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纽约时报双语:赛百味,韩剧植入广告之王

赛百味,韩剧植入广告之王
Korean TV’s Unlikely Star: Subway Sandwiches
SETH BERKMAN
2021年3月15日
纽约时报双语:赛百味,韩剧植入广告之王

In an episode of the Korean television show “The K2,” which takes place in a world of fugitives and bodyguards, a man is being treated with a defibrillator when he enters into a dream state. On the fringe of death, he recalls taking a past love to a Subway restaurant and to a park for a picnic, where he gently feeds her a sandwich and soft drink with the Subway logo facing the camera.

韩国电视剧《The K2》的故事设定在一个逃亡者和保镖的世界。在其中一集里,一名男子在接受除颤器治疗时进入了梦乡。在死亡的边缘,他回忆起带着过去的爱人去赛百味(Subway)餐厅和公园野餐,在那里他温柔地给她喂三明治和软饮料——上面赛百味的标志正对着镜头。

The detail is not a narrative quirk. It is a result of South Korea’s broadcasting regulations and the aggressive use of product placement in the country’s shows by Subway, the American sandwich chain famous for its $5 foot-longs.

这一细节并不是一种叙事的偶然。造成这种情况的原因是韩国的广播监管规定,以及赛百味在该国节目中大举植入产品。赛百味是一家美国三明治连锁店,以五美元一个的足尺寸三明治闻名。

“People joke, ‘If I had a drink every time Subway popped up, I’d be drunk before the first half is over,’” said Jae-Ha Kim, a journalist in Chicago who reviews Korean dramas. “Everyone here’s like, ‘I never got a Subway sandwich that looked that good, with that much meat.’”

“人们开玩笑说,‘如果赛百味每出现一次我就喝一杯,那我还没看完就醉了,’”芝加哥的韩剧评论记者金在河(Jae-Ha Kim,音)说。“这里的每个人都说,‘我从来没有买到过看起来那么好吃、有那么多肉的赛百味三明治。’”

Product placement in TV shows is a reality the world over. But South Korea’s terrestrial stations are prevented from inserting commercial breaks during programming, meaning many Korean companies must be creative about getting their wares in front of viewers. As Korean dramas have become more popular with international audiences, global brands have pushed to be part of the action.

电视节目中的植入式广告在世界各地都是现实。但在韩国,地面电视台被禁止在节目播出期间插播商业广告,意味着许多韩国公司必须创造性地将产品呈现在观众面前。随着韩剧在国际观众中越来越受欢迎,全球品牌纷纷加入其中。

And no company has pushed harder than Subway, which has grown into the world’s largest fast-food chain by store count since its founding in 1965 in Bridgeport, Conn.

赛百味在这方面的努力比任何一家公司都要大。自1965年在康涅狄格州布里奇波特成立以来,赛百味已成长为全球门店数最多的快餐连锁企业。

Colin Clark, the country director for Subway in South Korea, said product placements in popular dramas like “Descendants of the Sun” had a positive impact on global sales, specifically citing markets in China, Taiwan and Singapore.

赛百味韩国业务总监科林·克拉克(Colin Clark)表示,在《太阳的后裔》(Descendants of the Sun)等热门电视剧中的产品植入,对全球销售产生了积极影响,他特别提到了中国、台湾和新加坡市场。

“I swear to you, it was a difference between night and day — before the product placement and after the product placement — the effect it had on the customers,” said Mr. Clark, who declined to provide specific sales figures.

“绝不是骗你,植入广告之前和之后,对顾客产生的影响简直是天壤之别,”拒绝提供具体销售数字的克拉克说。

Subway did not provide a total of how many Korean dramas its products had appeared in, but an informal tally by The New York Times counted appearances on 17 shows. That can add up to a lot of people seeing the company’s cold cuts. Netflix, with over 203 million worldwide members, has become a leading portal for Korean dramas. When the highly anticipated Korean drama “Sweet Home” was released on Netflix in December, 22 million viewers watched the show in its first month.

赛百味并未透露其产品总共在多少部韩剧中出现,但《纽约时报》的一项非正式统计显示有17部。这意味着很多人都看到了该公司的火腿切片。Netflix在全球拥有超过2.03亿会员,已经成为韩剧的主要门户网站。去年12月,备受期待的韩剧《甜蜜家园》(Sweet Home)在Netflix上上映,第一个月就有2200万观众观看。

By sleekly presenting its products on Korean dramas as a harbinger of cool, Subway is also presenting a fresh image to American viewers who are increasingly watching the shows.

赛百味在韩剧中巧妙地展示自己的产品,将其作为酷的象征,由此也向越来越多看韩剧的美国观众展示了一个新形象。

Recently, the company has faced scrutiny of its bread, which an Irish court ruled is not bread, and its tuna, which a lawsuit claimed is “anything but tuna.”

