Track: Twinkle | Artist: Girls Generation-TTS | Album: Twinkle

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The debut title track for Girls’ Generation’s first subunit is interesting for several reasons, not least for its gorgeous set design, outfits, and the well-produced music itself. But Twinkle is also the perfect poster child for one of SM Entertainment’s ethically dubious moneymaking schemes.

Periodically throughout the video, viewers are subjected to intrusive, baked-in advertisements for several semi-related products, like the music app Genie or the perfume brand GIRL (“exclusively at 10 Corso Como”, the uncloseable ad boasts). This isn’t the only time SM Entertainment tried this dubious tactic in the early 2010s, as it also pops up in the music video for f(x)’s Electric Shock, where it hawks EverySing, another music service. SHINee’s Sherlock (Clue+Note) does the same thing, except somehow, even more obnoxiously:

Screenshot: YouTube

Who thought this was okay???

All of that, though, shouldn’t distract you from the primary focus of Twinkle: its gorgeous big-band sound, slick aesthetics, and some of the best costume design I’ve ever seen in K-Pop. That is, if you can tear yourself away from purchasing a bottle of that GIRL perfume. (It is, sadly, discontinued.)


Correction: this column originally stated that TTS was Girls’ Generation’s only subunit. This is incorrect, as Oh!GG debuted in 2018.