Korean star Hyun Bin
Smart Communications/Released
How Hyun Bin pulls off Smart TVC amid COVID-19 pandemic
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo (Philstar.com) - June 1, 2020 - 6:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — Due to novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many events were canceled or postponed, but Korean star Hyun Bin’s Smart TV commercial was not one of them.

In an online press conference earlier, Smart Senior Vice President and Head for Consumer Wireless Business Jane Basas shared how the shoot with Hyun Bin pushed through despite travel restrictions in both South Korea and the Philippines.

“We planned and shot the TVC amid COVID-19.  We began our preparations in April, and shot it in May. We were excited to be physically present in Seoul during the actual shoot and meet him personally, but unfortunately, the international travel restrictions prevented us from experiencing that.” Basas recalled.

“Digital technology made this happen. There was a lot of coordination because we were all monitoring the actual shoot in Korea remotely from our homes in Metro Manila. The whole team, including our agency Grey Philippines, and our production team Unitel Straight Shooters were commenting, suggesting, giving directions - in real time.”

Insider sources exclusively told Philstar.com that the “Crash Landing on You” star shot the TVC entirely in Seoul with an all-Korean team.

After the online press conference, which merely showed the actor's pre-taped greeting Smart already posted on social media last week, Hyun Bin tweeted the behind-the-scenes video of his TV ad.

The video showed the actor working with a skeletal team wearing face masks. The telecommunications company's officials and staff then commented and approved of his shots via teleconferences.

How was it working with Hyun Bin?

"It was very easy. Hyun Bin was very game, and his professionalism and passion for his work came through. Hyun Bin is really smart — pardon the pun — as he had to deliver our tagline, which was in Filipino, and he learned really quick. And in between the shoot, Hyun Bin actually found time to talk to us via Zoom! He was very down to earth and, well, simple," Smart President and Chief Executive Officer and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Alfredo Panlilio said during the online press briefing earlier.

"It was a breeze clearing the storyboard with HB/VAST team and they were very understanding of the tight schedule. Imagine starting the print shoot at 1 pm, then proceeding to the TVC shoot by 6 pm.  They were done by around 11-12pm on the same day," Panlilio dished on his experience working with the Korean team.

As for the TVC being leaked last Friday ahead of their official launch today, PLDT-Smart First Vice President and Public Affairs Head Mon Isberto said: "We weren’t surprised at all because we know how fans just can’t get enough of Hyun Bin. So we made the decision to give the fans what they want knowing that there’s still a lot of exciting things in store for them anyway."

As for Hyun Bin's talent fee and contract with Smart, Basas said: "Unfortunately, we can’t divulge the details of the contract because it’s confidential. You may think it’s Giga, but truth is, having him get our message across effectively while delighting the fans amid these challenging times is priceless."

Hyun Bin, who was not present in the online media con, simply said in a statement: “Filipinos are some of the warmest fans in the world, and I am thankful to Smart for giving me a way to reach out to everyone in the Philippines. Indeed, Smart has brought us closer than ever."

Hyun Bin first won the hearts of Filipinos in 2005, when local TV network GMA aired a Tagalog-dubbed version of his romantic comedy drama, "My Name Is Kim Sam Soon."

“The ‘Hyun Bin Phenomenon’ is pretty much due to digital technology -  Filipinos have developed the craze because they are able to stream his shows, hear the buzz about him online, share their excitement with their friends, and even get to interact with him through social media,” Basas added in a statement.

“This makes him a perfect ambassador for Smart as we empower Filipinos with technological solutions made easy so they can enrich their daily life and pursue their passions.”

RELATED: Smart vs Bench: Filipino brands allegedly 'clash-landing' over Hyun Bin

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