Creativity - Taiwan's university(ies)
NanHua University, NCCU, SHU, etc as examples ...                  

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Why NanHua Univ as example ? (1) it has Communication and Design Dept (2) largest Buddhism founded university (3) known for its Aesthetics
Why National ChengChi University as example ?       It's best university in Advertising field !
Why SHU ?         It's best university in creativity field, which's evaluated by Taiwan's enterprises  !
Why ChungCheng University ?         A top university in Communication field !


Where 's the Beef ?   


NanHua university

To see an university by its advertisement :
 displaying some girls,
instead of important messages and creative ideas

NanHua university
NanHua copywriting: "youthfulness, free, vitality",
 these are quite same as high-school (e.g., Taipei's school in 信義rd.) slogans.


 Nanhua university may impress teenagers as a happy land   easy to get a diploma ...
perhaps, It's a good way to attract more students,
however, it's not a good way to attract good high-school students.



Where 's Creativity - Original ?   

NanHua University, applied cliche to the ads .

Confucius :  NHU is Perfect !

Einstein : I prefer NHU

Confucius Ads., NanHua University

Einstein advertisement, NanHua University



NanHua University is proud of its creativity (or innovation) in its newspaper ads.

However, its ad. creativity seemed not bright and original enough.

Compare a red China ad. , a small clothing shop dressed Confucius with a new suit.  ( refer )

It's a better idea in getting attentions and impression.

unexpected, for attention !

Using remote elements to convey core brand message better attracts audience's attention, these inconsistent or unusual things, through viewers' mental involvement, still need to associate and match the brand properties the ad. wants to emphasize.

NHU ads : 
Confucius, Einstein and NHU are about in the same circle (education), this affects audience brain's dictionary search and getting attentions. 

Clothing store ads :
Confucius wearing suits,  comparatively remote elements seem bit inconsistent and unexpected at 1st sight, but they about associate brand core image - Chinese spirits and culture.


二 Unique is not good enough !

In Chen Hsui-Bian's ad. , "Father of China" Sun Wen being dressed with Chen's flat hat, resulted in a protest reported by widely-known news in Taiwan already.

NanHua University again using old formula with new variables, certainly is not creative.

NCCU paper found majority (Taiwanese) thought Chen's ad. is CREATIVE because they 've NEVER SEEN this kind stuffs before.  Hence, most people suppose won't agree NanHua University ad. is creative.  


College art-works suppose to be smart minded and sharp witty to reflect high-class image.


A witty-idea ad

A. Einstein
"A bad hair-cut can make
anyone look dumb"
(ad. Minnesota hair salon)

 Confucius advertisement, clothing ads. 
pic :  clothing ad made in red China - Chinese sages, Confucius wear suits  

Refer to :  SHU professor paper in National ChengChi University  <The Journal of Advertising>


Image ads for Taiwan's former President Chen Hsui-Bian 


China's Nation Father Sun Wen ad in Taiwan Taipei Mayor election campaign
pic 1

Monalisa ad in Taiwan Taipei Mayor election campaign
Pic. 2
another Chen's election ad -  just replace MonaLisa's Xmas hat with  a flat hat.

PS: Chen is Taipei mayor at that time 




Picture 1 - right : "Father of China" Sun Wen was dressed with  former president Chen's sign, a flat hat, and said : "I feel Chen did a good (not bad) job"

Picture 2 :  The ads series also include Mona Lisa, Statue of liberty, and Charlie Chaplin wore Chen's  flat hat.

The political ad has enjoyed top creativity reputation,  reported by <The Journalist>, a major political magazine in Taiwan. 

A paper written by Ad. professor in SHU (evaluated as the best creativity university in Taiwan) and printed in <The Journal of Advertising>, the very best Taiwanese Ad. periodical by National ChengChi University, had a case examination & found :



NCCU <The Journal of Advertising> Paper

 This web-site's viewpoints

 (1) Most  college students in the opinion survey were positive of this ad. creativity
   A  'person' ( "China Father" Sun wen, Mona Lisa, or Liberty Statue, etc) was dressed with a brand hat (cloth) is not a very original idea (or corny stuff) in design field.
 (2) More than half people in the survey feel the ad. is graphically (very) humorous.
   Sun Wen being dressed with Chen's Bian-hat is not VERY humorous, cliche won't produces humor effect, unless toward  entry-level (in humor field) audiences.
 (3) Improper to use Sun Wen as a spokesperson (endorser) of former President Chen.  
   Sun Wen in the ad. is not a guarantor of Chen.  It's just sort of a role of visual humorous parody instead of a serious endorser.  


 (4) There's no "relationship" between Sun Wen and Chen.
  Unusual relationship usually is better than usual one for attention and impression, etc.
 (5)  Different ideology  between Sun and Chen  
  Chen and DPP may focus on something else in common,  i.e.,  ambition to establish a nation, etc.


 (6) Humour 's nothing to do with "Product" (Chen or DPP)
  This ad humor is connected to the brand (Chen & DPP) after political protests and lots of news reports.

  World famous expert professor in Ad. thinks people assume anyone makes ads good must also make a good product.  So, it's proper to use Sun Wen as long as the ad convinces Taiwanese that Chen's political party (DPP) is witty,  youthful (contrast his major rival KMT, an "old" political party) & excellent.  These may transfer to DPP.

  Besides, overthrow authority (or rebelliousness) style appeals to young voters too (major target segment of DPP ). 
  Ideology relationship is not only factor needed to be concerned.

PS: according to the paper (Chinese version), spokesperson equals endorser, or a recommendation letter.  



            Humor vs  Kuso, heavy-slapstick

Humour Effect

As stated above, NanHua univ. advertisement is not quite style witty, at most, it's a  slapstick or corny idea comedy for kids or teenagers.

