Recap: Advertising Genius Lee Tae Baek Episode 16 (Final)

Addie - just because he was never on my main screencap :P

Episode 16 (Final)

Taebaek's appearance catches Addie and Jiyoon offguard. Addie immediately takes over the interview. Why is Taebaek back? Taebaek replies that he wants to stretch his wings in a bigger company. Is Giant not good enough for him? Taebaek very casually explains that with his award and Giant Ad getting more established in the industry, it's time to move on to the biggest company in ad industry. Interesting...but why would he think BK Ad would employ him? Looking straight at Jiyoon, he admits he's not sure but he's not about to give up without trying. It's just not his style. And if he's accepted, he will try his damnedest to make great ads.

He's more nervous than he lets on and sighs in relief adorably once he's out. He bumps into ShinPD and the old gang and even offers a friendly smile and wave. It's sweet of him since he's not harbouring any grudge but I wouldn't have bothered if I were him. Hmpt.

Addie blows his top and lashes out at Ahri for keeping them in the dark about Taebaek's application. Whatever it is, he wants Taebaek omitted from consideration. Ahri argues that Taebaek has the best qualifications of all the candidates. Jiyoon steps in and offers to speak to Taebaek.

Jiyoon tells Taebaek to give up on joining BK Ad. He realizes that she must have been rattled by what's happened today but warns that there's more "surprising" things to come. Jiyoon insists nothing will change - she will marry Addie. But is she marrying him out of love or because she wants to satisfy Baek? If she's really over him, he would walk away. If that isn't the case, he won't let her go. It's not over till the fat lady sings, or in this case granny says it's not over between a man and a woman until they walk down the aisle. (Although I would argue that that is not exactly true either..hehe). He's got nothing much but he's confident he'll make her happy. So please be his ad client again.

Taebaek knows Jiyoon will be confused and troubled, but he can't afford to handle this slowly, in view of her impending marriage. JinGa advises him not to force her to accept him, but to make her believe in him. Even though his feelings for her is real, he doesn't have to be fixated on showing that to her. All he needs to do is stay by her side and she'll believe in him gradually. Taebaek appeciates his advice but wonders why his marriage fell apart. LOL. Good point.

Jiyoon and Addie are at the jewelry shop where Jiyoon is again hardly showing any enthusiasm and randomly agrees to a suggestion made by the promoter, even after Addie reminds her that she needs to consider carefully since it's something she has to wear for life. (Heh. Like himself?)

He's displeased and Jiyoon senses it. When he drops her off, she asks if he's not curious about her talk with Taebaek. She thinks it's best that Taebaek not join the company because they'd all be uncomfortable. But suddenly Addie changes his mind and thinks it's unnecessary since he has faith that Jiyoon will not waver. Whoah. He's seriously deluded though I think it's more a matter of pride. If he acknowledges that Taebaek can affect them, he would have to acknowledge that Jiyoon might not love him after all. Which is another delusion in itself, methinks. And he's gonna regret this decision.

 So Taebaek reports for work and already he's introducing JinGa's brainstorming methods to his new colleagues. Jiyoon shows up, serious and distant, and warns him not to disrupt the work atmosphere. She's being so strict that he has to catch himself a few times from being overly familiar.

Ahri is curious about Addie's decision to let Taebaek join the company. He thinks it's a phase Jiyoon needs, a final chance to make the right decision. And he can only hope she makes the right decision (for him of course).

Taebaek suggests that they make a trip to the zoo for inspiration. Jiyoon shoots down his suggestion but surprisingly the rest of the team are eager to go. He knows she's opposing him for the sake of opposing so when she has to give in, he looks damn smug. LOL.

At the zoo, ShinPD and gang leaves Jiyoon and Taebaek together while they set out excitedly on their own. LOL. Their excitement for the zoo is pretty child-like.

Addie wants to drop by the zoo since the ad is taking up a lot of Jiyoon's time and commitment. Ahri is less keen.

Taebaek tries to put Jiyoon at ease since he knows the ad is important for her. Seeing her all tensed up is making him nervous as well. He tells her to lighten up. She says it's impossible while they're working together. It feels strange for him to see an unsmiling Jiyoon but she's used to it. He says he can make her smile at least three times in the zoo. She thinks he's wasting his time and effort but he's brimming of confidence. And if he succeeds, she must fulfill his request. Call? She adds the stakes to his bet - if he loses, he must agree to her request. Which goes without saying would be him leaving I guess. It's a go!

Addie and Ahri meets with the owner who takes them on a tour of the place but Addie appeals to him to keep their presence a secret since he doesn't want to impose on Jiyoon.

Taebaek is making a scene trying to attract a female monkey/gorilla which elicits the first smile from an embarassed Jiyoon.

