It’s been awhile since I felt so competitive. This summer, my friends and I are joining together as a team to compete against others in an advertisement contest, known as the Busan Adstars. It is an annual international advertising festival, in which many advertisement companies and professionals come together to introduce new advertisements and compete against each other. Although the teams that compete in the contest mostly consist of professionals working in the advertising field, my friends and I are not afraid. Some may call us reckless or crazy, but we feel confident of our idea and are ceaselessly striving to produce an unforgettable advertisement.
|[Team meeting for marketing strategy development. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Kim]|
There are many different types of advertisements: commercial ads that aim to sell products and public ads that aim to promote an idea within society. Although commercial ads are valuable for its purpose, we found public ads more enticing as they can potentially change the world and chose to create a public advertisement centered on social issues in our community. Recently, speeding in “School Zones” has become a popular social issue in South Korea. The indifferent behaviors of some drivers had led to the deaths of young children and many Koreans have raised their voices on how speeding in school zones should be regulated. With the efforts of the victims’ parents and many concerned Koreans, laws such as the “Minsik Law” have been passed to punish those speeding in school zones. Such laws can serve to relieve the issue to an extent, but they are not able to entirely prevent accidents in school zones. Hence, we plan to devise an advertisement that targets the public with an emotional message; we aim to move the hearts of the audience and promote decelerating in school zones.
For now, the blueprint of our advertisement is not complete. We are not entirely sure how we want to convey the message to the audience. However, as we share each others’ ideas and evaluate them, we are slowly finding our way to an agreement. We are beginning to narrow down ideas and mold them into the form of an advertisement.
Throughout the journey of preparing the advertisement, we learned about the complexity and elements required in making an advertisement. We were able to learn the methods that major companies use to develop advertisements that grab attention and leave a powerful impression to customers in a short period of time. The importance of branding, also known as portraying the business or subject to the audience in a symbol such as logo or phrase, was imminent as any company’s task was to first decide on what the brand will advocate. For example, the women’s razor company, “Billie”, leaves a message that defies cultural norms by exerting that women have the option to shave their body hair. Unlike other razor companies, which predominantly target men, “Billie” was able to leave a powerful impression to females and emphasize the image of an empowered woman.
|[Screenshot of the project’s introductory video, ‘Rerouting Billboard’.
Image captured by Chanjin Yoon]
As I got involved in this process, I began to question every ad poster I saw that advertised a product or service. For instance, the pro bono advertisements issued by the government with messages such as “stop smoking” on a picture of a smoker's lungs was very impactful even on a single image. Also, the sarcastic advertisements between rivals– for instance, Apple vs. Samsung or Pepsi vs. Coca-cola– in which each company advertised its products by depicting the rival products as inferior were fascinating. My team was fortunate enough to experience the current trends of the industry, as well. As we toured through the Adstar exhibitions, we noticed that many modern advertisements were very brief with hard-hitting messages or visuals. Due to the development of technology, companies are choosing new methods. As technology is almost ubiquitous in our society today, companies are aware that the Internet has the biggest potential in gaining exposure due to the advent of SNS platforms. For instance, companies are using platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to advertise their product and the advertisements are transforming into short and impactful ones in order to comply with these new platforms. Unlike the long advertisements suited for televisions, many companies were designing advertisements that would only last for a few seconds like the ones we see often on SNS today.
Recently in Korea, the footage of drivers pulling off to the sides of a road opening way for an ambulance went viral. Since then, an increasing number of people are becoming aware of their duty to yield to ambulances on the road. Likewise, we want to produce a powerful advertisement that can promote the importance of decelerating in school zones. We believe that our efforts can fill the gap that law enforcement alone cannot fill. The Busan Adstars has not only introduced us to the world of marketing but also fired us up with the sheer possibility of making a difference in a spectacular way.
Chanjin Yoon firstname.lastname@example.org
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