Go to contents

Japanese TV commercial featuring Hallyu starts airing 2 days after summit

Japanese TV commercial featuring Hallyu starts airing 2 days after summit

Posted March. 20, 2023 07:48,   

Updated March. 20, 2023 07:48


“I have fallen in love with a Korean idol, 31 years younger than me.”

Tokyo Gas, the world’s largest urban gas supplier that supplies natural gas to Tokyo and the greater Tokyo region, on Saturday started airing a TV commercial featuring a mother who has fallen in love with the “Korean Wave” or “Hallyu.

It has been a long time since Hallyu first swept across the Japanese archipelago. However, it is quite unusual for a Japanese conglomerate, which focuses on the domestic market and has no operation in South Korea, to use Korea for its brand advertisement. As the commercial started airing two days after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol had a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, watchers say that the ad may reflect favorable public sentiment towards South Korea within Japan resulting from improving Seoul-Tokyo relations.

Tokyo Gas’ new ad starts with a scene in which a Japanese mother and taxi driver, who has an adolescent daughter, has a crush on Hwanwoong, a member of the K-pop boyband ‘ONEUS.’ After listening to ONEUS’ songs, she reads magazine articles, eats Korean dessert alone in Shinokubo, the largest Koreatown in Tokyo, and signs up at a language academy to learn the Korean language.

After practicing Korean, she speaks to her taxi passenger from Korea in Korean, “May I help you? Sure, I can do it.” She won a ticket for a concert in Seoul that she so desperately wanted through a lucky draw but got infected with Covid-19 to lose the chance to visit South Korea. The ad ends with a scene in which she is seen eating Samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken soup) her daughter cooked for her.

“We intended to display our company’s brand image that cheers for ordinary citizens by showing a person who enjoys the richness of life by devoting her passion to what she really likes,” Tokyo Gas said in a press release.

Damae Ando, the actress in the commercial, previously participated in an event where she recited a Korean short story during a ‘K-BOOK Festival’ hosted by the Korea Foundation in Tokyo in November last year. “There are a series of events related to South Korea these days, and I started learning Korean,” Ando was quoted by Tokyo Gas as saying. “I would like to visit South Korea and eat delicious food this year.”