Creative Korean Advertising #20: Quit Smoking for Her? Or for Him?

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( Source: Focus Busan, 29/1/10, p. 13 )

Creative advertising by design? Or just by luck?

If you look at the large black text, it reads “Now I’m getting married, so it’s time to quit.” A noble sentiment indeed, and as there are 10 times more Korean men than women that smoke, a bride rather than a groom is the obvious choice of model.

( Source: Focus Busan, 29/1/10, p. 13 )

Creative advertising by design? Or just by luck?

If you look at the large black text, it reads “Now I’m getting married, so it’s time to quit.” A noble sentiment indeed, and as there are 10 times more Korean men than women that smoke, a bride rather than a groom is the obvious choice of model.

But then she is wearing the patch, and with the same text, which is a little odd. And then if you take a closer look at her face…

Personally, I think it’s actually a man’s face pasted onto a woman’s body, but my students – eager for some distraction on a Friday afternoon – were evenly divided. While I do concede that it may be a woman’s however, albeit with a rather unflattering expression, the ambiguity renders either ad concept badly executed.

On the other hand, it certainly got me to take a second look, and in turn 20 of my students. If that was the deliberate intention, then it was simply inspired!

Meanwhile, for those of you more interested in the topic of smoking in Korea itself, by coincidence earlier this week I had done the “Smoke Signals” chapter of Decisionmaker: 14 Business Situations for Analysis and Discussion (1997) with the same students, a hypothetical situation about a Korean intern at an international tobacco company that stumbles on confidential, board-level plans to encourage Korean teenage girls to smoke. While that proved too difficult for them unfortunately, I was very interested to read in “The strategic targeting of females by transnational tobacco companies in South Korea following trade liberalisation” by Kelley Lee (et.al) in Globalization and Health 2009, 5:2 later about how true to life some of the suggested strategies had been, summed up by the Korea Herald here.

( Source: Unknown )

Fortunately the original paper is still available to download if that piques your curiosity; only 10 pages long, I heartily recommend it. Alas, another that looks useful for a future post on cigarette advertising and gender I’d like to do –  “Marital status and smoking in Korea: The influence of gender and age” by Hong-Jun Cho (et. al) in Social Science & Medicine 2008, 66:3  – isn’t, so I would be very grateful to any readers with library access if they could pass it on!

(For all posts in the Creative Korean Advertising series, see here)

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Filed under: Creative Korean Advertising, Korean Advertisements



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