Sexy Korean Brand Campaign for Mens Cosmetic Company – A Bit Too Much?

Let’s just cut to the chase: People love sex. Am I not the only one? With that in mind, the brand campaign for South Korean male cosmetic brand Exceed is playing up on the ever popular “sex sells” mantra with unbridled abandon.

As David Ogilvy once told us:
Be well mannered, but don’t be a clown.”

Let’s let you have a look first at one of the 91 spots – yes, that’s right, ninety-one sexually-charged short clips (with new ones posted regularly) that you most likely should avoid viewing at work.


Aimed at young men, the slogan is, “The one that women like more. Exceed,” with the additional tagline, “There’s no limit.”

The women in the clips are from the Kpop girl group, Stellar, and their roles in the storyline are quite simple –be seductive.

From a branding standpoint, does the blatant sexuality help Exceed? I doubt it. I know getting attention is important for a product, but that’s not enough since the gimmick should contribute to the branding.


That means the imagery of the lovely girls and jazzy background music should be related to some sort of benefit for the consumer engaging with the brand. There should be some measure of relevance.

Other than the proposition that, if I use Exceed, I’ll be swarmed by women, I don’t see a deeper level of sustainable brand engagement.

Am I being too critical? Is this a “Papa Don’t Preach” moment? Perhaps. 

Yet, as industry icon David Ogilvy once said:Be well mannered, but don’t be a clown.”

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South Korea – The Land of the Sexy Teas

Sangsoo Chong

Sangsoo Chong

Former Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather in Seoul and later VP and Chief Talent Officer of the Diamond Ogilvy Group, Sangsoo Chong (정상수) is now a professor of advertising and PR at Cheongju University.

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