K-Pop CFs: Hidden Gems in Advertising

Commercial Films, more commonly referred to in K-pop as CFs, back in the late 2000s and early 2010s, had a lot peculiar collaborations. It also brought us some iconic bops on items you probably would’ve never expected. This post is meant to shed light in some of those tunes that you probably would’ve missed otherwise in your K-pop journey.

So, let’s get started!

Chocolate Love – An infinite loop of the same song

Some cellphones in Korea were promoted with big K-pop acts, these came with the production value and singles of insanely good quality. Now, this was also an era before smartphones were widely popular(2009 PEOPLE). The LG Chocolate phone was released in Korea and they brought in SM’s biggest girl group at the time, Girls’ Generation, and the newest rookies f(x) for a dual release that put people into a debate as to which song was better.

To this day? I honestly can’t tell you which one I like better. I do think that the added verse in f(x)’s makes it stand out better than Girls’ Generation’s ‘Retro’ version. f(x) was hot off their debut ‘La Cha Ta’, and this was a fantastic transition into their first comeback ‘Chu!<3’ in November of that year. I did like that both videos connected with each other, bringing us an astounding loop of music.

Amoled – Son Dam Bi & After School bring us an iconic dance step

JUSTICE FOR AFTERSCHOOL.

Okay, now that I’ve said my piece, onto the actual song itself. AMOLED, is the patented technology that a lot of our screens have been using since 2008. This song was released as a collab between two of Pledis Entertainment’s artists as a way to promote the screens on Samsung’s devices. The dance step in the chorus was a step that got into a lot of people’s heads at the time.

Cabi Song – The music video that brought us iconic ships

Caribbean Bay is a waterpark that is a part of Everland, the biggest outdoor theme park in South Korea. Their water park is appropriately named, and features scenes that remind me of my backyard, Old San Juan. It’s honestly a place I’d love to visit. Everland especially.

This song was released and while all the featured singers on the track are not in the whole music video, it gave us iconic scenes that probably fueled way too many fanfics.

Seoul – Super Generation’s melodic Seoul promotion song

GAH THIS SONG IS SO CUTE.

In all seriousness, I just noticed that most bops in this list were released in 2009. I uh, don’t know what happened there.

Anyway, going back to what I was saying. This song is adorable and brought us sweetness across the board. The stories were all cute, adding a touch of whimsy to the melodic track in the forefront. I’m so happy Siwon cut his hair some time after that because it was way too long then. Donghae on the other hand, fabulous hair and superb dancing skills.

Also, let’s never forget the ‘creeper Teuk’ that this video blessed us with.

This moment still lives in infamy.

Abing Abing – Baskin Robbins uses Orange Caramel for a sweet bop

JUSTICE FOR ORANGE CARAMEL TOO.

This single dropped and some people were baffled to find out that this was a commercial song for Baskin Robbins specifically promoting their Patbingsu desserts. Patbingsu is a popular summer treat in Korea, a shaved ice dessert with many sweet topings. They most definitely picked the right group for this, considering that Orange Caramel at its peak popularity was based off wearing food themed outfits during ‘Catallena’ performances. I loved every single minute of it. (Those ‘HAH’ compilations will live forever. Nana, thanks for scaring me randomly in those performances. I LOVED IT.)

Tik Tok – (No, I don’t mean the app.)

There’s a part two but I mostly just listened to the track.

Cass Beer released quite a few CFs with popular, adult, K-pop stars. In this case 2PM released a song early in 2010 with a two part music video. This is actually one of my most overplayed 2PM songs. I absolutely loved the tune of it and how wonderfully the guys sounded. The music video was an intense roller coaster ride, a lot more so than Dara’s cute music video the year before.

Don’t Stop the Music – Colorful sets, cute scooters, amazing aesthetic.

I loved this song when it was released initially, and it was repackaged for 2NE1’s second album by taking off the ‘Fiore’ lines. It’s a solid bop with a colorful set, strong vocals, and a melody that’s probably stuck in your head by now. You’re welcome.

Happy Bubble – Yes, of course skincare also got some musical releases too!

So many people have been implementing Korean skincare products into their routine, it shouldn’t be a surprise skincare companies in Korea have idols promoting their products too. ‘Happy Bubble’ shows the adorable side of these boys and this was one of those music videos that continued to drive in the point that Donghae was second ult bias. Henry first!

Maxstep – A heck of a way to promote a lifestyle with a car company

Yes, I had to sneak in Henry in here somehow.

This song walked so Super M’s ‘Jopping’ could RUN. This was a part of a three song collaboration with Hyundai. For obvious reasons this was my favorite song out of the three. I still remember when I first watched it. This happened when music videos would go live at night on our side of the world instead of the next morning as they do now. Working hard from being at F21, doing some projects and then this finally released.

I paused everything I was doing to watch this. EVERYTHING.

Then Henry hit the high note. Then I screamed, cried, and screamed some more. I will never forget that moment of joy. My ultimate bias finally getting the moment he deserved.

Lollipop – Phones again, and a stellar Predebut!

LG tapped into YG early on in 2009 for the promotion of the Lollipop phone, it was super cute and believe me that I was trying to think of all the different ways I could afford to use that phone in Puerto Rico. Then one phone company brought but by then it was too little too late. Anyway, the point being that this song served up a new talent to the world by the name of 2NE1, this song served as their pre-debut until they dropped ‘Fire’ some time later.

This song had it all! Vibrant colors, cute interactions, totally catchy hook, and iconic style. Dara’s ponytail became one of the iconic looks of 2009.

Gleam – Powerhouse vocals to promote glasses

I totally was wrecking my brain to find a recent CF song to add here and then I remembered this one! It was so good people thought it was a comeback instead of an advert song for an eye-wear shop called Davich. The song’s title romanized roughly comes out to Da Bichi-na. It’s a pun! Anyway, the girls look stunning here modeling all these glasses and sunglasses. The song’s got a beautiful hook. I can’t tell you how much I spammed this song when it first came out and was stunned to find out it was an ad.

And there you have it! Some CF bops for you to listen to! If you stuck around this long, thank you so much. I hope you enjoy them as much as I had fun digging up my own memories.

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