The choice of Hyun Bin to be the face of its latest campaign came naturally to the Smart executives.
Culture Spotlight

Behind Hyun Bin’s one year Smart contract: “It would have been crazy for us not to do it.”

The mobile provider just revealed a sleek new TVC starring the K drama superstar, but it won’t reveal just yet how much the "priceless" contract is worth. By ANCX Staff 
ANCX | Jun 01 2020

The new Smart Communications TVC starring phenomenal Korean drama actor Hyun Bin took only one day to shoot, Smart’s top executives revealed today at the launch of the much-anticipated commercial. The very sleek, almost futuristic-looking video was shot entirely in South Korea by a local production group—while a creative team from Manila obsessively monitored the goings on.

While most everyone on the Smart team would have preferred to fly to the hallyu capital to meet Bin and work with the actor on the shoot, the current travel situation could not allow it. The 37-year old matinee idol, who plays the mysterious Captain Ri in the wildly popular and globally beloved series Crash Landing on You, signed his one-year contract with Smart just this past April. He is the center of the latest campaign from the mobile service provider. “He seemed very nice and very down to earth,” said Smart President and CEO Al Panlilio of Bin. 

Everything went as planned with the Bin’s TVC launch, according to Smart execs. It was really set to be unveiled June 1.

Bin was also a total professional at work and a breeze to talk to, according to Smart’s Jane Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business. The actor even asked for an advance copy of his script so he could study it early, anticipating he might have a difficult time with the words, especially those he needed to say on cam. In the TVC, Bin says a couple of lines in Filipino. One more trivia: before the actor sent over to the Smart HQ the jackets he used as costumes for the commercial, the star took the time to autograph them. 

The TVC was shot in one day in South Korea. Grind started at 1PM.

Bin was a natural choice for Smart Communications, Inc. when it came to choosing who will be the face of its latest campaign, said Basas. The company was well aware of his outsize popularity, and even the executives at Smart are fans, including Panlilio (as influenced by his wife) and Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan. “It would have been crazy for us not to do it,” says Basas on the decision to get the Korean drama star. She refused to reveal just how much the contract was worth but said that Bin is committed to flying to the Philippines for the company.

Mon Isberto of the company’s public affairs department said, “It’s not definite yet when he’s coming but he’s definitely coming,” citing the current pandemic as reason why there can’t be any sure date yet. “He was so excited to come. He would have wanted to come,” Basas added. 

“The ‘Hyun Bin Phenomenon’ is pretty much due to digital technology - Filipinos have developed the craze because they are able to stream his shows,” said Smart’s Jane Basas.

The Hyun Bin campaign is the first time a local telecoms company has tapped a South Korean superstar to be the face of its brand.

“The ‘Hyun Bin Phenomenon’ is pretty much due to digital technology -  Filipinos have developed the craze because they are able to stream his shows, hear the buzz about him online, share their excitement with their friends, and even get to interact with him through social media,” added Basas. “This makes him a perfect ambassador for Smart as we empower Filipinos with technological solutions made easy so they can enrich their daily life and pursue their passions.” 

Hyun Bin is slated to visit Manila but there’s no definite date yet.

In the TVC, Hyun Bin rides a sports car and zooms past neon-lit city streets. It is supposed to remind audiences of “the blazing speeds by which Filipinos can enjoy their daily dose of entertainment powered by Smart LTE and Giga Promos,” said the press release. The ad ends with Bin mouthing Smart’s new tagline in Filipino, “Simple. Smart Ako.”

“'Simple. Smart Ako' sums up our company’s approach all this time to make amazing technology available, and more importantly, simple for every Filipino,” said Al Panlilio. 

Check out the TVC below:

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