Distracted by Jumbotrons

Driving in Seoul is bad enough that drivers don’t need any further distractions.  Call it a clash between the highway and Korean digital superhighway.  Seven giant Jumbotron digital billboards are strategically placed around downtown Seoul in order to maximize viewership and inadvertantly distract drivers.  I usually don’t pay much attention to them while driving, but tonight I could not help it.  I was driving south towards Namdaemun in heavy traffic when I stopped and waited for the red light to turn.  As I waited, I couldn’t help but stare up at a monstrous digital advertisement featuring tennis sensation and stunningly beautiful Maria Sharapova.  The giant, digitized Wimbledon champion hits a few tennis balls that precisely hit a faraway target.  Then she suddenly hikes up her tennis skirt to reveal a portable media player strapped to her attractive, shapely leg.  I did not catch which product she was pitching–perhaps it was a Motorola product.  (When the beauty outshines the product being marketed, it’s overkill.)  No matter–the whole scene was rather distracting.  As the majority of drivers in Korea are men, I suspect that I was not the only male driver distracted by this huge, seductive advertisement overshadowing my line of sight.  When the traffic light turned green, I drove on and immediately thought about how easy it would be for this type of advertisement to cause traffic accidents.  While that speaks volumes about Maria Sharapova’s beauty, it doesn’t bode well for Seoul’s traffic safety.

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