Angry chickens tackle ‘gapjil’, an abusive, authoritarian attitude pervasive in modern Korea
Rage is all the rage in South Korea right now. Angry and unreasonable treatment of service workers has hit the headlines in the country and the government is determined to change attitudes with a new PSA that portrays angry, entitled patrons as incoherent, yodelling roosters.
According to Branding in Asia, the spot tackles the Korean concept of gapjil – an abusive and arrogant mentality whereby those in authority shirk responsibility and vent their anger on those below them in the (pardon the pun) pecking order. This PSA suggests that in order to be treated with respect, those in a position of power (whether a boss or a customer in a shop) ought to behave with respect.
Gapjil is a hot topic in South Korea, where even the President Moon Jae-in has waded in, publicly decrying the mentality. It’s so pervasive in contemporary Korean culture that one survey published in April 2018 found that 97% of Korean workers had witnessed incidences of ‘gapjil’ – but only 9% felt that they could talk to their boss directly about this unreasonable behaviour.
In 2014, ‘gapjil’ hit international headlines when Korean Air VP Heather Cho – who also happens to be daughter of Korean Air CEO and chair – demanded that an aeroplane that was about to leave from JFK in New York should return to the gate as a flight attendant had served her nuts without a plate (incidentally, an event which has become known to history as the ‘Nut rage incident’).
The spot was created by KOBACO (Korea Broadcast Advertising Corporation). It’s a government-funded media company that makes PSA campaigns in tandem with local production companies. KOBACO assumes several roles in South Korean advertising, primarily as a public sales rep for broadcast advertising. It also runs an Advertising Academy, Advertising Museum and Cultural Centre – and in the case of this ad, acted as an in-house agency. Production house Brandjibb, headed up by Ryu Siyoung, brought the vivid, comic idea to life.