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By Amit Bapna | APAC editor-at-large

April 20, 2023 | 4 min read

Dentsu Taiwan showcase the power of empathy and respect in government advertising via an emotive film series for two massive urban redevelopment projects in New Taipei City.

Government advertising in Taiwan does not have a great reputation. Known to be boastful, or heavily reliant on numbers or electoral candidates - it is not engaging and certainly not emotional.

Until now.

The New Taipei City Government (NTCG) in collaboration with Dentsu Taiwan has created a film series, 'Stories of Change', which aims to engage the public and win support for two massive urban redevelopment projects.

The redevelopment of Wenzaizun and Wugu Garbage Mountain, were massive undertakings, involving two towns, thousands of illegal buildings and illegal dumping grounds.

The projects were a significant disruption to people's lives and subsequently the NTCG needed to engage them with the journey and help ease the process of change.

Dentsu Taiwan, led by chief creative officer Alice Chou, says the agency identified the need to avoid advertising which shouts at audiences and instead employ a "soft voice".

"People like to talk about change, but how difficult it is to make it happen," says Alice Chou. "First, you must find a space in your heart to store the treasured past. Then with empathy, gently push aside the fear and anxiety, little by little opening up the heart that is willing to move forward. Driving change requires courage, but more importantly, understanding, respect, and love."

The 'Stories of Change' incorporates two films which tell stories of local residents with their experiences serving as metaphors for the obstacles and challenges of change.

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Episode 1 'Yesterday and Tomorrow' follows two childhood sweethearts who face imminent relocation through the redevelopment. The boy, longs for the past while the girl, longs for change and their relationship represents the contradiction of change.

Episode 2 'The Beginning of After' follows a father and son who are stuck in a rut and too scared to face the truth and take action, preferring to blame others for their problems.

The series, which was directed by Golden Award director Chin-Yen Yee, has proven popular with audiences. The series attracted 3m views, 1.2 million likes in the first week.

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