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JWT’s Tay Guan Hin on Korea


Exploring South Korea’s Adfest success

JWT’s Tay Guan Hin on Korea


Korea made its mark at Adfest this year with work that tackles business challenges with truly innovative strategies that are both thoughtful and emotional.
Creative work from Japan tends to stand out at regional advertising festivals, and with good reason: it’s very innovative, often quirky and usually takes a very different approach compared to work from the rest of Asia. This year, Korea has grabbed a piece of the limelight, too. On Tuesday night, Korean agencies took home seven medals in the Outdoor category.
One interesting example is the ‘Love Parking Campaign’, a public service ad made by Innocean Worldwide. They put up large posters of individual African children, living in poverty, in each parking spot at a popular mall. Next to every poster was a separate donation box.  Shoppers were encouraged to take the coin from their shopping cart and drop it into the donation box. They could also scan a QRF code to sign up to be a regular monthly donor for the charity.  

Another compelling piece of work was the ‘Bridge of Life’ outdoor campaign by Cheil, for Samsung Life Insurance.
South Korea has had the highest suicide rate in the OECD for the last eight years – about 43 people commit suicide each day. This campaign aimed to stop attempted suicides on the Mapo Bridge. Cheil turned Mapo into an interactive bridge that would change people’s minds with kind words, funny jokes and even song lyrics. Sensors would trigger the interactive component as soon as people drew near the railing. The entire idea was truly innovative, really well done, and it created a conversation across the entire city that really needed to happen.

The public service area is full of “been there, seen that” trite ideas, which made these campaigns stand out all the more. 
Korea is becoming stronger and more consistent. The work I saw this year was much more emotional and connected at a fundamental level. Adfest is important because it really kicks off the awards season in Asia. I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of splash the Korean Wave makes at festivals across Asia this year.
Tay Guan Hin is JWT Southeast Asia ECD and Global ECD for Lux
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Wunderman Thompson Singapore, Tue, 19 Mar 2013 15:56:37 GMT