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Jun Ji-hyun replaced as Elastine’s go-to girl

Actress Kim Tae-hee will take the place of Jun.
Dec 10,2011
Jun Ji-hyun, former model for LG Household & Health Care’s shampoo brand Elastine. Provided by the company
“Thank you, Ji-hyun! And ... sorry.”

This is the main phrase of the dedication advertisement to Jun Ji-hyun who was LG Household & Health Care’s advertisement model for shampoo brand Elastine. The purpose of the ad is to express thanks to Jun Ji-hyun in that, “Elastine owes much to Jun Ji-hyun.” Jun worked as a model for LG for 11 consecutive years. Actress Kim Tae-hee will take the place of Jun.

Despite being in competition with foreign brands such as P&G’s Pantene and Unilever’s Dove, LG Household & Health Care had entered the premium shampoo market in 2001 with Korean brand Elastine.

With the help of three top star models Jun Ji-hyun, Lee Young-ae, and Lee Seung-yeon when they first entered the market, Elastine managed to make its gradual climb to the top as a high-quality brand. Jun continued to model for Elastine for 11 years, while the other two resigned in the first year or two.

Elastine advertisements are known for Jun’s trademark straight black hair blowing elegantly in the wind, as she mouths the phrase, “I use Elastine.” This became the permanent image for Elastine: Jun is Elastine, Elastine is Jun. Statistics show that market share of the first year was 4 percent, while last year it reached up 19.4 percent

The reasoning behind Jun’s replacement stemmed from the “five-year competition” with rival brand Amore Pacific. The face of Amore Pacific was Lee Young-ae in 2006, but LG Household & Health Care had scouted and recruited her for their makeup brand, Whoo.

Their star taken away from them, Amore then chose to counterattack with a mission: “Get Kim Tae-hee.” Kim had been modeling for LG’s O HUI but as soon as her contract ended in September of 2006, she signed a new five-year contract with Amore for their makeup brand, Hera. At the time it was revealed that Kim makes one billion won ($872,113) yearly in modeling.

Kim, whose contract ended this year with Amore, chose to sign with LG again. LG then sent out press releases, emphasizing “the return of the goddess.”

But this created a situation. In compensating for the tremendous difficulty in getting Kim back, LG chose to use her as a model for both facial makeup and shampoo, which involved letting Jun go.

This is the reasoning behind the dedication advertisement with the “thank you” and “sorry” message to Jun.

The dedication ad, which is actually more than one out of the 12 advertisements that Jun had done for Elastine over the years, will run on cable television until next month.

By Shim Seo-hyun [estyle@joongang.co.kr]