最近,该公司的面包和金枪鱼都引起了关注,前者被爱尔兰一家法院裁定不是面包;后者在一项诉讼中被称为“根本不是金枪鱼”。

But on TV, pristinely clean Subway shops that pop with bright colors serve as the setting for business meetings, social gossip and dates for beautiful couples. Instead of cookies and tea, elderly Korean TV characters keep freshly wrapped Subway sandwiches at the ready — you never can know when an unexpected guest will drop by and crave an Italian sub.

但在电视上,洁净如新、色彩鲜艳的赛百味店成了商务会议、社交八卦和美丽情侣约会的场所。韩剧中的老年角色不是准备饼干和茶,而是随时准备好新鲜包装的赛百味三明治——你永远不知道什么时候会有不速之客来访,想来一份意式三明治。

On the popular Korean drama “Crash Landing on You,” North Korean soldiers and a South Korean businesswoman find common ground through Subway sandwiches.

在热门韩剧《爱的迫降》(Crash Landing On You)中,朝鲜士兵和韩国女商人通过赛百味三明治找到了共同点。

Product placement in Korean shows began in earnest in 2010, when South Korea’s stringent broadcasting laws eased restrictions on the practice in an effort to increase network revenues and promote Korean goods. In 2018, South Korea’s networks sold $114 million worth of product placement, up 15 percent from the previous year, according to Soobum Lee, a mass communication professor at Incheon National University.

韩剧中的植入广告始于2010年,当时韩国严格的广电法放松了对这种做法的限制,以增加电视网络收入,并推广韩国商品。根据韩国仁川大学(Incheon National University)大众传播学教授李洙范(Soobum Lee,音)的数据,2018年,韩国电视网的植入式广告销售额为1.14亿美元,比前一年增长15%。

Shows collect an average of about $900,000 from product placements, although 2016’s “Descendants of the Sun” sold triple that amount, Mr. Lee said. It was also criticized by some viewers for excessive product placement.

李洙范说,通过植入广告,电视剧平均能获得90万美元左右的收入,不过2016年的《太阳的后裔》获得的收入是这个数字的三倍。它也被一些观众批评为产品植入过度。

Other American companies, like Papa John’s Pizza, have used product placements in Korean dramas, but none are as ubiquitous as Subway.

棒约翰披萨(Papa John ‘s Pizza)等其他美国公司也曾在韩剧中植入广告,但都不像像赛百味那样无处不在。

Ms. Kim said these kinds of shoehorned ads had become popular topics of discussion online, with some fans claiming they disrupt plots and threatening to stop watching altogether.

金在河说,这类硬塞进去的广告成了网上的热议话题,一些剧迷声称它们破坏剧情,威胁要彻底罢看。

She pointed to criticism of the show “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” (also known as “Goblin”) and a scene where it’s inferred that the protagonist prevents a man from committing suicide; in an effort to cheer him up, the suicidal man is handed a Subway sandwich. Subway is also celebrated in death; in another episode, the Grim Reaper is shown enjoying a meal from the chain.

她提到对《孤单又灿烂的神:鬼怪》(Guardian: the Lonely and Great God)的批评,其中有一场戏里,主人公阻止了一个男人自杀;为了让他振作起来,主人公给了这个要自杀的人一个赛百味三明治。赛百味在阴间也受到赞美——在另一集中,死神在这家连锁店中享用一餐。

“I know in the U.S. people are sick of it,” Ms. Kim said of the product placement. “We’ve had Subway, we know it’s not good. Stop trying to make it seem good.”

“我知道美国人已经受够了,”金在河谈到植入式广告时说。“我们吃过赛百味,我们知道它不好。不要试图让它看起来很好。”

While American viewers may roll their eyes at Subway’s being portrayed as haute cuisine, Seung-Chul Yoo, a communications professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, said product placement had been proved to work.

虽然赛百味被描绘成高级美食可能令美国观众不屑,但首尔的梨花女子大学(Ewha Womans University)传播学教授刘承哲(Seung-Chul Yoo,音)表示,植入广告已被证明有效。

When the actress Jun Ji-hyun wore red lipstick on the 2013 series “My Love From the Star,” similar products sold out in stores throughout Asia. Books featured on Korean dramas have become best sellers.

女星全智贤(Jun Ji-hyun)在2013年的电视剧《来自星星的你》(My Love From the Star)中涂口红时,类似的产品在亚洲各地的商店里销售一空。在韩剧中出现的书籍成了畅销书。

Marja Vitti, who covers Korean television for the website Dramabeans, said some fans had watched dramas to spot new products from companies before they were released to the public.

为Dramabeans网站报道韩国电视节目的玛丽亚·维蒂(Marja Vitti)说,在某些公司的新品上市之前,一些剧迷就能靠着看剧发现它们。

“I seem to notice a new Samsung feature in every drama,” Ms. Vitti said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I guess we’re getting folding phones soon.’”

