Son Ye-jin âdyingâ to return to Manila
‘We were just so ecstatic when she said ‘I’ll do this, I’ll do this.’ So the entire commercial was voiced by Ye-jin herself.’
Son Ye-jin ‘dying’ to return to Manila
PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2020 - 12:00am

Ten years ago, Korean actress Son Ye-jin flew to Puerto Princesa in Palawan for a holiday with her family. It was a quiet visit, and she was largely undisturbed by the press. This was way before KO-vid — Korean video dramas, which are now taking over TV screens by storm.

Fast forward to 2020, and the world isn’t the same again. Just before COVID-19 grabbed worldwide attention, a series on Netflix titled Crash Landing on You (CLOY) captivated Asia and many parts of the world and continues to do so. Filipinos are among those on the top of the shortlist of rabid CLOY fans.

Thus, the hit series’ stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin have not only signed up as endorsers of Smart Communications, which boasts the country’s fastest mobile data network, they have committed to come to the Philippines as well at the right time.

“Maybe we should bring her back to Palawan,” said Smart president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer Al Panlilioin a Zoom press conference earlier this week.

He added that in a video conversation with her in the midst of filming the Smart commercial, Son Ye-jin told him that she’s “been dying to come to Manila as soon as possible.”

With Hyun Bin? That, even for Smart, would be a dream come true. According to ShingDimagiba, head of Smart’s postpaid marketing, “For now, all that we can say is that no, there are no immediate plans, although that is something that we ourselves would be excited to see. And as we know, both of them are very, very big stars and have jampacked schedules all year round. So we’re definitely looking forward with their visit once our situation improves.”

After all, Jane Basas, Smart SVP and head of consumer wireless,  believes that among the reasons Son Ye-jin agreed to be the endorser of Smart Signature was Hyun Bin’s endorsement of the brand.

“She knew Smart, I guess, because her friend Hyun Bin actually was an endorser. And I guess she trusted the brand because Hyun Bin trusted the brand. So we actually heard that she’s quite picky when it comes to endorsement deals.”

Basas says it was in the first week of June that Smart reached out to Son Ye-jin’s management team, MSteam Entertainment. And then the second and third weeks of June were spent negotiating the terms of the contract.

“We actually signed her up fourth week of June and then the first two weeks of July were actually a back and forth between Manila and Seoul as we finalized her storyboard,” she said.

The actual TV shoot took place July 16, but Son Ye-jin actually asked for a copy of the storyboard and the script two weeks before. According to Basas, the Korean actress wanted to see if she could actually deliver 100 percent of the English speaking lines all by herself.

“We were just so ecstatic when she said ‘I’ll do this, I’ll do this.’ So the entire commercial was voiced by Ye-jin herself. Again, same as Hyun Bin, this was done completely digitally via Zoom. It was supervised, again, by our partners. And you know, we would have wanted to be there physically, but we’ll take this anytime,” she added.

Power woman

According to Basas, one of the highlights of the shoot as far as Son Ye-jin was concerned was her riding the motorcycle.

“If there’s one thing that I think she liked about this campaign, it was that she got to ride the Ducati bike. We knew that she loved the campaign because of the character that she portrayed, which is a very strong woman,” Basas revealed.

When asked for her tips for those aspiring to move up the ladder during an interview aired at the Zoom press conference, the 38-year-old multi-awarded actress, whose answers to the questions were translated to English, said: “Well, I am not sure if I’ve already succeeded, but I think young people who just started, not only in acting but also in other fields, are going to be so scared and experience hardships. Same as my experience. But it helps that I’ve always set a goal. Just try your best to imagine yourself in that future and make the best out of everything. Then, think of it as a step closer to your dreams. Keep fighting!”

Bold as she is in reaching out for her goals, Son Ye-jin was described by the Smart executives as “warm,” “simple,” and “very nice.”

“She was the perfect choice for us,” Panlilio said, adding, “She’s very composed, very empowered, confident. And at the same time, she’s also very simple in a way (that) it’s very genuine. So, you know, the brand promise of ‘Simple. Smart Ako.’ fits her very well.”

Panlilio recounted the Zoom meeting they had with Son Ye-jin during the shoot, “She was very, very warm and was very welcoming of us, as if she wasn’t in the middle of the shoot. In fact, she said that she would have wanted to do the shoot in Manila, and she’s been dying to come to Manila as soon as possible and she wants to visit her fans here.”

“And I said, she was very popular here. She was very happy. And again, a very warm, very genuine person and very simple. She doesn’t seem to know that she’s very popular. And she spent time with us. She would have stayed longer online if we wanted to, but we knew she was in the middle of a shoot and we actually let her go.”

Of course, whether in real or reel life, CLOY fans want Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin, just like Capt. Ri and Se-ri, the characters of the cross-border romance,  to end up together.

Well, in the commercial, at least, it seems like they do, as the same BMW Hyun Bin drove in his Smart Commercial pulls up to Son Ye-jin’s Ducati.

And she asks after the BMW meets up with her,  “How do I know it’s meant to be?”

How, indeed, Son Ye-jin?

‘I guess she trusted the brand because Hyun Bin trusted the brand.’ www.facebook.com/tvNDrama

‘We were just so ecstatic when she said ‘I’ll do this, I’ll do this.’ So the entire commercial was voiced by Ye-jin herself.’

SON YE-JIN
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