헛개차 uses 茶 instead of 차 for 'tea', and there is also an exaggerated 男 (남) meaning man:


백세주 has a stylised 百 meaning 100:


I've heard that 한자 are often used to disambiguate 한글 representing Chinese characters, e.g. in newspapers, but there doesn't seem to be much room for confusion when the 한글 is on a bottle containing the actual product. What is the reason for the prominent use of 한자? Is it just a marketing thing to make the product appear more 'classy' or traditional, or is there a language-based reason?

1 Answer 1


First of all, they are used for graphical purposes. It's an easy way to make a more catchy design.

Second, it can give more impact to the meaning. 한자 like 茶 (차 - tea) are well-known even to Koreans who didn't learn much 한자, and it really stands out in a label with lots of 한글 (it wouldn't stand out if there were a lot of 한자, but when there are only one or two 한자, it stands out clearly). So people glancing at the label will see that it is a kind of tea (seen as healthy) immediately.

Also, the character "남" wouldn't have much impact (and could even be seen as 南=South), but with the 한자 "男" it becomes very quickly obvious that this is a drink meant for men.

I've also seen 한자 used for punning, like in this image:

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樂 (pronounced 락) means "enjoyment, pleasure", but with "star" becomes "락스타"=Rock star - promoting a "fun" image (I believe it's a banks' marketing campaign geared to university students).

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