It has to do with the basic cultural difference between self independence taught in Western cultures and the giving of yourself to a society that is taught in Eastern cultures. It would seem probable that this would have an immense impact on the way advertisers can approach customers.
One thing I like about television in Korea is that they don’t stop shows constantly for commercials. One thing I don’t like about television in Korea is that they make up for the lack of commercials during shows by putting 20 to 30 minute breaks between the end of a show and the start of a new one.
Freed from the “30 seconds or less” time slot that keeps most American advertising in check, Korean commercials have a bit more opportunity to be creative and do commercials that border on actual entertainment.
Exhibit 1: The big cell phone campaign right now is “Talk, Play, Love.” Everywhere I go I see posters and had been consistently bashed over the head with 30 second time slots. But then, about a week ago I stumbled across this music video…but it wasn’t on MTV. It was on whatever channel it is that shows ten episodes of CSI everyday (by the way, David Caruso must be stopped at any cost! Please, before someone gets hurt!).
It turned out to be an extended, ten minute music video/commercial for cell phones. I guess it just goes to show you how well I’m adapting to the culture that this didn’t even really surprise me at all…eh, culture.
The video contains some of the biggest artists in Korean pop music, including (stay with me now) Boa, Xiah Junsu, Tablo, and Jin Bora. I know that Boa is the girl, but past that I’m not sure who is who. But I guess this is the equivalent to Justin Timberlake, John Mayer and Rihanna doing a ten minute cell phone commercial.
How much would that ad campaign bomb in America? We’re already hyper sensitive to advertising and I can’t imagine any company spending the money to go as over the top as the “Talk, Play, Love” people have with this video. People in America would almost be offended by the blatant crossing of art and advertisement that is so readily seen in this video. Not to mention the parallels with 1984. I could probably write a thesis based around all the connections.
To save you some time, though, let’s just say I don’t think Orwell saw his savior in big business cell phone companies. That is definitely a difference between South Korea and the western world I would say.
Anyways, here’s the video. I highly suggest watching the entire thing. It’s pretty entertaining, in the most ironic sense, and the song actually grows on you.
Leave any comments in the comments section. (by the way, I’ve seen these phone…they’re pretty sweet…fyi)