If you’ve watched many k-dramas, you might be a tad confused to suddenly see the main leads showcasing a particular brand or product. It’s become an inside joke now for K-drama fans, because a lot of the time, these brand sponsorships aren’t subtle at all. They’re known as product placements or ‘PPL’ for short. These products range from K-beauty, cars, phones and sometimes, even fast food restaurants. Of course, being the massive K-beauty fans that we are, let’s see what skincare and makeup have been featured before!
Netflix | The King: Eternal Monarch
If you’re an avid watcher of K-dramas, the Kahi Wrinkle Bounce Multi Balm would be very familiar to you. After watching Jung Tae-eul (Kim Go Eun) use this in The King: Eternal Monarch, it soon became viral, even featuring in other K-dramas. I’m sure we were all curious what this skincare balm that came in a stick was. Unbeknownst to many of us at the time, this Kahi Multi Balm is collagen-infused with moisturising and anti-aging capabilities. I guess this PPL worked, because it even reached international stardom, featuring in Doja Cat’s music video.
MBC | Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo was one of my favourite K-dramas of that year, but what caught the attention of viewers was the somewhat subtle ad of Laneige Water Bank series. In one scene, you could see Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) applying her skincare routine with Laneige’s most hydrating line. One of the first K-beauty products that I came across was Laneige and their Water Sleeping Mask. Now, they’re definitely the brand most known for their Lip Sleeping Mask which now comes in a TON of delicious flavours 🍊🍫🍏🍓
TVN | True Beauty
Cushion Foundations are huge in Korea and there are many reasons why! Not only does it give you a flawless base, but it easily applies wherever you are. The fact that it’s so compact is why many Koreans carry it wherever they go - it just fits so well in any makeup bag! K-dramas are where a lot of high-end cushion foundations are showcased. A main lead will pull one out to touch up their base or use the mirror to re-apply their lipstick, making sure the brand is visible to viewers 😂
Netflix | See You in My 19th Life
I will say featuring K-beauty in K-dramas isn’t too weird but you wouldn’t see Dyson robot vacuums appear in anywhere other than Western TV shows. But don’t be surprised when you find it in K-dramas. Subway has been a common brand sponsorship too, whether it’s a place for colleagues to eat for lunch, or going as a casual date. Somehow, they always incorporate eating a Subway sandwich into the script 😆 Other weird K-drama PPLs include Kopiko’s coffee candy, kimchi, and even massage recliners. But I’m not going to lie, I have bought a few featured products to see what the hype was 🥰