From Mundane to Memorable: Transforming Your Workplace Into a Compelling Protagonist
How to cast your workplace as the hero of your brand story
How are you? I hope you’re getting your stories spruced up for spring.
Like everybody I bet you occasionally find yourself hooked on some TV series on Netflix that won’t let go.
Lately, I came across two Korean TV shows: Familiar Wife (2018) and The Interest of Love (2022).
Each runs for 16 episodes long and both are in essence romantic stories with the former also carrying a time travel element which I always fall for.
I’m telling you about these shows because of their realistic portrayal of the workplace in the story. Yep, the same way The Office TV series did it in the ‘90s.
In this case, both plots take place at the Korean Credit Union Bank (KCU), Yeongpo branch.
Initially, I was sure it was a real bank that sponsored the shows.
You get such a strong branding (logos, outfits, name tags etc.). And even a tagline “With Our Faith And Kindness. A New Banking Experience!” that drove merchandize for fans.
The featured daily activities are quite realistic with attention to fine details; from the protagonists as tellers interacting with feisty customers, promotional campaigns outdoors, team’s lunch/dinner out, remote training trips, and HR transfer requests to another branch.
It so happens it’s a fictional brand made just for the shows.
It made me think about this extraordinary evolution of brand integration in filmed entertainment.
And in particular, the powerful role the workplace can serve as a rich backdrop to a wide range of built-in contexts each laden with its own emotional arc.
First came product placement
We all know product placement has been a hallmark of Hollywood for a long time. In fact, many moons ago I even used to work at a product placement agency in Santa Monica. I would receive scripts with product categories highlighted for me to cut partnerships with related brands.