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Ad wiz advises simple solutions

Focus on the fundamentals of a project and think in the simplest way possible to address the problem. That was the advice advertising wiz Park Seo-won had for the audience of the Herald Design Forum’s mentoring session on Thursday.

Park is a well-known name on the global advertising scene with several international awards under his belt, and currently runs the Big Ant International advertising agency.

He is also the man behind a number of familiar advertising campaigns including the anti-war campaign that used wrap-around posters to show various weapons coming around in a circle to point at the one holding the weapon.

“When we were making the business card for my company, the solution eluded us for days because everyone was focusing on how to express ideas,” Park said.

“Then I asked the question; Why are we making a business card? The purpose of a business card is clear. Whatever the project, whatever the expression, ask yourself what the fundamentals of the project is and why you have to do it.”

Despite his significant success in his field, Park appears grounded and encouraged the audience to view creativeness as something easily accessible.

“When they hear the word ‘creative,’ people think that it’s something they can’t even begin to approach, but in reality it’s nothing. Ideas come from what you hear, feel, experience and see in everyday life.”

Although he is now a successful adman, he has not always been a success in conventional terms.

He first enrolled in university to study business administration, but soon found that the subject held no interest for him. Park then tried his hand at engineering before finally settling down with design. Over the years he spent looking for his calling, Park says that the key to his apparent inability to excel at the subjects was his lack of interest.

Park also advises having “little things of interest” in one’s profession.

“There comes a time for everyone when they ask themselves if they are on the right path. But people use a strict ruler to measure the environment they are in,” Park said.

“People think that something needs to be passionately interesting but in reality people are moved by the small things.”

By Choi He-suk (
Korea Herald Youtube