The First North Korean Beer Commercial

Taedonggang is a brand of beer from North Korea. It’s brewed by the state-owned Taedonggang Brewing Company based in Pyongyang, and is named for the nearby Taedong River. The North Koreans bought an English brewery, Usher’s Brewery in Trowbridge (part of Wiltshire), in 2002 and shipped it back to Asia. They produce 4 brands of beer, of which Taedonggang Beer is the flagship.

In a somewhat surprising move for a fiercely communist country, the state-owned Korean Central Television aired their first ever commercial, and it was a beer ad for Taedonggang beer.

A BBC article describes the ad:

Young women in traditional Korean dress are shown serving trays of beer to men in Western suits.

Billed as the “Pride of Pyongyang”, the advert promises drinkers that the beer will help ease stress.

“It represents the new look of Pyongyang,” the two-and-a-half minute advert says. “It will be a familiar part of our lives.”

I don’t know Korean, but according to a CBS report, “the commercial said the beer relieves stress and improves health and longevity” and went on to assure “viewers of the beer’s quality and nutritional value, saying it was made of rice and contained protein and vitamin B2.”

To see the strange, at times surreal, commercial, click on the image below.

Taedonggang beer, originally uploaded by Rikke Søvsø Nielsen.

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