<Adcult USA> published by Columbia University Press, takes Mona Lisa as an example, to assert audiences will neglect cliche images.

Zola Zu (this site) thinks cartooning sharp-wits can "save" stale images,  i.e.,  world best ads use Hitler's mustache (Robert Lambert & Assoc.), or Einstein's mess-up hairs (Minneapolis hair salon).


Ads. Effect

(1) College's target segment is different from a small clothing store's target segment.   "Real beef" probably is essential for good high schools youngsters.

(2) Some ads are not aimed for target market, i.e., TAGheuer or Rolex owners like to enjoy people's envies (or jealousy), so ordinary people also need to learn TAGheuer or Rolex ranking status from ads.  

     Good colleges need to persuade kids' parents and to win related people/elites confidences - NHU ads. don't work well on that.    

     Besides, the ads. try to invite people to visit their web-site, but those web-pages show poor design (aesthetics, inconsistent image with ads, etc), far behind from leading universities and liberal arts colleges in Euro and US.   (till end 2008)





Serbia ad uses Lincoln USA
Serbia ad uses Lincoln USA

廣告 1

Ad Personality

Ad. transmits both messages and brand personality.

Below are some examples.

Mao Zedong (Red China leader) with women wear, NewZealand university ad
Mao Zedong (Red China leader) was dressed with women clothes


<New York Times> reported Serbia had used some famous sayings by A. Lincoln、J. Kennedy、W. ChurchillWashington, to contradict western countries' viewpoints and strategy against Serbia, so as to change their political grounds (regarding Serbia territory).

A Polish female political party advertised  "Poland is a Woman", "Nothing needs to be hidden" by exposing their own nude bodies.    Quite straight-forward personality !?

Polish political party ad, "Poland Is a Woman"
"Poland Is a Woman"
nothing needs to hide
(Polish political ad)


    New Zealand's university dressed Mao Zedong ( red
Chinese leader) with woman clothes as their school advertisement, this school surely comprises many
 interesting persons !?

Consider again Einstein's hair-salon ad. and Hitler's
mustache ad. stated as above.   World best advertising
 textbook loves to  take them as examples.

In contrast, NHU's ad. is trying to show youthful
personality, but seems not a smart youth personality.





            celebrity just working as attention-drawing metaphor   

Spokespeople / endorser  

pic : ancient Chinese politics advisor in NHU ads.

ad, China politics advisor  


One major topic that NCCU paper studied is "improper or proper for Chen Hsui-Bian to use the portrait of Sun Wen as spokesperson for Taipei Mayor election campaign" .

World best ads. did use lots of celebrity portraits.  (legal details need to consult attorney)

The ads series also used the image of Mona Lisa, Statue of liberty, and Charlie Chaplin. ( Charlie Chaplin has notorious record for   direct copied Soviet-style montage editing - replacing cow with sheep in his film. )


Certainly, Sun Wen never spoke one word  for Chen Hsui-Bian.

Neither Confucius nor Einstein appraised and applauded NanHua as "perfect" or "elitism school".

They are sort of entertainment or funny parody props, rather than serious endorsers or guarantor whatever for the brand.   (Many examples've already been seen in world ads. collection)



same legendary hero,
similar idea,
 in a small co. ad

China politics advisor


1998 ads



             Confucius willing to be spokesman for NHU      vs.     NHU's analogous to Confucious   

  analogy &  juxtaposition

To avoid any legal problem,  cigarette companies never made any statement about smoking doesn't cause medical consequences, instead, they juxtaposing products with images of vigorous outdoor activities or unpolluted beautiful environment. 

Ads frequently display products with props, like superior sophistication, great taste, significant/high culture,  superlative skill, supreme value and the like, so that consumer audiences may feel by association or contiguity the ad. products have those great qualities.

The principal function of analogical juxtaposition is to act as partial substitutes for adjectives and adverbs.

Taiwan's political party (the DPP) ads. once juxtaposed themselves with Adolf Hitler (Germany), for a sense of humor ( it's far from humorous, compared to Hitler's mustache ads by Robert Lambert & Assoc.) and ... for that Hitler dares to speak up his mind,  this ad led to a protest by Germany's representative in Taiwan.

NanHua university, a newly founded school,  used (about juxtaposed ) some ancient Chinese legendary heroes/sages in its ads to serve tokens of what ?

More precisely, we can say the ads juxtaposed NHU with a cliche formula,  rather than some dead heroes.

Those heroes in ads are depicted as funny cartoon-character mascot or little figures (not as themselves).  So, they suppose don't speak very serious words.




Visual Humorous Parody

Confucius spoke in English, Einstein uttered in Mandarin that they "hope to attend class in NHU".  

They are just some roles of a funny parody drama.  (not necessary a reasonable drama)

Some designs producing new variations on well-known images from the past, function about the same as visual distortions and violations of reality, to trap the target audiences brain's "dictionary search", "its self-referential quality and often ironic-tone can give viewers a flattering sense of being hip and media conscious". (P. Messaries, U. Penn.)

According to Columbia University <Adcult USA>'s opinion, a stale image like Mona Lisa is not easy to draw anyone's attention.  A stale formula with new simple variables won't work well either. 

Education is not a business store, if a university cannot integrate all its experts in Design, Arts, Communications, Business Adm., Cultural Creativity, .... fields, only to make a kids humour, a cliche ad, seems far behind int'l college level.    

Is Harvard or MIT willing to present their image by some un-fresh stuffs?

  Related studies :   critic  critic1   critic2   critic3   critic4   critic 5   critic6   critic7   critic8    critic9

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PS: SHU Ad. paper in <The Journal of Ad> (NCCU), pls refer