Are Korean actresses 'on another level' to K-pop idols?
Some background context for those new to this question: It's well documented that Korean actresses occupy a more esteemed position in the hearts of Korea's lonely masturbating Internet-jockey public than Korean pop idols. They truly believe that actors and actresses are "on another level" to idols with a discriminatory fervour bordering on Ku Klux Klan style racist delusion. To netizens, actresses are always prettier, smarter, and more worthy of success than an idol, and woe betide any idol daring to dip their big toe into the sacred realm of acting lest they suffer the slings and arrows of Korea's most frustrated and powerless virgins. Not that anyone except them ever seems too concerned.
The rationale of the endorsement test is as follows. The entertainment business has been in recession for decades, it's no secret to anybody who has been working within it for a while that everything associated with entertainment has been on the gradual downturn globally since the 1990s. Because of this, shit like talent, personality, charm and all that crap doesn't matter much, or at least not directly - what fucking matters is survival which means money, and lots of it. So how do entertainers make money? Well, idols sure don't make it with their songs, even top tier groups can't make much more than pocket change selling music in 2014 (I've discussed this in more detail here if you don't believe). Actresses also don't make a whole lot from acting - hell, half the time they don't even get fucking paid at all for that shit. Well, fuck. Most entertainers in Korea with reasonably high profiles and money in their bank accounts don't make that money through the entertainment industry itself, instead they make the money by attaching their own brand value to other brands and thereby leeching money off other industries that actually are still viable and do make decent money, via endorsements.
Surely, if actresses were truly on another level to idols, it stands to reason that they would naturally endorse higher quality products? This post is going to put the merits of two endorsed products to the test, and through the results, we will know who is truly superior - k-pop idols, or Korean actresses.
Since I'm making this contest, I thought it would be best to lay down some rules. Here they are:
- The endorsed products under evaluation must be ones that I have not tried before finding out about the idol/actress endorsement, thus eliminating bias from product familiarity
- Endorsed products must be given the opportunity to be experienced in their best possible light
Let's bring on the reviews!
CONTESTANT #1 - BASKIN ROBBINS ICE CREAM
as endorsed by ORANGE CARAMEL
Everybody who listens to k-pop knows that Orange Caramel are great. Yeah yeah, music is subjective and all that, but if you don't think Orange Caramel are one of the best groups in any genre of music ever in human history you should probably be killed anyway just because you suck. If you've been living under a rock, have never heard of Orange Caramel and are keen to prevent your imminent death, here's their latest video for you to check out which is really just an extended-play advert for Baskin Robbins ice cream:
After I'd decided that the song was great and fapped to Raina for a while, I noticed that the ice creams they were promoting seemed to look pretty fucking good. I'd however never heard of Baskin Robbins so I figured that this franchise probably wasn't in Adelaide, Australia and didn't worry too much about it. Soon enough, someone on my ask.fm proved me wrong and alerted me to the existence of Baskin Robbins in Harbour Town, which is not actually a town but a weird outdoor shopping mall built onto the edge of Adelaide Airport. My chance to evaluate Baskin Robbins had arrived - would Raina's soft serve taste as good as it looked in the video?
