Taiwan -   Poor creativity, weak ideas   
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     comments on Taiwan's best universities & professors
diagnosis on Taiwan's graphic/advertising designs & creativity

☉   "We are in a fog", expressed by Advertising expert-professor, Dr. WL Chen (NCCU) in her Creativity subject-matter paper.
       She diagnosed that Taiwan's poor creativity in that advertising organizations' structure doesn't encourage creativity ...... 
       I reason there're lots more things than just 2 reasons mentioned in that paper.

☉  Judges in Taiwan's largest ad. contest (held by the China Times) mentioned recently that Taiwan's originality in ad. creativity is not good enough,  it's harder and harder to have original ideas, what we can do now is to  "modify" existed ideas ...... (the China Times, 9/12/2005 )

(1)   diagnosis


    Below are  several twin (same-idea) cartoons sent by source in largest newspaper of red China, I was told the judge-board already took back the 1st winner's Golden Award  after they found this idea is quite similar to old ones (please see 3 similar ideas as below).



    China's creativity



Unfortunately, I found quite a lot "suspect" ad-works drawn by Taiwanese undergraduate or graduate students participating in Asia-scaled college-students-level contest.   Cheating may ruins youngsters' morality.

Fortunately, the China Times of Taiwan , just made the 1st move to print some evidences ( pic. below) for contrast.

 Taiwan creativity
  right :Bank advertisement                    left: British original cartoon


     scholar research

Taiwan's advertising creativity is quite lousy, however, there's no enough researches and books on this subject in Taiwan.

I read some best creativity-theme papers (written by professors in best universities, published by best universities in Taiwan), and found that :

     (1) professors didn't select good ads. as examples in their papers. (It seems to me they probably can't tell the level of creativity.  According to western books' view, you need to read a lot of ad. works, then do the judges).

     (2) papers focus "grammar" studies and structure analysis, this won't do a lot helpful to Taiwan's weakness.   No matter A+ or C- ideas can pass through their grammar & structure analysis.

By the way, I read some papers and awarded books written by mainland-Chinese professors, I feel they work very hard and try to find out the secret of creativity, they're on the right track  just a good beginning :  however, some holes in their arguments perhaps still can be picked .



Taiwan's government (Ministry of Education) and university systems should use artistic-talent teachers, instead of just "thesis teachers" (i.e., qualification : PhD. required), to train talented students.

Below are 2 awarded advertising-works "created" by graduate students of NCTU , one of the best universities in Taiwan ( a world level university too ).  I wonder why ... top IQ only created a very old idea?  


Taiwan ad contest winner  Taiwan ad contest winner(2 Asia-scaled award winners, NCTU graduate students )

please compare similar cartoons listed as below:



   straight forward better

<The Journal of Advertising>  edited by National Cheng Chi University  ( owns the best Advertising dept.) applauded the jury-board of Taiwanese best ad. contest for their excellent insight into the problems ..... 

This paper asserts there's no any winning ad. works copied from Japanese advertisement, however, they did not mention there are winning works "copied" (suspicious, or coincident) from western advertisement - TV commercials or print advertisements.


     face the problem !

A most famous ad. master (won best award in Europe, taught Ads. creativity course in best universities in Taiwan and Red China) mentioned something like original ideas (ads. creativity)  is not that important.

Another widely-known ad. people (a famous university teacher ) even said (via mass media) only nothing-to-do (or job-less) people are capable of having original ideas, "we are too busy........" (PS: certainly it's a lie -  obviously, there's very few witty ads. in Taiwan)

I saw a few works by them, not only are not sharp witty, but also are boring. (some Asia-Pacific judges think so too)


    comm.  vs. witty, theory vs. creativity

Some college professors may think doing scholastic research is more important and more difficult than having creative ideas.

some may think communication is more important than witty , original ideas.

some said persuasion is more important than creativity ......

In last year, I just found a large-sized graphic design in an university's web-site (their advertisement caption : proud of having master-professors, this university's evaluated as top-ranking by Taiwan's Ministry of Education) is as simple & easy as entry-level works. 

What does a country look like if can't have witty, smart enough master pieces?   How can Taiwan draw world's attention once needed ?


     educational methods

Experts said Taiwan's authoritarian , competitive educational methods have strangled everyone's minds.  

A white paper of "Creativity in education" was released by Taiwan's government in 2002.

In 2007, a professor-dean  in NCCU said Asian students' creativity is still low.



Taiwan got enough laws, but not applied very well to bad advertisements (some ads led to consumer's death, reported by most popular newspaper  ).


     selfish ?

    Few book in Taiwan instructs the secrets of creativity. (not knowledge in Design)

    Some book by top professor only draw an outline.

    Some scholastic books by top professors use inappropriate examples or  teach "run amuck" creativity, instead of methods for lateral associative thinking, observation , untrammeled imagination, go against the grain, question the unquestioned, etc.


     culture context

     Washington Post (USA) recently said Chinese tradition may be bad for creativity.     

       The 1st sec. in the 1st chapter of a famous book, <Creative Strategy in Advertising> (by A. Jewler, phD.), mentions our creativity 're squashed by our teachers, parents, employers,....we're taught conformity is good .....  if you don't, you will be considered a s a pest, may receive a verbal lashing or others, less blunt reminders, even get passed over a promotion.

      Sinorama, largest magazine, discusses close relationship between creativity and cultural context.  Experts suggest right environment and attitude : dare or willing to think and to act?, encouraging creativity (knowledge economy) instead of excellent discipline (manufacturing industries)? 


     pure-stream university

       Taiwan's universities are not "pure-stream" as before,... or even are "rotten" ( <Apple Daily>, July 2009 ) .




An influential newspaper in Taiwan reported (translation of some western book)  there's no difference in creativity performance between people with IQ > 120, however, higher IQ persons have more creative ideas, for those people IQ < 120 .

details pls ref. ch13 of <Handbook of Creativity> (by Robert J Sternberg, Yale Univ) ,etc.



       The China Times expressed Creativity's something to do with Taiwanese character ........., 

        Psychologists and experts said creative people are open-minded by nature,  they like novelty, has rich associative imagination, can think fluently,  respond to new situation with flexibility, innovation , precision, etc


    self respect

Taiwan is.... probably like a copy machine, since an evening news of Taiwan's major news system (5/5/2004) said "it copies everything".   Taiwanese self-respect is quite behind according to a survey report in 2006, surely Taiwanese need to improve this.


    Wrong methods

Many ad. books in the world, like <Approaches to Ad Creativity>by Dr. Wang G. in red China, instructs right methods to creativity.

However,  some books by Taiwan's SHU professor  teach tricky ways to students, like "cross-border" ads. -  to mix advertisements with news or ...... so that readers will see the ad. any way un-expectedly ...  those ad people probably only concern about money.

Details please click ....


    lousy students

Many youngsters/students don't work hard and/or don't have design talents.  



Long In-tai's articles printed in both Taiwan and Red China in 2008 stated that creativity needs an environment that is free, democratic, and people with independent personality .    However, Government's officials usually don't like extra risk for their adm.......

Taiwan's some scholar papers express that Taiwan currently doesn't have that kind of environment for creativity. 


        comment Taiwan's scholar papers:  page1  page2  page3  page4  page5   page6   
     see some best samples, click to read ....    Comments Taiwan's most important Ads   


      Taiwan -  Poor creativity, weak ideas