Friday, March 30, 2018

More on that CGV April 1st foreigner promotion

Apparently the CGV cinema chain is running a promotion on April 1st where you get a big discount if you either speak a foreign language, dress up in foreign clothes, or just plain are a foreigner.

Some are wondering if it's just an April Fools prank. Judging by how much effort they went to to assemble rules and fine-print for this, I'd guess it's legit. As someone on Reddit pointed out, April Fools here seems less about pranks in the "tricked/fooled you!" sense and more just wacky gags. So this would fit with that theme. Plus CGV has apparently been running these promotions before. Seems legit to me.

Anyway the promotion page is pretty funny, and deserves a closer look. I figured people might be curious what it's all about. 

Here's a piece of the very well illustrated rules. This is the section for language rules. 

CGV's rules for getting your foreign language discount

#1 shows a cool guy giving a good example of what they're looking for. He suavely and in that oily way says "Hi, nice to meet you, would you like something to drink?" (Yes, they wrote the English phrase in Hangul). This is acceptable for your discount.

That contrasts with the guy on the right, who can barely mumble out anything. He seems to be trying to say "What's up?" but fumbles and ends up with an awkward version of the Korean "왜저래?" which I always mentally translate as a light "da' fuck?"(it's not a curse, but I always picture some guy turning his head sideways and raising eyebrows and saying this). The caption below warns people that CGV is not a school, so don't show up just to try to practice your poor English skills for a discount.

#2 shows a try-hard gangster guy trying to act tough. The rule here is that showing up and streaming of a train of "fuck yous" doesn't count as speaking a foreign language. No curse words allowed. I laughed at this part because of their 서너브해변. A 해변 is Korean for "beach" and they just stuck Hangulized "Son of" on the front. Son of a beach. Get it? Seems less funny when I explain it. Meanwhile, the guy on the right is yelling "반사!" which means "reflect!" i.e. "no you!" which you might shout when someone calls you a son of a beach.

#3 shows an actual alien speaking speaking his intergalactic gibberish. This is also not acceptable. However, the guy on the right suggests that if you do a very convincing performance, and your nonsense gibberish comes off as sounding legit, they'll go ahead and give you the discount.

And finally, it says if you're an actual foreigner, you get the discount automatically.

CGV's rules for clothing

Real quick, the clothing section points out that if you think speaking a foreign language isn't a gag matter, then maybe you'll prefer dressing up. Rules are pretty obvious. You have to go all out. Full costume. Full top, or full bottom, or  a "시공간 초월" or traditional costume. Had to look this one up. Transcendental costume? Spacio-temporal? So I guess an alien, a knight, Ye Oldde Renaissance Faire costume, Darth Vader maybe?

The bottom lists unacceptable costumes, including costumes based just on accessories, home made costumes where the guy just writes "This is my costume" on his hoodie, or trash-based costumes like wearing a cardboard box you dug from the trash.

Anyway, pretty good gag if you ask me. All the news articles I've seen on it in English complain about the negative effect of these stereotypes.

Meanwhile I haven't seen any in Korean that make such complaints. Most are just short pieces that explain the event. Language gets the price down to 8,000, clothing gets you half-price. 

Personally, I don't give a crap. I don't see how these kind of things are any more non-PC than your basic Cinco de Mayo party or St. Paddy's Day event back home. Any excuse to crack open a Corona or Guinness is fine by me. 

Anyway you can check out the whole promo itself here:

🔗 이벤트 상세 < 이벤트 | 영화 그 이상의 감동. CGV


  1. There is a minor error in your observation. In the first case example, you can see the red X meaning that the suave polite English conversation is also a no-no because they don't want to engage an attempt of conversation exercice.
    Other than that it was good to hear your perspective as a foreigner. Personally I am a little crap giver but I think it is a good thing when people don't get easily offended.

    1. Thanks. I think anybody who is offended by the promotion should take a walk, get some fresh air, and relax. But I'm just some guy with a blog so what do I know?