ISSN : 0023-3900
For three decades, advertisements for Orion Choco Pie, a chocolate-covered biscuit and marshmallow snack cake, have thematized jeong 情, becoming a benchmark for this reputedly quintessential Korean sentiment. A timenurtured affective connection that dissolves boundaries between self and other, jeong first featured in the Orion Choco Pie commercials in the late 1980s, to be repeatedly elaborated on into the 2010s. This study examines differences in portrayals of jeong in Orion Choco Pie commercials over three decades and relates shifts in those popular-cultural representations to broad changes in South Korean society. Specifically, the article contrasts the inaugural campaign of 1989–1993, which celebrated jeong as enabling wordless communication, with the 2012–2013 campaign, which called for expressing jeong in words, suggesting a reversal in cultural scripts that govern this much mystified Korean emotion. Drawing on Eva Illouz’s (2007) theorizations of “emotional capitalism,” my analysis links changes in the advertising depictions of appropriate jeong expression to the dominant notions of emotions, selves, and human relationality under neoliberal hegemony.