It's worth noting the occupation of the "food stylist" at this point. If you've ever looked at mouth-watering pictures of fast food hamburgers, and then been incredibly disappointed with the difference in shape, size and texture of the actual hamburger when you purchased one, you'll know just how effective food stylists can be. Food stylists aren't the same as traditional cooks or chefs. A food stylist's job is specifically to make food look appealing in photographic and video adverts... this often includes modifications which make the food inedible in reality! Some common food stylist tricks:
- Hamburgers have pins and plastic inserted between the ingredients to give the layers of food more shape and lift
- Roasted meat is only partially cooked, then sprayed with brown paint and stuffed with paper towels
- Soap is added to make coffee, milk and other drinks look more frothy
- Ice cubes in drink advertisements are usually made of acrylic plastic
- Grill marks are often painted on with eyeliner or marker
- Hairspray, fabric protector and/or glycerine are sprayed on various foods to make them look more moist and juicy
- Ice cream is often actually coloured mashed potato or another substitute material
To get the answer, I picked up my girlfriend and we drove over to Harbour Town... after all, what boyfriend worth a damn would leave their girl out of an ice cream expedition? Like shoe shopping and Johnny Depp, ice cream tasting has universal appeal among women and is a pretty safe suggestion for a way to kill an afternoon. It didn't take us much wandering around to find the Baskin Robbins stall:
So we had some ice creams. They were nice. Then I went back there on my own a couple days later and had more ice creams because I had to return some of the other shit I bought at Harbour Town on the first visit and it was a good opportunity to sample more/better flavours (because the ones I picked on the first visit were the crappier ones). Here were all the flavours that were tried with a rating out of 10 for each:
Chocolate Cookie Crackle - chunks of chocolate, with more chocolate in it, covered with chocolate bits. Somewhere in there was also ice cream. 8.5/10.
Love Potion #31 - some kind of raspberry thing, extremely sweet. It had little shiny sugar hearts in it and when you bit into them there's a little explosion of raspberry syrup stuff, which seems like the sort of thing that would make perfect sense in an Orange Caramel video. I'm sure it was made of a combination of Fukushima radioactive tailings and baby seal blood, but it tasted pretty damn good so who cares. 8/10.
Chocolate Chip - pretty standard chocolate chip ice cream that you can get anywhere, surprisingly low on chocolate content given the chocolate berko-madness of some of the other flavours on offer but tasted reasonable enough. 6/10
Double Date - the concept was sticky date pudding in an ice cream, but in practice it had a curious almost-coffee flavour, less actual dates than a T-Jinyo gathering and only standard ice cream stickiness levels. Nothing special. 5/10.
Rum Raisin - this flavour was enhanced greatly by the occasional presence of a wrinkly brown substance closely resembling actual raisins. The ice cream tasted like rum too, so a winner on both fronts. 8/10.
Chocolate Mousse Royale - I'm pretty sure that this wasn't ice cream at all but just a chocolate mousse that they froze a bit, and then added more chocolate chunks to. Can't complain. 8.5/10.
- Despite my raving about food styling above, the ice creams really do look pretty much like they do in the video (pictured above. Left: Double Date, with Choc Chip underneath that you can't see. Right: Love Potion #31 with Choc Cookie Crackle underneath.)
- Fuck, they had a lot of flavours, we didn't even sample a fifth of what was on offer
- Click the above link at your peril - you really don't want to know the amount of artificial ingredients Baskin Robbins use in their ice creams
- You don't get the cool glassware in the Orange Caramel MV, instead you get a crappy paper bucket that leaks onto your fingers and clothing and looks embarrassingly similar to a jizz stain if you don't scoff the ice cream in under ten minutes
- You do however get the pink spoons, apparently a Baskin Robbins tradition or some bullshit
- Orange Caramel members did not suddenly appear and offer sexual services, much to my disappointment, but I'm talking to my therapist and we're working through it
CONTESTANT #2 - CROWN SLIM COFFEE BISCUITS
as endorsed by KIM JI WON
In order to find a competing actress-endorsed product that could represent the actress-sphere and face off against the might of Orange Caramel and Baskin Robbins, I headed on over to my local purveyor of all things Korean and tasty, the very official-sounding "Seoul Grocery".
Here it is, next to the equally officially-titled "Computer World". In Adelaide we seemingly love these ubiquitous-sounding retail shop names. It didn't take long for me to find something actress-endorsed:
I don't really know who Kim Ji Won is because I don't follow Korean films and TV very closely (unless it's horror film) but I suppose you could look her up on Wikipedia if you wanted. Try to ignore what looks like a fly munching on her right eyeball - that's actually a piece of cat fluff because my cats can't leave my scanner alone and love to stick things in it, like their hairballs. I don't really give much of a shit about this woman, I'm sure most readers know more about Kim Ji Won than me but that's not important for the purpose of this blog - what's important is that she's endorsing these coffee biscuit things, so I bought a pack of them and took them home to asses their quality.
