South Korea has recorded the highest suicide rate in the OECD for the eighth year running. (OECD Health Data 2012)
Over 15,000 commit suicide in just one year, which is an average of 43.5 deaths per day.
(2011 National Statistics Office)
Suicides are especially frequent near the bridges over the Han River in Seoul.
And among the 23 bridges, the ‘Mapo Bridge’ has the highest number of suicides.
(Out of the 1090 suicides committed on a Han River bridge, 17.2% - or 188 suicides - happened on the Mapo Bridge)
Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation:
First, we installed sensors on the guardrails, so that when people walked by, lights turned on according to their movements. On the lighted rails appeared short messages, making it seem as if the bridge was speaking to the passers-by. The 20 or so messages that were shown were not warnings or teachings, but rather kind words, comforting song lyrics, funny jokes, and other phrases that would speak to the anxious and confused minds of those attempting to end their lives.
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results:
Since the opening of the Bridge of Life on Sep 26th, 2012, until today (Dec 20th, 2012),
the suicide rate has dropped by 77%.
The Bridge of Life has received widespread national coverage on TV and in newspapers with 177 reports, as well as global coverage in 8 different media (Reuters, Voice of America, China TV The Tokyo Times, etc.). About 11,000 posts about the Mapo Bridge have been shared on social networks, of which 92% are positive, and the brand image of Samsung Life Insurance has improved by 110%.
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service:
Our idea to stop and prevent the suicides on the Mapo Bridge was not installing a physical device to hinder the suicides, but to create an interactive bridge that would change the people’s minds through communication and a human touch.
Our intention was to have the pedestrians keep reading the messages that were shown throughout the 2.2km of the Mapo Bridge through the ‘Bridge of Life’ installation, and eventually walk all the way to the other end without realizing it.