Samsung Life Insurances has worked with Cheil Worldwide to turn notorious South Korean suicide hotspot, Mapo Bridge, into an interactive message of hope, nicknamed the ‘Bridge of Life’.
South Korea reports almost 43 suicides each day, the highest amongst developing nations and within OECD member states (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), according to a report of OECD statistics for 2011-12.
The Mapo Bridge, which lies over the River Han in the capital Seoul, has seen 108 suicide reports in the past five years. The campaign introduces a human touch to deter would-be jumpers, rather than erecting physical barriers.
The messages on the railings were chosen by psychiatrists and are aimed relaxing people with humour as well as relieving tension. Sensors on the guardrails light up when pedestrians walk by to illuminate messages of comfort such as “The best is yet to come”.
Kind words, song lyrics, jokes and funny facts are also included to deter possible jumpers. Other messages include “Did you know gorillas all have blood type B?”, “Doesn’t it feel good to be outside walking on a bridge?”, “Worries are nothing”, and standard Korean greeting “Have you eaten”.
The bridge also includes an ‘Image Zone’ with photographs of smiling babies, couples and grandparents. A brass statue has also been erected on the bridge; entitled “Just Once Again” the sculpture depicts one friend consoling the other.
The campaign also includes online videos and will be running until the end of September 2013.