Korean ad calling for an end to call centre worker abuse goes viral

A campaign calling on people to stop hurling “obscene and violent words” at customer service call centre workers has gone viral on Facebook in South Korea.

The three-minute video, which has more than two million views on Facebook, begins with a number of recordings showing the abuse employees face on a routine basis. One caller angrily demands that the operator “put a guy on the line” while another rages: “Can’t you fucking understand me?”

Created by oil giant GS Caltex and Korean agency AdQUA interactive, the campaign then introduces several female employees, who relay the disturbing experiences they have been subjected to at work. One says: “I wondered why I had to listen to these insults. Like others, I am a precious daughter at home. I was so angry and frustrated.”

Their confessions are then followed by the ‘Kind Words’ ringback tone, a recording made by the employee’s family which gives a subtle reminder that, despite a caller’s frustration, the handler is still a human being.

These recordings include phrases such as: “My loving, dear wife will help you in a moment” and “my mum, who I love the most in the world, will help you soon”.

As part of the campaign, GS Caltex had the ringtones installed at the call-centre of General Motors Korea. After 10 days,  stress levels of the employees decreased by 54.2 per cent, while employees’ feelings of being respected increased by 25 per cent, AdQUA said.

Other companies are also applying to have the technology installed at their centres, the agency added.

Since being released on GS Caltex’s Facebook page, the video has been viewed nearly three million times through organic and paid reach, and has been shared nearly 10,000 times. On YouTube, the video has been viewed nearly 20,000 times.

The company said the new campaign is based on its slogan ‘I am your energy’ and exemplifies its message of wanting to “energise the world”.

“The video ends with reminder that energy that can change the world is already inside us,” AdQUA said in a statement.


Advertised brand: GS Caltex

Advert title: ‘Energy that changes the world, Kind Words Ringback Tone’

Advertising agency: AdQUA interactive, Seoul, South Korea

Executive creative cirector: Hunchul Chun

Creative director: Hyunkyoon Kim

Copywriters: Ayoung Yoon, Olivia Sangjee Park

Producer: Dongkyeong Lee

Account executives: Junyoung Lee, Minwoo Lee, Hyunwoo Nam

Media planner: Sooyeon Im

Media buying: Seungkwan Hong, Seunghyun Yoon, Sooyeon Park


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