Campaign in Korea Creates New Fairy Tales to Fight Negative Stereotypes of Stepmoms

    By Bobby McGill - May 22, 2019
    Campaign in Korea Creates New Fairy Tales to Fight Negative Stereotypes of Stepmoms

    South Korea’s GS Caltex has released a new campaign looking to break the stereotype of stepmoms set forth in fairytales that portray them as being mean and unkind.

    There is certainly no shortage of “wicked” stepmoms in western fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel, and apparently it’s a thing in Korean fairy tales and social perceptions as well.

    “Although the number of families based on remarriages has increased by 20% in South Korea as of 2019, people are still biased against ‘stepmothers’,” said a campaign release.

    To fight negative perceptions held by children, creative agency AdQUA developed a series of three short films for a campaign called “Kind Thoughts Fairy Tale” based on real stories of stepmothers in Korean society.

    Each of the newly-created tales, ranging from five to seven minutes in length, tell stepmom positive stories to children. The campaign also created a short film featuring interviews with kids demonstrating how the new fairytales changed their perceptions.

    Check them out below. Turn on subtitles if you don’t speak Korean.

    Introduction Campaign Film – “Kind Thoughts Fairy Tale”

    Episode 1 – “Butterfly and Caterpillar”

    Episode 2 – “School Picnic Day”

    Episode 3 – “My Dad’s Wedding”

    Along with posting the fairytales on YouTube, they were also distributed to the online fairy tale platform “IWING” and on the voice fairy tale channel on Korea’s top portal site, Naver.


    Advertised brand: GS Caltex 
Advertising Agency: AdQUA interactive, Seoul, South Korea
Executive Creative Director: Charles Chun
    Creative Director: Hyunkyoon Kim
    Copywriter: Dasom Lee, Eunji Jung, Namhun Kim
    Producer: Byeongchan Lee
    Account Executive: Junyoung Lee, Heejae Yoon, Injoo Lee
    Designer: Jaegoo Yeo, Hyeonmin Jeong, Juyoung Kim, Youjin Kwon, Seomoon Yang

    Kind Words Ringback Tone

    The Kind Thoughts Fairy Tale campaign is part of a broader “I am Your Energy” campaign from GS Caltex to raise public awareness on important issues. AdQUA previously worked with the company back in 2017 on the award-winning “Kind Words Ringback Tone” that cleverly addressed the problem of abuse being dished out to call center employees by irate callers. 

    The campaign went on to win awards at the Korea Advertising Awards, New York Festivals, Cannes Lions, and the Clio Awards, among others. According to AdQua, 20 businesses and organizations in Korea are still using the ringback tone produced during the campaign.

    Interview: Hunchul Chun, Founder, CEO and Executive Creative Director at AdQUA Interactive

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