“Snaps To” is a weekly post highlighting a marketing, advertising, social media, or PR campaign that I find particularly intriguing and stand-out.
Okay, I’m just going to put it out there right now: this post is about a “Suicide Bridge”. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me.
There are few events more tragic than that of someone losing all hope and deciding to take their own life. Apparently the Mapo Bridge in Seoul, South Korea has become the site of numerous suicide attempts, causing South Korea to have the highest suicide rate of the OECD countries. These days with the excess of social media, technology, and consumerism, the world can feel quite lonely and isolating. However, sometimes it’s possible to create something beautiful out of tragic situations.
Samsung Life Insurance decided to take this Suicide Bridge and turn it into a Bridge of Life, bringing hope to the hopeless through technology. According to an article by Ad Age, “ Samsung Life Insurance and Cheil Worldwide teamed up to solve the problem by repositioning the bridge as a place of life, not death. The interactive bridge now has sensors on the guardrails that light up when people walk by — offering up messages of comfort (‘The Best is Yet to Come,’ or ‘How would you like to be remembered?’), kind words and even jokes. Those messages were crafted after consultation with psychologists and suicide prevention activists, according to the agency. The bridge also includes an ‘Image Zone’ that shows happy photographs of smiling kids, couples and grandparents, as well as a brass statue of two friends, called ‘Just Once Again’”.
Adweek interviewed Leo Burnett CCO Susan Credle about her thoughts on the project. Credle said, “So much of the time I feel like technology and content steal one of our most valuable resources from us: time. Samsung Life Insurance turned a bridge that took people’s lives into a bridge that gives people hope. This idea takes nothing from anyone, and on its most powerful day, it reminds people how precious the time we have on this earth is. If we create work that easily answers the question, why does this matter?, people will see the value of what we do and probably want more, not less, of it. Samsung Life Insurance, through a simple creative idea, lets people know it values life”.
While this isn’t necessarily a marketing or advertising campaign, I thought that Samsung’s Bridge of Life deserved recognition (but maybe it counts as PR). It always warms my heart when a company looks past the bottom line and the profit margins to accomplish something for the good of others. In marketing, we strive to understand people: what they want, how they think, and what will fulfill their needs. Sometimes, that means doing something that may not always benefit the company directly, but can instead benefit the world in some small way. So snaps to Samsung Life Insuance’s Bridge of Life, for all the good it will do and for reminding us that we are part of this world too.