How Hyun Bin became Smart's face for new campaign

Shiela Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2020 03:49 PM

Smart Communications unveils new campaign featuring South Korean actor Hyun Bin, who has endeared many Filipinos with his hit K-dramas and movies. Handout

MANILA – Filipino fans of the South Korean series “Crash Landing on You” were abuzz last Friday after Smart Communications announced that it has tapped its lead actor Hyun Bin to be the face of its newest campaign.

In a virtual press conference on Monday, executives of the telecommunications company shared how the idea of getting Hyun Bin as an endorser first come about.

According to Jane Basas, Smart SVP and head for Consumer Wireless Business, getting Hyun Bin was quite exciting for the company because they knew that there’s a huge following particularly for Korean dramas among Filipinos.

“Bringing Hyun Bin was something that was natural for us. It would’ve been crazy for us not to do it. In fact, closer to Smart in terms of our service, our biggest service right now is called the Giga Video. People actually subscribed to the Giga Video to watch K-drama content,” she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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True enough, the feedback that Smart has received since it launched the campaign has been quite phenomenal, Basas reported, and the company thinks it was a very good decision to bring Hyun Bin as part of the Smart family.

Smart and Hyun Bin signed a one-year engagement and contractually, the actor has three events which he should participate in, including coming to the Philippines.

“It’s not yet definite when he’s coming because we still have to deal with the COVID-19 situation but he is definitely coming. When exactly, we are gonna have to work it out. He will be coming and we will certainly announce it and give you all the advance information when the time comes,” said Ramon Isberto, PLDT-Smart’s first vice president and public affairs head.

Meanwhile, the executives also shared how it was like working with Hyun Bin, especially when they were shooting the new Smart commercial.

“One hundred percent of this project was done online from the planning stages to clearing the storyboard with Hyun Bin and his management, to the pre-prod, to the actual shoot,” Basas said.

While it was difficult to monitor the commercial shoot remotely, Smart VP for Corporate Marketing and Strategy Lloyd Manaloto said it was a delight to work with Hyun Bin’s team.

“What was surprising was, like his character Captain Ri, he didn’t make a lot of fuss, his team didn’t make a lot of fuss. They will tell us if it’s doable or not. They were professionals. We shot the whole thing in one day,” he said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Was Smart aware that local clothing line Bench was also getting Hyun Bin as its endorser?

“It wasn’t a surprise to us actually because Hyun Bin is one of the biggest Asian celebrities. It’s very consistent with the strategy of Bench as they have been getting the services of a lot of South Korean endorsers in the past. I guess we are just lucky from a timing standpoint that we got to launch our campaign first and that the execution is actually a multimedia solution,” Basas.

And as for those hoping to see more Korean starts endorsing Smart, Alfred Panlilo, Smart president and CEO, only has one thing to say: “Captain Ri is lonely if he’s alone right so maybe we should get him a partner,” he teased.