In March of last year, Facebook Korea appointed Kyo Seo as the head of its creative shop, tasked with helping brands in South Korea better reach their target customers.
Seo, who held positions previously at LG, Innocean and Cheil Worldwide, in both creative and digital capacities, has worked with some of the country’s biggest brands as well as those looking to grow their market share more on the peninsula.
Kyo Seo recently spoke with Branding in Asia from his office in Seoul about his work with Facebook in Korea, some campaigns he’s done over the years and what brands can do to resonate with Korean consumers.
Earlier this year you were promoted to the Head of Creative Shop. How has being in a management role changed your creative approach?
Creative shop exists to serve, provoke and inspire our partners to create ideas that build meaningful connections between people and business. I used to co-create a few selected brand campaigns as a professional creative strategist. It needed a high level of resources to take care every detail for having good result, but I was willing to do it because I strongly believed that a single good case brings a huge impact in the advertising industry. And I really enjoyed shifting their traditional perceptions suitable to the digital era.
Brands should consider starting with the most captivating moments rather than a slow build-up, front-loading key messages, engaging with copy from the first visual and putting their hero image front and center for recall.
I still have the same belief in the power of the best case even after I became the head of Korea. Now I consider scaling up the insight we learned, so I am trying to see not only brands, but also other players such as individuals, communities, publishers and small-medium businesses that create contents on the Facebook/Instagram platform. We are also preparing several creative programs and solutions fulfilling their needs proactively.
Traditionally, Korean ad copy often tries to cram as much info as possible into a 30-second ad. What’s it been like shepherding local brands to the trend of shortened ad lengths?
Yes, most advertisers like to have messages in their advertisement as much as possible, and I could see that the average length of video on Facebook from Korean brands was comparatively long.
I advise them to observe the speed of people on mobile. Based on research we conducted, almost 70% of mobile phone users consume contents on their way to go somewhere.
It could be very distracting environment to watch every detail of one single video. They are allowed only 3 seconds to attract their consumers. It’s better to divide their messages in multiple ads than having one long form video that nobody watches at the end. Do your best to create multiple short form video less than 15 seconds instead of reducing your video after you make it in the length multiple minutes.
Talk about some effective creative strategies for brands trying to garner attention on Facebook from consumers in Korea?
We have been introducing practical creative manuals for building mobile-customized videos. Let me introduce some of them:
- Capture attention quickly. Given how quickly people consume content on mobile, create video ads for the fast pace of the mobile news feed. Brands should consider starting with the most captivating moments rather than a slow build-up, front-loading key messages, engaging with copy from the first visual and putting their hero image front and center for recall.
- Design for sound off. Make sure your video ads appeal to viewers even in a sound-off mobile environment. Tell your stories visually (rather than just with sound) by using text and graphics to help deliver messages. Include captions for storytelling and layer on context for frames that are hard to understand without sound.
- Frame for mobile. Presenting the right frame is key to enticing your audience. Make full use of the “real estate” on mobile—try cropping into 1:1 square videos instead of 16:9, highlight key elements of the story and your product, and explore vertical video to make consumers sit up and notice.
- Play with formats. There’s no hard and fast rules for success. Experiment and explore Facebook’s suite of products with your mobile-optimized TVC. Consider playing with speed (delivering messages quickly and challenging viewers to keep up), playing with duration (telling your story in 6 seconds) and more.
On mobile, attention is an action—so we must reward it. When we give people the reason to pay attention, they will.
What are some other campaigns you’ve worked on in your career that are particularly proud of?
ABC Mart Shoes: Impossible campaign
As I mentioned earlier, one of our mission is provoke and inspire our partners to create ideas that build meaningful connection between people and business.
This campaign was made in collaboration with TBWA Korea and it was awarded the first Facebook Award Global Winner as a Korean brand and agency. It connected people to invent new shoes ideas on Facebook and ABC mart actually produced and donated the shoes to people in need.
GM Chevrolet: ‘New Year. New Roads’
It is a perfect reference of short-form videos leading the whole advertising campaign. It was a global campaign of GM that Creative shop global team worked on together, including Korea. You can see multiple formats on Facebook and Instagram and how they were efficiently utilized for the campaign.
I hope that marketers will be inspired from the structure.