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

Korean

Josh Levin Josh Levin

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.

Advertisement

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

and

and

and

and

and

—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?

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.