Banobagi’s Comically Blunt Korean Plastic Surgery Ads

In Korea, plastic surgery clinics have to be very creative when it comes to advertising because they’re not allowed to use TV commercials, but there is an exception for internet video and movie theater pre-trailer ads. In addition, they have started to use what is called branded entertainment – a loophole that allows plastic surgery to be a part of TV programming content. This is why many of Gangnam’s famous surgeons make appearances on news and TV shows regularly with the holy grail of product placement being featured on StoryOn’s reality makeover surgery show ‘Let Me In.’

Banobagi Plastic & Aesthetic Clinic who is featured on ‘Let Me In’ has taken a different approach to plastic surgery marketing with comically controversial internet video ads that essentially communicate: jaw reduction and facial contouring are the crowning jewel for a surgery makeover. You can have a great body, style, eyes and nose, but if your jaw is big, you will be a “Butter Face” and frighten people.  “Butter Face” is a North American slang expression that means everything about a particular woman is attractive (But Her Face = Butter Face).

You guys decide. Check out the ads below and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section:

In this ad, two guys checkout a presumably hot woman taking a stretch break, but as soon as she removes her hoody, they are shocked by her face size. The second ad shows a guy going on a blind date, and is confirming if his date is beautiful on the phone. He then sees her and is in dismay by the size of her large face. In both ads they make comments about how her nose and eyes look beautiful, but then her mandible kills it.

In this ad two girls admire the side profile of a girl they say is beautiful, but when her hat is blown off, they too are shocked by the size of the girl’s mandible.

All kidding aside, jaw reduction and facial contouring surgery are very complicated procedures performed under general anesthesia and should not be taken lightly. In the West, surgeons are more apprehensive about doing these procedures because their emphasis on orthognathic surgery is more about function than form, so many Western surgeons do not perform or recommend it to their patients solely seeking cosmetic enhancement. In Korea, it’s a different story and Korean media and clinics via many successful surgeries have been desensitizing public fears about these types of procedures. Also, clinics like EverM are highly specialized in orthognathic surgery and can achieve both function and form.

Nevertheless, Korean surgeons have been receiving backlash and making international news headlines while causing a stir with their before and after photos. Their response or defense against Western critics can be summed up with, ‘You talk the talk (Western surgeons);  We (Korean surgeons) walk the walk.’ And although it can come across somewhat arrogant, they do have a point.

A highly skilled Korean plastic surgeon has logged in countless clinical surgery hours over his western counterpart, and is very likely to have innovated his/her own techniques while contributing a large body of knowledge and insights to medical journals regarding facial contouring procedures, so in a way, they are a world leading authority on the subject. In fact, just last week the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) invited several Korean plastic surgeons as VIP guests to their annual convention. “Highlighting the numerous contributions of South Korean plastic surgeons to the specialty, The Republic of South Korea will serve as the 2013 Honored Guest Nation at the meeting.” – ASPS.

It’s worth pointing out that Banobagi is a very reputable clinic with skilled surgeons, but again, the team at My Seoul Secret, a website by foreigners for foreigners seeking plastic surgery in Korea, advises to please carefully research and make informed decisions.

What did you think of these ads? (funny, offensive, great?) Let us know in the comments section!

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