Next he buys ice-cream for her. She rejects so he proceeds to eat her portion as well. Problem is he takes a really huge bite and the cold hits him right up to his head. Jiyoon smiles at his antics. Score 2!

She reluctantly accepts the other ice-cream. Taebaek offers to recite a poem with the zoo (Dong-mul-won) as the theme while she eats - he's basically making a random "poetic" sentence with Dong, Mul and Won as the first word. It's so ridiculous that she couldn't help laughing. She insists she didn't laugh because it was funny, it was a laugh of disdain. But he's not gonna be picky and claims his victory anyway.

She's smiling freely now and it's this particular scene that Addie sees when he passes by. Jiyoon admits her defeat and asks him what he wants. He says it's nothing hard...

Addie is in a foul mood on the ride home. He realizes that Jiyoon has never smiled much in his presence. And he's never seen such a carefree Jiyoon when she's with him. Ahri agrees with his observation. She thinks it's normal for someone to make the one he likes smile. Food for thought.

Taebaek's request is to send Jiyoon home. He asks if she remembers the day he found out about her identity. He had promised to send her home but he didn't and he regrets that. When they had separated that day, he felt sad thinking that there won't be any more chances to do so. So he kept thinking that if they meet again, he wants to send her home for sure. But it's been a long time since then...

Aunt freaks out when she sees the two of them together. Jiyoon drags her away. Taebaek receives a call from Addie - inviting him for a drink. Oooo.

Jiyoon explains that Taebaek is working at BK Ad. Aunt is even more shocked when Jiyoon says that Addie had approved that. Jiyoon tells aunt about Taebaek's pledge to leave if she's forgotten him. But she can't say the words. She thought she's over him but when they met again, she realizes that she's never forgotten him. And she doesn't know what to do now. Aunt finally says something I like : "Jiyoon, if you do not think this marriage will bring you happiness, it's okay to let go".

Now on to our guys. Both are forthright about their intentions. Addie asks if Taebaek is proud of wavering someone who's about to get married. Taebaek asks Addie if he wants to marry Jiyoon because of love or her background. He doesn't care about her background and only wants her for herself. But Addie feels it's natural to consider other conditions in marriage. Taebaek asks if Addie is proud of entering a loveless marriage because of said conditions.

Addie is angered that he dares to suggest theirs is a loveless marriage. So Taebaek challenges him to ask Jiyoon if she's excited and enthusiastic about her upcoming nuptials. He feels sorry for Addie but he isn't being rash. He's thought things over carefully and concludes that allowing the wedding to proceed would leave everyone unhappy - himself, Addie and Jiyoon. Addie is so worked up that he punches Taebaek when he suggest that Addie lets Jiyoon go. Addie tells him that he's not the only one with Jiyoon's best interest at heart.

A confused and lost Addie actually calls daddy Kang for advice. He asks about dad's unhappy marriage with mum. Theirs is the classic example of a loveless marriage and he fears that he's making the same mistake. Dad views marriage as reality, not love. Addie observes that dad could live without love but mum couldn't, which was why she sufferred so. Addie knows Jiyoon is the kind of woman who can't live without love too.

Addie meets Chairman Baek who immediately orders him to fire Taebaek. Addie insists Taebaek is someone BK needs, and someone his daughter needs. He decides to give up on the marriage with Jiyoon. Good for you. Baek is surprised but Addie explains that he's not the right person to bring her happiness. He's decided but offers to fulfill his term as BK Ad's representative. Baek sighs in acceptance since he knows Addie is not one to make a rash decision. He asks what Addie thinks of Taebaek. Addie tells him the best way to understand Taebaek is through his ads.

Addie asks Jiyoon out for dinner. Break up time? Over dinner, he tells her that she hardly speaks when she's with him. Just like his mum, who wilted like a flower in her marriage. He felt for mum and hated dad for that. And with that, he calls off the wedding. He loves her but he knows he can't make her laugh. Jiyoon apologizes. He tells her he won't be making her cry or smile in future.

Baek is going through Taebaek's portfolio up to that gun-smoke ad which ruined his plans.

Taebaek is waiting at Jiyoon's place when Addie sends her home. Addie spies him in the corner and tells him to leave Jiyoon alone for the day since they've just broken up.

Jiyoon actually looks relived (to me anyway hehe).

Ahri is pretty shocked to learn of his decision (he tells her to find a replacement for him). She asks for a moment of his time and takes him for a drive. In other words, playing hooky. LOL. OK, he's actually smiling and looking like he's enjoying himself too.

Taebaek approaches Jiyoon and confesses that he knows of the cancelled wedding. She just wants to concentrate on her work. He knows and doesn't push her. He just wants them to work together as Baek Copy and Lee Ad Board for the zoo ad until she's sorted out her feelings.

