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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A little white space goes a long way

In a world where we're constantly being bombarded with images saying "You need this product," what if less is more?

That's what Hyundai Card and Hyundai Capital is banking on as the company reveals its new advertising scheme at four new Seoul subway stations. Rather than plastering the walls with flashy photos and oversized text, the ads are mainly bright white save for a small icon and logo to identify the company.

At the entrance and exits of the stations, the giant white panels have a pink eraser in the lower-right corner and a two-sentence explanation. "The world is flooded with too many ads," it says. "For a short while, we want to leave it empty for you."

I think this is a really interesting concept. While it's easy to ignore the usual ads for Jinro soju, Korean vacation destinations and the latest movies as you race between platforms, being faced with a blindingly white wall might actually be an attention-grabber. You instantly become curious to find out what's going on.

Hyundai Card and Hyundai Capital unveils this new promotion as it strives to increase the number of Koreans carrying Hyundai credit cards.

Other favorites from the papers this week:

- The New York Times Magazine asks "Is Happiness Catching?" (spoiler alert: yes)

- A love story 70 years in the making.

- Controversy at The Washington Post over the reasons for killing a "depressing" story.

- Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins take on Rep. Joe Wilson, with similar conclusions.

- How American companies are helping globalize censorship by putting profit over progress.

- Laura Ling and Euna Lee's first statement since returning from North Korea. Powerful, scary stuff.

- This is why Kanye West wasn't invited to Obama's healthcare speech:

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