Connect to share and comment

Kim Jong Chill?

Yes, North Korea is making its own beer and, apparently, beer commercials. Bottoms up.

North Korean women work at the Taedonggang Beer factory in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters)

BOSTON — We recently stumbled across a video on YouTube that left us speechless.

It purported to be from North Korea. That wasn't the shocking part. What really grabbed our attention was that this video is, apparently, some kind of beer commercial. 

I won't even try to describe it. Fortunately a picture (or in this case, a two-and-a-half minute video clip) is better than a thousand words:

Naturally, the clip spread virally across the web, and even caught the attention of the Associated Press and Reuters, which filed these brief reports:

I'll leave the who, what, where and when of this North Korean experiment in commerce to our friends at Reuters and the AP. (The why can't be adequately addressed by anyone outside of Pyongyang).

Conveniently, that leaves the most interesting part of this full-bodied mystery to GlobalPost: the how.

To decode the marketing messages Pyongyang is plying here, we called on Sonya Grewal, an award-winning creative director for Young & Rubicam in Chicago who's helped produce beer spots in the U.S. and around the world, including those for Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Chill and Corona.

GlobalPost: What is your professional assessment of this North Korean beer commercial?

Sonya Grewal: Well, it’s 2 minutes and 34 seconds too long. I think we’re looking at a viral version. The unedited, director’s cut that got out of hand. Frankly, it’s a low-budget production with zero concept. Looks like some kid learning computer graphics put a short video together and posted it on YouTube.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/commerce/090725/kim-jong-chill