Samsung’s Bridge of Life, winner of the Public Relations Grand Clio at the 2013 Clio Awards, involved the transformation of the Mapo Bridge across the Han River to discourage suicide attempts. Close to Seoul’s financial district, the bridge has become known for attempted suicides. 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 “Tomorrow’s sun will rise”), kind words and even jokes, crafted in consultation with psychologists. The city of Seoul is now working with Samsung to transform Hangang Bridge into another Bridge of Life.
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.”
The idea was to create an interactive bridge that would introduce communication and a human touch to change the people’s minds, as opposed to installing a physical barrier to prevent the tragedies. First, the team installed sensors on the guardrails, so that when people walked by, lights turned on according to their movements. As the rails light up short messages make an appearance, making it seem as if the bridge was speaking to the passers-by. The messages are not warnings or teachings, but rather kind words, comforting song lyrics, and funny jokes – something that would heal the anxious and confused minds. Walking all the way across the bridge, pedestrians keep reading the messages and eventually reach the other end. Some of the words include: “I love you”, “Let’s walk together”, “You look worried. Are you OK?”, “For your kids”, “Tomorrow’s sun will rise”, “Did you eat anything?”, “Go see the one you miss”, “The best has yet to come”, “How would you like to be remembered as a father?”, “So many things have yet to happen”, and “Your mom”. All these messages were carefully crafted after consulting with psychologists and suicide-prevention activists.
The Bridge of Life was developed at Cheil Worldwide, Seoul, by executive creative director Thomas Hongtack Kim, creative director Joohoon Lee, art directors Jinwoo Ryu, Hyungkyun Oh, Jaeyeon Kim, Minjoo Kim, Jiyeon Choi, Chaehoon Lee, copywriters Youngjun Kim, Yukyung Joo, Yongkyu Choi, Jieun Park, producer Dukwon Jang.
Design was produced at Ex Creative, Seoul by Chang-hwa Yeo, designer Taejin Kang, Myeongjoon Joo, at Giringreem, Seoul by Jaechul Lee, Yunsung So, Byoung-hee Kang, Dongwook Kim, Jaehyuk Yoo, Dohyun Kim, Seung-goo Kang, Seukho Lee, at Gust n Gale, Seoul by Heesoo Kim, at LimeLight Studio, Seoul by Jaedeok Kang, at Han Back, Seoul by Jinho Lee, at Planet W, Seoul by Jiwon Choi, and at Fork Seoul by Joonho An.