Actor Oh Yeong Su‘s memorable role as Oh Il Nam in Squid Game earned him the opportunity to become the endorsement model for South Korean fried chicken franchise, Kkanbu Chicken.
In episode 6, Oh Yeong Su’s character Oh Il Nam famously called Seong Gi Hun (Lee Jung Jae) his gganbu, which Netflix translates as a neighborhood friend one shares everything with.
Oh Il Nam called Seong Gi Hun his gganbu before their game of marbles began. At that point, the players believed they would be playing in teams against other players, but they soon found out that they were playing against their own teammates and that only one player from each team would survive.
Oh Il Nam seemed to have an episode of memory loss and confusion after the announcement that the teammates would be competing against each other, and Seong Gi Hun eventually used Oh Il Nam’s confusion to his advantage to turn the game around and win.
Heartbreakingly, Oh Il Nam seemed aware of the fact that his gganbu had tricked him into losing the game. After Seong Gi Hun refused to play another round of marbles, Oh Il Nam asked “Does fooling me and taking my marbles make sense?”
Although Seong Gi Hun tricked Oh Il Nam, Oh Il Nam didn’t harbor any ill feelings toward his friend. He gave him his last marble and asked, “We’re gganbu, aren’t we?”
Seong Gi Hun felt guilty because he thought he was sending one of his best friends among the players to his death. However, Oh Il Nam was later revealed to be the host of the game, which meant he had been betraying Seong Gi Hun’s trust (along with the other players’ trust) all along. Although his character’s story turned out to be much darker than most viewers guessed, Oh Yeong Su’s performance in episode six resonated with viewers.
After viewing episode six of Squid Game, many netizens thought Oh Yeong Su would be the perfect spokesperson for Kkanbu Chicken. The chicken franchise’s name was based on the gganbu concept, but they romanized the word differently than Netflix did in Squid Game. Kkanbu Chicken has started posting about Squid Game on their social media, and they’re planning to release a new item called “Squid Chicken” on October 11.
After netizens started creating memes imagining Oh Yeong Su as the spokesperson for Kkanbu Chicken, the fried chicken franchise reached out to him to see if he would be willing to be their endorsement model. According to JoongAng Ilbo, Oh Yeong Su rejected the offer because he wants to focus on acting instead.
On the 6th, a Kkanbu Chicken spokesperson shared during a phone call with JoongAng Ilbo, ‘It is true that we offered Oh Yeong Su to be our endorsement model sometime last week, but the actor declined the offer. Oh Yeong Su rejected it by stating, ‘I want to remain in my position as an actor’ as the reason behind his decision.
While we won’t be seeing Oh Yeong Su promoting fried chicken following the success of Squid Game, we’re definitely looking forward to seeing what role he’ll take on next.