Inevitable but hard work: What it took to make BinJin TVC happen

Telco giant Smart said it was a lot of hard work to have Crash Landing On You stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin (a.k.a. BinJin to fans) not only reunite on screen but also star in their first commercial together.
Photos courtesy of Smart Communications, Inc.

After Philippine telco giant Smart launched separately Crash Landing On You stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin as brand endorsers last year, the clamor for them to appear in a commercial together was “inevitable.”

Smart said it was a lot of hard work to have the K-drama power couple (a.k.a. BinJin) not only reunite on screen but also star in their first commercial together.

Last Valentine’s Day, the BinJin commercial was released, drawing attention even from Korean entertainment news outlets and thrilling local and foreign fans. After all, it was the first time to see them together following their Jan. 1 confirmation of their reel-to-real romance.

In the TVC set to the Ben&Ben song Inevitable, the two search and find each other in a crowded city with the help of Smart’s 5G technology. It teemed with CLOY references and feels, especially how seemingly impossible connections can be made possible if it’s meant to be. The TVC also saw Son Ye Jin saying “I do!” to Hyun Bin — or, at least (for now?) to his line, “Do you believe this is possible?”

It turns out, it was just a teaser because there’s a Part 2 that promises “more kilig” BinJin moments.

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In a virtual presscon last Feb. 22, Smart Communications, Inc. SVP and head of Consumer Business Jane Basas revealed, “The scenes that you saw in the first commercial are not the complete scenes. There’s going to be a Part 2 where they will be together end to end. That’s even more kilig than TVC 1.” Sources said fans can expect Part 2 to premiere very soon.

Contrary to some online reports, the commercial was filmed after the two confirmed dating reports. It was, however, finalized with the stars’ respective management teams last August to November 2020.

“We shot the commercial Jan. 12. So, we shot it after they actually went out in public to confirm that they had something together. So, we were really just lucky. It was perfect timing,” said Basas.

She recalled that a snowstorm hit South Korea that day, initially delaying Son Ye Jin’s arrival to the set but also keeping them from being followed around, which could be why there were no “leaks” this time unlike what happened during Hyun Bin’s first TVC last year. Their scenes together were the first to be filmed. Added Basas, “There was a second session on Jan. 22, where we had both of them again to do all the audio recording as well as the photoshoot.”

Due to the pandemic situation, as in previous TVCs, the latest project had to be coordinated and completed virtually, from planning stages to post-production. Asked what it was like working with the BinJin couple virtually, Basas said, “There was actually an opportunity to talk to both of them while they were together. Siempre kami, kinikilig kami. We tried to be as professional as possible but I was just squealing the whole time.”

We can only imagine how much it took to secure the two Korean superstars’ endorsement. The press learned that the joint TVC was already part of a second contract. “The first contracts of Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin covered the first two commercials but we decided to renew them early, simply because we wanted to deliver the promise of the two of them together in one campaign,” Basas said.

Their first contracts included a visit to the Philippines and Smart reassured it’s still happening once everything will “normalize.” Meantime, the Smart exec said they’re working on a live online event so that Filipino fans can at least meet them virtually “whether separately or together. That’s something that we still have to fix in the next few weeks.”

The joint TVC coincides with the recent developments of its 5G services nationwide. “Smart is at the forefront of the 5G revolution in the Philippines with the continued nationwide roll-out of its ultrafast 5G network, which includes strategic sites in Metro Manila, Boracay, Cavite, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Laguna, New Clark City in Pampanga, and Rizal,” the telco said in a media release.

It’s also the mobile services provider’s promise to K-drama fans. The original plan was to tap only Hyun Bin for their campaign to launch the 5G networks. “As soon as we brought Hyun Bin, everybody clamored to have Son Ye Jin,” Basas recalled. “As soon as we launched Son Ye Jin sometime in August (2020), there was again a clamor to bring the two of them together. So, it’s really us answering the requests of our clients or our subscribers.”

Smart is proud to have made it happen, reiterating that it was already hard work to get them for separate campaigns, more so bring them together.

Basas said, “We were really, really lucky that both Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin love the first two campaigns. And that they trusted us enough to make this happen because, you know, they’ve never said yes to anybody. We were the first brand that they said yes to and we’re very, very proud of that.”

Meanwhile, in a video, the BinJin couple had sweet messages for their Filipino fans.

Hyun Bin: “Hello. This is Hyun Bin. I have been given another chance to meet you all through Smart’s new campaign video. I hope that you’ll continue to support Smart and me. I wish you a Happy New Year. Please keep yourselves healthy and warm this year.”

Son Ye Jin: “I may not be able to meet you all in person but I’m very happy that I can greet you through this video. Last year was a difficult year for everyone. I sincerely hope you become happier this year. I hope to see you soon. Stay healthy until then.”

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