address young women, and proved to be a very effective character. On the other hand, many people did not even know about Gong Yoo until this drama was on TV every Monday and Tuesday, so this just gives an idea of how powerful one drama affects a celebrity’s income and popularity.

Usually, although not always, when a Korean drama turns out to be a huge success, it is the main characters in the drama that shout with joys, since many companies ask them if they are interested in being the model for their commercials. Since The First Shop of Coffee Prince became such a popular drama, it was mentioned in many of other TV shows, not to mention in many blogs and websites. Anywhere you went in Seoul, the chances of you hearing people talking about the drama was pretty high during this past summer.

Yoon Eun Hae was not so popular after several dramas that she was in as a main characters. People often complained about how she was not suitable for the character. Surprisingly, people started to acknowledge that she improved a lot in the Coffee Prince, which made her image boost up very high. Consequently, Yoon Eun Hae, who played the character Eun-Chan in the drama, appeared in TV commercials for cellphones, jeans, make-up products and more. Some people complained on their blogs that although they have enjoyed the drama, now they are sick of seeing these main characters all over the place.

Gong Yoo, thanks to the popular drama that he was in, now became a popular man in Japanese market, especially for the women in their ages between 20 and 40. One Japanese company actually made profits by making a 2008 calendar with Gong Yoo’s handsome photos. Some Koreans are still not sure why and how he is so attractive. I doubted that too, since his mask wasn't all that cute compared to many gorgeous actors....Nonetheless, my only recommendation would be to watch the entire series of The First Shop of Coffee Prince, to slowly realize what sort of image and feeling he creates in you. By then, anyone could appreciate many commercials or other future dramas or movies that he appears.

Posted by hayoung at 12:14 AM

December 03, 2007

The houses and views of Seoul, Korea

So far, I have discussed the drama The First Shop of Coffee Prince and its effect on Korean's fashion style, as well as its impact on Coffee markets within Korea. At this point, you might be asking, 'okay, so let's say it did impact all these areas..but would there be any more?’ The answer to that is, of course!

In the drama, each main character -- Eun-chan, Han-kyul, Han-sung, and Yu-ju -- lives in a very unique and adorable house located in Seoul. The scenery that appears in each episode of the drama has been so amazing and surprising to many of the audiences, since not many people imagined that the most crowded city, Seoul, would have such a beautiful view of nature. Although not comparable in their sizes, the houses in the drama looked a lot like those celebrity houses in L.A.

While in reality, it is very hard for the ordinary citizens to actually acquire such big and gorgeous house with amazing views of Seoul, at least many became aware that there is actually something to visit and see in a very crowded and polluted city. It did not only attract the Koreans, but the sceneries shown throughout the drama actually promoted Korean Tourism, and provided additional popular tourist attractions especially for Japanese tourists. In fact, many Japanese women in their mid 30s or 40s often watch Korean dramas and come to Korea to see the beautiful places shown in drama.

I myself am very used to seeing endless lines of apartments all over Korea, so it was certainly refreshing and enjoyable for me to watch these lovely parts of Seoul with cute couples in them. I don’t know when I would be able to visit Korea, but I would definitely make trips to these houses, dreaming that maybe one day, my BBA degree will somehow enable me to purchase one of these adorable houses in Seoul…

Although my blog entry mainly talks about the “houses” of the characters in Seoul, Korea, I found a useful website in *ENGLISH* that lists some of the filming locations/popular sites shown throughout the First Shop of Coffee Prince:

Posted by hayoung at 09:07 PM

November 27, 2007

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

Don't these coffees look just amazing?

Many more decorations of coffee can be found in the following page:

Even before the show "The First Shop of Coffee Prince" started, many big coffee shops started appearing in almost every corner of Seoul, Korea. Thanks to the globalization, coffee shops such as the Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and others were easy to be found anywhere; and despite the fact that a cup of coffee costed as much as one meal, Koreans did not hesitate to enjoy coffee and continue their conversations at a nicely decorated coffee shops.

However, many Koreans tend to favor what is called "the 20-cent vending machine coffee." People said half jokingly and half seriously that the mix of "two spoons of coffee mix, two spoons of creamer, and two spoons of sugar" was the best taste one can ever get out from coffee, although this is a very Koreanized way of looking at coffee.

With the help from the drama Coffee Prince, Koreans start to pay more attention to various kinds of coffee that are available to the public to enjoy and explore. The character "Eun-Chan" started her work at the Coffee Prince, knowing very little about the process of brewing coffee. Nonetheless, as the story progresses, her skills develop, and people could see various names of coffee kinds as well as fancy decorations on top of coffee, such as the one showing on the top of this blog entry.

The drama also introduced a career that was previously not so well known: "Coffee Barrister." This job attracted many young Koreans and this led to many creations of private schools for coffee barrister education. The impact did not cease here, but it then led many other television programs such as the ones that are health-related to choose coffee as their topic and explore the pros and cons of drinking coffee, how it affects women with their diets, how it helps the high school student with the level of awakefulness, and so on.

With the entire population constantly talking about coffee and the Coffee Prince, the coffee shops could not possibly express how happy they were with the never ending customers each day, ordering a cup of coffee that is as expensive as, if not more than, a yummy Korean meal.

