Thursday, May 3, 2007

GIO's creative campaign boosts Taiwan's WHO membership cause

Acting Minister of the Government Information Office (GIO)William Yih said on Wednesday that disease prevention knows no borders. He added that there should not be any gap in the global disease prevention network. However, to this point, Taiwan has still not been able to become a member of the World Health Organization. This is not only depriving the 23 million people of Taiwan of their right to health, but is also detrimental to the global effort to prevent disease. Acting Minister Yih made the remarks at a press conference to unveil the government's promotional campaign to get into the WHO. The campaign not only features creative promotional materials, it is also designed in tandem with President Chen Shui-bian's decision that Taiwan should apply for formal WHO membership under the name "Taiwan."
In introducing this year's promotional campaign, Acting Minister Yih said that the GIO's ads focus on the likeness of a chart that is regularly used to test a person's vision. The chart, however, has been adapted a bit. All of the C letters in the chart are clear and easy to distinguish. On the line that examines whether a person can distinguish colors, the six letters of the name "Taiwan" are featured. The top line of the chart features the letters "W," "H," and "C." The "C" is somewhat blurry and there is a gap in the letter. The advertisement is aimed at attracting people's interest in the vision chart. In addition, the "O" in the WHO letters at the top has a gap in it, making it a "C". This gap represents Taiwan. The purpose of the design is to urge people throughout the world to support Taiwan's efforts to gain entry into the WHO.
Acting Minister Yih said that advertisements featuring the vision examination chart were unveiled at the Frankfurt International Airport and London's Heathrow Airport starting on May 1. The advertisements will appear in lit advertisement frames for one month. In addition, the advertisement will also be printed in the Financial Times and the International Herald Tribune for the two days prior to the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly that will be held on May 14. The newspapers will be distributed to the hotels where the delegates to the annual meeting are staying.
In an effort to best employ the concept of the vision chart series of ads, the GIO has produced a series of posters, mugs and a 30-second short film that are being provided to overseas agencies to use and hand out. The short film centers around an actual vision test. The advertisement is highly creative and three dimensional. Overseas offices will arrange for the airing of the advertisement on local broadcast media. The posters and other advertisements will be printed in local newspapers and magazines. Combined with the airing of the TV advertisement, it is hoped that the public in the respective countries will come to have a better understanding about Taiwan's efforts to obtain WHO membership.
Acting Minister Yih also displayed the specially designed mug and a balloon that are also being employed in the advertising campaign. The large balloon, in the form of a person, will be transported to the site of the WHA meeting hall. This will increase exposure for Taiwan in its application to enter the organization.
In addition to the short film that focuses on the eye examination chart, the GIO has also produced a short film called "You Must Face the Facts." The film shows experts and scholars attending the meeting telling journalists the urgency of having a global disease prevention network. However, they become silent when they are questioned as to why Taiwan has not been included in the effort. The film stresses that the world must face the truth about the efforts of Taiwan and its 23 million residents in trying to get into the WHO, but having failed in this campaign so far. The short film urges that Taiwan should be allowed to do its part in order to help guarantee the health and wellbeing of all of mankind.
Acting Minister Yih also introduced a series of English articles compiled under the title "Lives in the Balance: Taiwan and the WHO." This compilation is based on the series of English-language of articles entitled "Diseases Have No Boundaries," which was published in 2006. The articles have been re-printed to include the measures taken by Taiwan to prevent avian flu, medical relief provided by Taiwan to the international community and examples in which Taiwan has provided assistance in various medical- and health-related campaigns. The articles also feature the contribution made by Taiwan's NGOs in international relief and assistance. This will better enable the international community in understanding Taiwan's willingness and ability in making a contribution to international health.
The GIO's overseas offices have already had articles, advertisements, and short films related to this campaign published and aired in their respective countries since the beginning of January. In all, the ads have been either published or aired 560 times, and the GIO hopes that the number will go even higher this year, helping to create even more momentum for Taiwan's application to enter the WHO.

No comments: