I'm Good at Skating, Please Buy This Air Conditioner

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 26 2010 1:41 PM

I'm Good at Skating, Please Buy This Air Conditioner


Josh Levin Josh Levin

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.


faced enormous pressure in the Vancouver Olympics. The 19-year-old skater, considered

, trains in Canada in large measure because she

without a team of bodyguards. Hop over to YouTube and it becomes clear that Kim's popularity is to some degree self-inflicted. The enormous body of videos therein—ads for






—suggests she's a willing endorser of every single product available for purchase in South Korea.

Kim's broad advertising oeuvre reflects her versatility as a spokeswoman. In this spot, which evokes the sexy-librarian roleplaying of Taylor Swift's "

" video, the versatility of Kim's Samsung mobile phone is paralleled by the skater's own multifaceted personality.


Sometimes Kim is called on to play a more straightforward role. In this case, she's a wood nymph eating yogurt in the forest.


As to be expected, many of the skater's commercials take place on the ice. This cell phone ad, which shows Kim gunning down suitors with a coquettish finger-pistol, makes direct reference to her on-ice James Bond routine .


On the rare occasion when she's not shilling lipstick with girlish glee, Kim is just a great Olympian. This classic-looking Nike spot, in which she skates over a collection of questions and doubts, could be fodder for any world-class athlete. Her familiar winning formula: "Just Do It."


And then there are the commercials that subvert all expectations. Is Kim hugging a paramour-or something even more delightfully cuddly?



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