Monday, September 7, 2009

Olleh: The new expression

When the kids came back from summer vacation I noticed that there was a new expression on their lips.

Typically the kids like to repeat what they hear on TV, especially if it is something catchy and that is fun. I am sure this is the same for school kids in America and elsewhere.

So this seasons latest "in" expression is "Olleh!" Taken from one of these commercials:

As the native teacher you get use to hearing these oddities being spouted out. Usually, not till later on that you realize where it is coming from. Indeed, after watching my TV for a few hours I had sat through a few of these commercials and thus realized why the kids were so ecstatic about saying it.

The "Olleh" campaign is part of KT's new ad campaign:
After its recent merge with its mobile phone subsidiary KTF, KT adopted yesterday new corporate identity and new logo : ” Olleh KT”. Exit the corporate neutral blue, KT endorses now a passionate red and an intriguing motto aiming to stimulate creativity. Reversed Hello, “Let’s come [the future]” in Korean or Jeju dialect for “Good way”, make your own idea about it.
So they came up with "olleh" after making "hello" backwards, and I don't think they were the first to do it. I hate to say this but to me it sounds like the kids are speaking Spanish or whatever language says something close to this. It's as if they are saying "hola", so it's a little strange. And for some bloggers they feel like they are watching a football game.

While the logo is an improvement, I am just not that thrilled about the ‘olleh’. Feels like I am watching a football game… I suppose that’s where cultural factors come in.
The kids say it most often when something either breaks on the TV screen, for example a program crashes. Or when we are going to start something, like singing. I wonder how long this fad will last...and what will replace it.

All in all, those commercials are pretty wacky. Got to love the one with the fathers jumping up and down when their kids and wife get on the bus. Which one is your favorite? Or do you just hate/dislike these ad campaigns (considering the tall blonde in the last one)?


  1. Ah, that's what that was all about. I kept hearing random things, and actually mostly KT. At one point I said "Who's KT?" and the students didn't answer.

    I really don't like the last two.

  2. Ah, I wondered where the Olleh suddenly came from! I assumed they were using the Spanish Ole but I guess not...

  3. haha i cant remember the commercials since i dont turn on my tv much but my kids have been saying that like crazy! i had seen 1 commercial prior to the outbreak! lol!


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