“我好像注意到,每个剧里都会出现新款三星,”维蒂说。“感觉像是,‘哦,我想我们很快就会有折叠手机了。’”

Keeping up with trends, Subway has begun teasing new sandwiches on shows. In October, the company released its own mini-drama on YouTube, “Someway,” about a young woman who develops a crush on a Subway employee and regularly eats at his location to win his affection.

为了跟上潮流,赛百味开始在节目中预告新款三明治。今年10月,该公司在YouTube上发布了自己的迷你剧《不知何故》(Someway),讲的是一个年轻女子爱上了一名赛百味员工,定期在他所在的店里吃饭,以便赢得他的好感。

Each episode begins with a character expressing fondness for a new sandwich variety, like one made with Altermeat, a meat substitute. The first episode of “Someway” has more than 1.3 million views.

每一集的开头都有一个角色表达自己对一种新款三明治的喜爱,比如一种使用肉类替代品制作的三明治。《不知何故》第一集的点击量超过了130万。

“There’s humor in the advertising we’re doing,” Subway’s Mr. Clark said. “As a brand, if you take yourself too seriously, you’re going to end up always getting into trouble.”

“我们做的广告有幽默感,”赛百味的克拉克说:“作为一个品牌,如果你太把自己当回事,最终总会惹来麻烦。”

Subway opened its first South Korea location in 1992. Now there are more than 430 Subways in the country, its second-largest footprint in Asia behind China.

赛百味于1992年在韩国开设了第一家分店。如今,韩国有超过430家赛百味,在亚洲位居第二,仅次于中国。

To continually appeal to its target demographic of 15- to 25-year-olds, Subway is also becoming more inventive with how it is presented. On the drama “Memories of the Alhambra,” gamers competing in an augmented reality game collected valuable swords and coins by going to Subway.

为了继续吸引15至25岁的目标人群,赛百味在呈现方式上也越来越有创意。在《阿尔罕布拉宫的回忆》(Memories of the Alhambra)中,参加增强现实游戏的玩家去赛百味站收集有价值的宝剑和硬币。

In real life, newer restaurants with digital menu boards display the chain’s appearances on shows.

在现实生活里,新开张的餐厅会用数字菜单板播放该店在韩剧中出现的画面。

Product placement “was a relatively cheap way to get us brand awareness,” said Mr. Clark, who has also overseen collaborations with the K-pop star Kang Daniel and a limited-edition Subway streetwear release with Fila. “It was something the other brands were doing, but weren’t really kind of owning that space the way Subway started doing.”

植入式广告“是提高品牌知名度的一种相对廉价的方式”,克拉克说。他还负责与韩国流行歌手姜丹尼尔(Kang Daniel)和斐乐(Fila)合作,推出限量版赛百味街头服饰。“其他品牌也在这么做,但并没有像赛百味那样真正拥有这块市场。”

Mr. Yoo said that in South Korea, Subway was generally viewed as a healthier option than burger chains, which added to its appeal. During the decade he lived in the United States he rarely ate at Subway, he said, but now he regularly enjoys its sandwiches in Seoul.

刘承哲说,在韩国,赛百味通常被视为比汉堡连锁店更健康的选择,这增加了它的吸引力。他说,在美国生活的十年里,他很少在赛百味吃东西,但现在他经常吃首尔赛百味的三明治。

“To be honest, it tastes way better in South Korea,” Mr. Yoo said.

“说实话,韩国的味道好得多,”俞炳彦说。

Brands like Subway will soon be able to do more traditional advertising on South Korean television. In January, the Korea Communications Commission announced plans to allow commercial breaks on terrestrial stations.

像赛百味这样的品牌很快就能在韩国电视上做更多传统的广告。今年1月,韩国通信委员会宣布了允许在地面电视台播放商业广告的计划。

Product placement is not likely to disappear, though.

不过,植入广告不太可能消失。

Mr. Clark said that terrestrial advertising was too expensive and that those stations didn’t reach Subway’s desired young customer base, who frequently stream episodes on their phones.

克拉克说,地面台广告太贵,而且这些电视台无法触及赛百味期望的年轻客户群,这个群体往往用手机流媒体播放剧集。

Besides, the practice of product placement has already become a plot point.

此外,植入广告的实践已经成为一种安排情节的方式。

On the show “Because This Is My First Life,” the lead character dreams of becoming a television writer. When she lands a job in the industry, her assignment is to jam product placements into the scripts of popular Korean dramas.

在《今生是第一次》(Because This Is My First Life)中,主角梦想成为一名电视编剧。当她在业内第一次找到工作时,她的任务是把产品植入到当红韩剧的剧本里去。

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