m a r k a n d e y a

The Wie Factor

Posted by Brian on May 8, 2006

The Chosun Ilbo examines the "Wie Factor":

Her Korean-ness also plays a part. Despite her American nationality, when Wie answers questions asked in English in her not-so-fluent Korean, and when she introduces herself by her Korean name Sung-mi instead of Michelle, hearts here melt.

Wie stressed that heritage during last week’s visit. In contrast to a visit three years ago when she spoke both in English and Korean, this time she several times asked to be called Sung-mi. It seems part of an emerging strategy that saw her offer greetings in Japanese when she went to Japan for the Casio World Open last November and endear herself to locals by saying she likes sushi and Japanese noodles. An advertising professional says a surname like Wie will also go down well in China.

Her girlish image is grist to the mills of a marketing industry infatuated with youth. Meeting the press, Wie recited a string of Korean dramas and movies she claimed to love and confessed to dreams of meeting such idols of Korean teenagers as Chang Dong-kun and Lee Joon-ki. Another image consultant expressed doubt Wie had actually seen the soaps.

Not content with making millions on the golf circuit as an excellent golfer, Wie and her team are intent on milking the Korean nationalism card for all it's worth and scooping up the local endorsements by the truckload (not to mention her "I love sushi" schtick when in Japan). I guess if she were to play in Pakistan Raan Masaledar would be her new favorite dish.


3 Responses to “The Wie Factor”

  1. dda said

    Heh, at least there’s a dissonant voice among the swooning. And I’m happy it’s Koreans who mention her command of the language is crappy – were it foreigners who did [and I am sure some did], they would be dismissed out of hand. I think her Korean is even worse than that dude from Lost…

  2. Iceberg said

    All while shunning the women’s tournaments (where her skill-set belongs) in favor of being a spectacle – playing golf with men (and not doing very well). I, for one, will be glad when the media grows bored with Wie and she becomes just another pro golfer. The story is way beyond old already.

  3. iheartblueballs said

    Let it never be said that the marketing arm of the William Morris agency don’t know their shit.

    The first rule of milking gullible cows is to tell them what they want to hear.

    The second rule is to always reassure them that the other cows aren’t as important as they are.

    The third rule is, the more cows the better.

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