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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Why is the ad biz in South Korea so awful?

Why is the ad biz in South Korea so awful?


Hello Jancy,
Is there any hope for the advertising industry in South Korea? You never see an ad from South Korea winning anything in a world stage. (Cannes, One Show) except some design work here and there, like once every 3 years. Forget the world. even within Asia, it’s the rock bottom when it comes to creativity.
Here, people in suits make advertising, like the characters in Mad Men, but this is 2009! You gotta be kidding me! It’s one of the most conservative, introverted, homogeneous countries in the world, despite having a strong economy and big market. The money is there, the market is there, but where is creativity?
9 out of 10 times, ads are based on celebrity endorsements. never ideas. Cars, drinks, insurances, you name it. On any product/service, they put celebrities on and make them dance and sing. and that is it!
I learned advertising in the U.S. I graduated from Miami Ad School and did an internship at Goodby. But from the ads to the creative culture, it’s 180° different here. It’s quite depressing for a new grad like myself.
The country’s biggest agency, for example, has a test (an SAT like written exam) for applicants! Yes, they take a test to get into the agency! (what happened to something called a portfolio?) I wish I was joking, Jancy.
Any thoughts/advice on Korean advertising? (please don’t say leave the country)

intro Why is the ad biz in South Korea so awful?Contact the creative director of Ogilvy Korea, Wain Choi. We’ve known him since he was a junior here at Ogilvy Toronto many years ago. He’s great. We’re sure he’d agree with your concerns, and have some good local perspective. Tell him we sent you.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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