Taebaek is finally summoned by daddy Baek who waste no time in telling him to leave his daughter. Taebaek knows he can't satisfy Baek no matter how, but he promises to be faithful to Jiyoon and make her happy for life. Baek is not impressed. Taebaek goes down on his knees, asking for a last chance. He asks to remain until their current ad is completed and through his ad, he'll show Baek what kind of person he is. And if Baek still disapproves by then, he'll leave without objection. He's not sure if Baek will change his mind, but it's the only thing he is capable of at this point. It sounds good to Baek, who's got nothing to lose.

JinGa thinks it's a ridiculous proposal as well. The Giant gang are generally supportive and pledges to help. JinGa assigns himself and Lee to investigate Baek's background while the rest are to collect information on the zoo.

At the staff meeting in BK, Taebaek points out that a zoo's attraction is obviously the animals. Jiyoon excuses him from coming to the office - he should work where the animals are. LOL.

The Giant gang worries about creating a good ad to help Taebaek. It's hard enough making a good one for the zoo but it has to move Chairman Baek as well. That's practically mission impossible. YiChan says Baek is a monster - he has never taken a day off in 30 years. Rest day. Father and daughter. Zoo. JinGa is on to something.

Taebaek is assigned to snap pictures of the animals in the zoo. Meanwhile, Jiyoon learns of the deal he made with her dad.

Ahri tells Taebaek that she's going to the US with Addie where they'd continue making ads. Taebaek is happy for her. Ahri remarks that he's unchanged since the days in high school. Ahri offers him a tip on ads - a quote from an interview: "If fun rides radiate a feeling of excitement, then zoo is an understated but vague memory. Isn't that a zoo's attraction?"

Taebak homes in on that phrase : vague memories. It applies to busy parents who can't bring their kids to zoo and Chairman Baek who dedicated his life to BK Group - both didn't have the time to create such memories. As they discuss how to effectively translate that point, Jiyoon makes a suprise appearance.

She knows about the deal and pouts that she's being left out in the ad that is going to change her life. They think she's mad but she's actually secretly pleased and joins them in their discussion. Hihi. She tells them that Baek actually brought her to the zoo once. And while she thinks it's nigh impossible to change Baek's opinion through an ad, but with everyone's help, it might just be possible.

Taebaek is at the zoo, still looking for inspiration. He sees a group of little school kids all of whom are carrying drawings of their zoo outing. The music swells and we know he's on to something.

At home, Jiyoon finds her old drawing book as well. Jiyoon asks Chairman Baek to spare some time for Taebaek's PT presentation at the zoo.

As Jiyoon wheels him around at the zoo, he recalls their one and only trip to the zoo when she was 7 years old. Jiyoon tells him that mum used to say that Baek may be the richest man in the world but he has the least free time. He concurs and he's most angry that he only has 24 hours, just like other incompetent people. He'd rather waste money than time because money can be earned back but it's not the same with time.

And she being with Taebaek is a complete waste of time. Jiyoon comments that dad feels that any time spent away from BK is a waste of time, but she feels spending time with the ones she loves is not a waste of time. It was what she yearns for the most when she was young - to spend time with Baek.

A crowd has gathered and Jiyoon wheels dad to the front. It's Taebaek and practically everyone else, ready for the PT. He unveils a child's drawing of a snake.

"There used to be a 7 year old girl who thought that snakes have legs"

Change to next picture:

"She got the zebra and tiger mixed up. She got something else mixed up too. An uncle who rarely shows up once or twice in a month, is actually dad. One day, the father sees the little girl's drawings - the snake with legs and the zebra which resembles a tiger. The girl's father may be the busiest person in the world but to make sure his daughter can recognize a snake and differentiate a zebra from a tiger, he brought her to the zoo. It was the girl's first trip to the zoo and the happiest day in her life."

 "Rediscover your family at the zoo! Your children needs to see the zoo."

End of PT. Everyone claps. Will this do? At the very least, the zoo owner is pleased.

Taebaek's prepared lunch for Baek to enjoy on his trip out. The secretary reminds Baek of his prior lunch engagement with another chairman. Everyone is silent, waiting for his response. Finally Baek tells secretary to cancel the appointment. And he smiles, he actually smiled!!!

It's a resounding success and Taebaek thanks everyone at Giant for their had work. Jiyoon and Taebaek are both back at Giant too!

More good news. JinGa announces that he's getting married with Lee. Aw, so cute. Hassan gripes that he's the only lone ranger around. Miss Kong tells him of this new Bangladesh girl opposite their company and he's all happy again. Soran also shows up all sparkly- she finally made her debut.

Jiyoon pouts that Taebaek don't treat her half as good as other ad clients. Taebaek tells her to anticipate the greatest PT in the world.

Ahri and Addie are still at BK Ad and she's being efficient as ever as his assistant. She notes that he's wearing her tie and he concedes smilingly that he thinks it suits him more and more.

