Since its premiere, The King: Eternal Monarch has been ceaselessly blasted by the viewers for something “problematic” with every episode…
… from the underwhelming quality of the computer graphics used in the production…
… to the historically inaccurate portrayal of ancient Korean royal attire.
In the latest episode, the controversial K-Drama “triggered” the viewers yet again with its “excessive and awkward integration of the product placements.”
While most, if not all, K-Dramas include this form of embedded marketing — with the stars using and/or mentioning a certain product for promotional purposes — The King: Eternal Monarch is facing fire for incorporating a handful of brands into one episode.
Episode 8 featured a not-so-subtle promo of this “multi-balm” for moisturization…
… immediately followed by a full shot of this single-serve kimchi pack.
It also featured this entire moment of actor Lee Min Ho reciting a “corny” line dedicated to a bottled coffee:
용팔이 직방 비켜! 한국드라마 PPL 레전드 찍었다 pic.twitter.com/zNlxQtkSxB
— 드라마광 (@runninga1one) May 9, 2020
I’m surprised. I’m drinking this coffee Young brought me right now and it tastes exactly like the one I used to drink at the empire. It comes with a full flavor and a refreshing aftertaste. You mean to tell me that the Republic of Korea sells this in the markets?
— Lee Min Ho
A very specific beauty mask also got some screen time…
… as well as a particular cafe brand and its iconic black sugar drink.
Viewers pointed out that these product placements “fell out of place” and hence uncomfortable to watch. Some even shared that they “couldn’t help but feel bad for the cast” because the episode “felt like a shopping channel and not a drama.”
- “I bet the stars feel really stupid doing these scenes too…”
- “I understand product placement is necessary, but when it takes up the entire scene, it becomes too obvious and excessive.”
- “This episode made me really angry… I felt bad for the actors and actresses who have to break out of their characters and recite lines about the product. It ruins the flow of the drama, honestly.”
- “It must be because this K-Drama cost so much to make. But product placements only work when it’s done with class. This is only setting up the cast for mocking.”
- “Wouldn’t these placements only ruin the drama? Like what the heck is that?”
This is not the first time a K-Drama series faced heat for blatant embedded marketing. Check out these almost comical waterproof cellphone placements gone wrong: