'Bridge of Life'
Samsung Life Insurances and Cheil Worldwide has turned Mapo Bridge, a notorious hot-spot for suicide jumpers in Seoul, into an interactive bridge, nicknamed the ‘Bridge of Life’.
The campaign introduces a human touch to deter would-be jumpers, rather than erecting physical barriers. Sensors on the guardrails light up when pedestrians walk by offering messages of comfort such as “The best is yet to come”. Kind words, comforting song lyrics and funny jokes are also used to make it seem as if the bridge is speaking to passers-by.
All messages were carefully crafted after consultation with psychologists and suicide-prevention activists.
The bridge also includes an “Image Zone” showing photographs of smiling babies, couples and grandparents. A brass statue of two friends called ‘Just Once Again’ depicts one friend consoling the other.
The campaign, supported by online videos, will run until the end of September.
South Korea recently recorded the highest suicide rate among the OECD member states (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), according to a report of OECD statistics for 2011-12.