I opened the box up to find that the biscuits were all individually wrapped. No surprise here - Koreans are obsessed with over-packaging, as anybody who buys physical k-pop albums or anything else from Korea for that matter will know.
Taking the biscuit out of the pack, another thing became quickly apparent - when they say "slim" they're not fucking kidding - these shits are pretty fucking small. Here's a picture of one of the biscuits, against some Australian, Malaysian and USA currency so you can get a feel for the tiny size of these things.
Three countries' coins were selected because Kpopalypse is all international and shit, according to stats these are three of the most popular countries for my blog readership so the scale should make sense for a lot of you. If you're sad that your countries' coin isn't in this photo, you can always donate me a coin for the next time I review some pointless shit like this. I do collect coins for this type of thing and I'd really like some from Singapore and Indonesia, and also some Euros because that's where a lot of the rest of my readership comes from. Sounds like a good idea doesn't it, yes it does, hint hint.
Once again "food styling" becomes relevant - I'm convinced that the picture of the biscuits on the front is heavily CGI-crafted, because there is no brown squishy center in these biscuits, in fact the center looks more like this:
It's just some powdery white shit, no gooey brown sludge as promised. The biscuits are also brittle and crumbly as fuck - they break in your hands really easily and it's actually quite difficult to open the individual packets without snapping the biscuit in the process. They also have a pretty intimidating ingredient list:
Palm oil as the third most plentiful ingredient? Well, fuck me and my health. I guess that's why they're called "couque d'asse". But never mind that for now, how does it taste?
Pretty fucking good, as it happens. I'm not really into coffee but I liked these biscuits because the coffee flavour is more mild. If I had to sum up the flavour I'd say they're about 80% "plain vanilla biscuit", 15% "coffee" and 5% "fuck knows but it tastes alright so whatever". I abstained from giving a rating - as per the rule of giving the products endorsed "the opportunity to be experienced in their best possible light" I gave most of the box to my girlfriend who is way more into coffee than me and told her to rate them instead, she really liked them and gave them an 8/10. She also gave some to her family and responses ranged from "they were pretty good" to "they were fucking good" and she wanted to know where I got them from so the result is generally very positive where it matters most.
FINAL SCORES AND CONCLUSIONS
BASKIN ROBBINS ICE CREAM - scores from 5/10 to 8.5/10 depending on flavour.
CROWN SLIM COFFEE BISCUITS - 8/10
- Baskin Robbins scored at maximum higher but also in some instances much lower than Crown Coffee Biscuits. This means that actresses are superior to many idols but some idols are superior to actresses, and therefore it's impossible to generalise and say that one is definitely always better or "on another level" to the other. Korean netizens can officially therefore STFU, they have been conclusively proven wrong.
- I tried some of the biscuits with the icecream, and the flavours matched nicely and were complimentary, which means that it's okay for actresses to enter into the world of idols, or for idols to pursue acting.
- The ice cream looked in real life much the same as in the advert, whereas the biscuits looked fine on the outside but the interior was deceptively portrayed on the box. This means that actresses are more likely to put on a false image for public consumption (which makes sense, they are actresses after all - it's what they're paid to do).
- Both Crown and Baskin Robbins have a terrifying amount of additives in their products which means that both sugary k-pop and shitty Korean dramas are probably bad for your health. Consume in moderation!
That wraps up this edition of Kpopalypse Endorsement Test! Will this become a series? Will anyone even give a shit about this post? Will I post the version of Orange Caramel's "Abing Abing" with just Raina's face in it at the end of this post, just so I have quick reference fap material for later?
At least some things in life are certain.