Ad Nut
May 24, 2019

Ever seen a fairy tale with a non-evil stepmother?

Probably you haven't. GS Caltex and Korean agency AdQua Interactive set out to change that with a touching storytelling initiative.

We're such flawed creatures. Humans and squirrels alike, it's amazing how ingrained and unexamined our prejudices can be (ahem).

A couple years ago, GS Caltex and independent Korean agency AdQua Interactive called our attention to unfair perceptions of one oft-abused group of people (see "How one company reminded customers that call-center workers are human beings"). Now, the duo has done something perhaps even more moving for another group.

You probably don't really think of stepmothers as evil. But at the same time, you probably never thought twice when you encountered the evil-stepmother trope in a story you were reading. And perhaps you were reading to a small, wide-eyed member of your clan at the time, and thus without even thinking, you passed along the pernicious idea that stepmothers are evil.

You might think that's not so bad, as it's a fairy tale after all. But for one thing, in Ad Nut's experience offspring are exceptionally good at absorbing unspoken assumptions. And secondly, as the campaign film above asks, how would you feel if you were a stepmother?

The answer is obvious. So the brand and agency produced three alternate fairy tales, which were distributed on YouTube and as audiobooks available via popular portal site Naver. They're quite good, reminding us that when a new parent steps in, it can be difficult for both that adult and the child. We should actually be celebrating, not vilifying, the people who take on this challenge and love their new children as if they were their own.

This is where Ad Nut might complain that all of the above doesn't have much to do with an energy company. But instead, Ad Nut will just get on with weeping about these touching stories.


Executive creative director: Charles Chun
Creative director: Hyunkyoon Kim
Copywriter: Dasom Lee, Eunji Jung, Namhun Kim
Designer: Juyoung Kim, Youjin Kwon, Seomoon Yang
Account executive: Junyoung Lee, Heejae Yoom, Injoo Lee
Designer: Jaegoo Yeo, Hyeonmin Jeong

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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