Taebaek brings Jiyoon to the park and gives a sweet speech on how important she is to him. It's sweet and all but not exactly the greatest PT. Jiyoon thinks he exagerrated.  But that's not all- he's got a hidden card. He leads her to this decorated bilke, which comes complete with two helmets.

He kneels and says, "I will be your life's partner and protect you from the dangers of this world like a human helmet."

Jiyoon's reply, "The head of an adman is life itself, no reason not to accept."

She puts on the helmet and asks if she looks pretty. Then once she's ready, they ride off together on the bike.


The end.


I love it. It's perfect. And it leaves me smiling like a goon, which is a nice feeling. I like how they link the zoo ad with Baek and Jiyoon. I like the zoo ad too - it has heart and feels really moving. And I especially like how Baek finally caved in too. He didn't have a massive character change and I can totally understand why the ad would affect him so much. He was misguided but never a poor father. And Jiyoon put him in the right mood before Taebaek's PT. I would say their PT began the moment she asked him to the zoo. I think the show did a good job in convincing me that daddy deserves much love and understanding too. I almost forgot, mind you almost, that he was about to force Jiyoon into a loveless marriage.

In fact, I thought the zoo ad totally upstaged Taebaek's alleged greatest PT in the world, aka the proposal. LOL. But it was sweet and it's great to see a smiling Jiyoon and their playful banter. They really do have this really comfortable and organic chemistry...just like a real couple.

Everyone else got their happy endings, including a possible hook up between Ahri and Addie. I'm happy for them but like I said, I think both actors are pretty wasted in such roles. But I thought the writer did a good job having Addie finally discovering his mistake through his parents' marriage, that was a nice touch. In the end, this is a drama with no true villains after all. Though I'm still upset ShinPD didn't get fired. Boo!

p/s: I think it's sad that it's got such low ratings when it's actually quite a feel good drama. Hwaiting!


  1. A big thank you for posting and sharing the recaps. Kudos to you for finishing!

    It's a big shame the drama got such dismal ratings, yes hwaiting to the whole production team..

  2. Thanks for the review! Came over to read it right after completing the last episode. Really like the scene when Tae Baek was presenting to Chairman Baek especially. Cant believe I was touched by their PT too hahas! A big thanks to the production team! Look forward to more good dramas in the days ahead.

  3. Thank you for the recap (Esp for those of us without access to the actual video sometimes). Too bad it doesnt attract a bigger crowd. Some good and realistic lessons of life

  4. Thank you so much for the recap! I don't really watch kdramas much, but this is an exceptional drama! Nothing too evil about this. All are just go with the flow and cute characters, which is very interesting! Jingoo hwaiting! ♡ and congrata to han chae young for her preggy news!:) thank you again for the recap! :D

  5. Congratulations. I love Ad Genius Lee Taebaek. It is really sad that it has low ratings. I watched the show from beginning to end. One can learn a lesson in every episode.

    I also loved the actors who acted as Lee Taebaek and Baek Jiyun!!!!!

    From the Philippines!!!!!!

  6. Thank you very much. I missed out the final episode but when I read through this articles, it made me happy to see Lee Taebaek and Baek jiyun united at the end.
    Abu from Brunei Darussalam

  7. I can understand the low rating this drama received. it is very predictable, and the characterization is very stereotypical. i just checked out this drama because of Park Ha Sun. I like her ever since i watched her in Dong Yi. But I ended up loving Jo Hyun Jae. What a great actor! And very handsome to boot! How i wish JHJ and PHS ended up together or that JHJ is the main actor. JHJ and PHS look great together, imo.

    I am new to Kdramas so I don't know many K actors. JHJ is a new discovery, I am watching 49 Days now. Who would have thunk that the black hearted Kang in Ad genius can be the adorable Kang in 49 Days? Awesome actor! I do have to agree that JHJ is wasted in this drama. He deserves better script and story.

    Anyway, thanks for the recaps.

    1. I didn't think JHY was that great in his character here, he's much more swoon-worthy in 49 days (which I love). And I agree that besides no one being truly truly evil, everything else was pretty predictable. Which is sometimes good because I sometimes get sick of histrionics. Anyways, cheers to those who love this drama.

    2. have to agree jhj character here not great, character not well developed, not well written, very illogical.... but jhj acting very good!

      jhj character in 49 days total opposite in ad genius. 49 days he has pure heart, ad genius he has black heart. jhj played both roles very well. awesome actor!

      i think jhj character here isn't supposed to be swoon worthy. sure he looks very handsome, but addie personality is not good. wolf in sheep's clothing, don't judge a book by its cover, i think these are lessons writer conveyed with jhj character. he portrayed addie very well, i hated addie, but i love jhj. hahahaha looking forward his next project.

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