Different Ads, different people, same products

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I visited a special exhibition at the Seoul Museum of History and met an old day of Korean advertisement.

“Title: Seoul Nostalgia: A Retrospective Photographic Exhibition of Kim Hanyong

Having started as a news photographer in 1947 at ‘Gukje Bodo’ (International Report), Kim Han-yong is a renowned photographer who has devoted himself solely to photography throughout his life. His professional traces crossing genres such as news, art and advertisement can be translated into the records of Korea’s contemporary history. This exhibition consists broadly of the two themes: ‘Memories of City’ and ‘Portraits of the beauty’. ‘Memories of City’ displays the dynamic changes that Seoul and the people living in it have gone through since the 1950’s. ‘Portraits of the beauty’ presents some 70 advertising posters created by Kim, commonly referred to as an ‘advertising photography magnate’. He says that he has never forgotten photography for a moment in his life of 90 years. Thanks to this passionate artist, we can discover our own portraits of the days when we dreamed with hope despite difficult circumstances.”

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I had an interesting observation when I compared between the Coca-cola ad and Hyundai-Ford ad in the 1970s. About 40 years ago, Coca-cola was advertised WITH pencil-drawing consumers while the Hyundai-Ford car was advertised WITHOUT drivers. Since then, this trend has become opposite: Coca-cola is now showing Coke (or bear)  whereas Hyundai is now demonstrating how people drive vehicles.

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