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Men to dominate cosmetics adverts in Korea

  • Published : Apr 30, 2015 - 18:09
  • Updated : Apr 30, 2015 - 18:09

As the Korean cosmetics industry gears up to meet a growing population of men interested in skin care and grooming, men are also starting to dominate cosmetics adverts in Korea.

Korean men in their 20s use an average 13 cosmetics products per month, according to a government survey last month.

The cosmetics industry for men alone has grown 62.8 percent in the past five years, to about $1 billion last year.

Top cosmetics firms AmorePacific Group and LG Household & Health Care are laying the groundwork for marketing, research and development, and product design that are expected to launch in the second half of this year.

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Actor Yoon Park for cosmetics brand Mary Kay. (Mary Kay)
While it has been common to see men feature beside women in adverts for cosmetics brands in Korea in recent years, more and more cosmetics companies are signing exclusive contracts with men in Korea.

Ok Taec-yeon, a K-pop singer and member of boy group 2PM, last month signed an advertising contract with premium cosmetics brand SK-II, joining actress Lee Yeon-hee.

Ok stars in ads for the new product Pitera Miracle Essence, lending his laid-back image to the brand, which has actively marketed the facial mist as a "2PM product" after the singer's boy group.

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Actor Ahn Jae-hyun for cosmetics brand Clarisonic. (Clarisonic)
Male actor Ahn Jae-hyun also signed an exclusive advertising contract with American skin care brand Clarisonic in Asia.

Another male actor Park Hae-jin, who starred in the hit drama series "My Love from the Star," is the face of oriental medicine-based skin care company Sooryehan, which is owned by LG Household & Health Care.

Park has an image that has been described as both "strong and soft" by local media. Sooryehan is hoping to capitalize on Park's popularity in China, appealing not only to men, but also the rise in Chinese shoppers of Korean beauty products.

Sooryehan has launched a public fan meeting with actor Han, inviting Chinese and Hong Kong shoppers at a top department store in Seoul.

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Actor Park Hae-jin for Korean oriental medicine-based line Sooryehan. (LG Household & Health Care)
American cosmetics line Mary Kay last month launched its skincare product MelaCEP Plus+ Ultimate Serum, which is being solely promoted by male actor Yoon Park.

Yoon has a "romantic and soft-spoken" image in Korea, according to local media, associated with his role in the drama series "The Queen’s Flower" (translated title).

The product advertised by Yoon sold out within 25 days of its release, according to the cosmetics brand.

"The reason why (we) are putting a male model at the forefront is that we want to emphasize our image as a fresh and distinctive brand," said a spokesperson for Mary Kay. "We want to expand our (existing) female consumer base and also appeal to new, potential customers."

"Consumers' tastes are changing. I predict that, not only in Korea but also abroad, beauty firms will increasingly hire male models targeted at a broader consumer base," said the spokesperson.

By Yoon Sarah (sarah356@heraldcorp.com)

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