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In one of the world’s most ferociously competitive business capitals, a series of posters adorning four stations on Seoul’s newest subway line has been drawing puzzled looks: bar a small image and a minimal corporate logo, each ad space is a plain white sheet.

“The concept is ‘less is more’,” says Park Se-hun, chief marketing officer of Hyundai Card, the finance group that placed the ads. “Subways are usually hectic, crowded, so trying to be loud is not very effective.” Indeed. In a Korean adscape characterised by flashing LED screens, ubiquitous…



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