Posted by hayoung at 10:37 PM

November 12, 2007

"European Dandy Style" For Men

Not only people were interested in the love story of several unique and cute couples, but they were also interested in what Kong-yu (or the character Han-Kyul) wears in every episode. Many people were asking online or posting questions on their blogs asking where they could get the shirt that Kong-yu wore in a particular episode of the drama, and more often than not, the shirts, pants or shoes that Kong-yu wore in the drama were sold out in the stores.

Well, what sort of style that Kong-yu showed in the drama? Why was it so popular?

In the drama, Kong-yu (or Han-Kyul) appears as a successful business man who just finished his study in New York City. He's 29 years old, professional, tall, and handsome looking. His character is free-spirited, cool, and organized. So, the stylist for Kong-yu decided that the "European Dandy" style would be the best fit.

What the stylist meant by the term is this: Dress shirts of a simple design with very few color,instead of the shirts with strong colors or bold patterns; Slim-fit dress shirts and casual pants, finished by a pair of cute snikers. I personally found Kong-yu very charming with his casual but organized look, although I am not sure whether or not I like the "wear your snikers everyday with your barefeet" concept.

I did not realize how deeply this style affected the Korean men's atmosphere until I walked down the main street in Seoul, Korea and saw many stores saying "Kong-yu style shirts sold here." Many Korean guys in fact tried to wear like him, although not many of them looked particularly amazing. One reason why this might be so is because of his unusually tall height and nice body, compared to many average Korean guys. On the side note, Kong-yu's brief profile is even on our lovely, so you might want to check him out and see what other works he appeared in the past:

Kong-yu's style in the drama and how it greatly influenced the clothing market just shows one aspect of how powerful this drama has been in various business areas.

One short article posted online shows how this "European Dandy Style" displayed by Kong-yu become so popular and powerful in the marketing field:

"Actor Gong Yoo, 28, who starred in the recent popular TV series, "Coffee Prince", will show off his princely charm, modeling products for the LG Household and Health Care cosmetic line, Ohui For Men.

The actor will replace Korea's top entertainer "Rain" to join the current Ohui female models, popular actresses Son Ye-jin and Kim Ah-joong.

Gong was chosen for the job because of his gentle and sophisticated image, according to the cosmetics maker.
"Gong Yoo's strength is that his style is luxurious and aristocratic, yet he has an easiness to him that doesn't make him difficult to approach", LG Household and Health Care said."

Before this "Europen Dandy Style," Kong-yu was never really noticed by the Korean audience. Fortunately for him, he acted the character "Han-Kyul" in "Coffee Prince," and he became one of the "most-wanted-men" figure in the Korean advertising field.

With all this facts said above, whoever become interested in this actor or his fashion style might find the following website interesting, since it contains many pictures of him as well as several various postings by people (including the one above):

Posted by hayoung at 11:51 PM

November 10, 2007

Short haircuts for girls

Recently, I found a blog that talks about Eun-Chan's character and how boyish she is in the drama, under the title "Is Yun Eun Hye man enough for you?"

Traditionally, long straight black hair was considered the most beautiful style for any Korean woman. Korean men usually "fell in love" with the women whose back looked so gorgeous with her charming long hair. Even the TV commercials always showed women with long hairs
and never really introduced any new hairstyle, except for maybe long, black, "curly" hair.

This summer when I was trying to change my hair style, I used the popular "naver-wisdom," a popular Korean website in which people post questions and get answers from others online. I searched for hair styles with phrases like "the most popular girl hair style," "cute girl hair cuts," and so on. Regardless of how I phrased, the website consistently mentioned the short haircut shown in the drama "Coffee Prince," with the main character Eun-Chan.

Well, this summer, a tomboy character named "Eun-chan" appears on screen every Tuesday and Thursday night, and changed many opinions (or preference) of many women for their hairstyle. Many rumors also followed that in order for one to prove oneself "truly beautiful," she should get a haircut and show that even the short haircut looks good on her. With Yoon Eun Hae (the celebrity playing Eun-Chan's role in the drama), it reached a point in which a person could go to any hair salon and literally ask the hair designers for the "Yoon Eun Hae" hairstyle, they would understand exactly what the customer wants.

How her hairstyle greatly influenced the Korean girls during the summer 2007 can be seen in many blogs, web images, and pictures of other Korean celebrities.

These two pictures above show "Eun-Chan" with her short haircut.

Below are some of the pictures that show how other celebrities followed her example.

1) Keun-young Moon, a young celebrity famous for making donations for scholarship program, helping little children, and so on.

The haircut doesn't look very good on her, but nonetheless she followed the trend.

2)Korean web news article showing various popular celebrities with their new short hair cuts.

There are endless numbers of pictures of girls with popular hair style (the short haircut, although unfortunately all of the descriptions are in Korean.
This website shows the resulting images one can get when he/she searches for Eun-chan's short haircut.

2)Korean celebrities with short haircuts
A guy's blog showing many Korean female celebrities with their current hairstyles, which happen to be all short. The title of the posting says "The Short Haircuts are totally in! I want to get a haircut too..."

Posted by hayoung at 07:48 PM