Posted by Abe Sauer on March 29, 2010 04:51 PM
Here's a branding challenge: Imagine and develop a brand tagline and logo to celebrate a nation's history and future and communicate that nation's qualities; except, this logo and tagline cannot actually suggest that you are a nation. That's the seemingly impossible challenge faced by the ROC (Taiwan) Centenary Foundation for the 100th anniversary celebration in 2012.
Next year the Republic of China, better known as Taiwan, will celebrate its 100th anniversary. However, already the original proposed tagline for the event has dropped the term "Nation Building," citing it as "too sensitive." "Nation building" has been replaced with the less offensive (i.e., less meaningful) term "splendid."
Part of the problem in communicating the 100th anniversary is a fundamental uncertainty about exactly what the event is a 100th anniversary of. While Taiwan generally operates as an independent nation, and considers itself so, the People's Republic of China next door contends that the island state's government is illegitimate. As a technical issue, modern Taiwan has never officially declared its independence from China as the latter has suggested it would invade to prevent such a move.
Emblematic of just how contentious the relationship remains are the comments from the Council for Cultural Affairs minister regarding the possibility of Taiwan cooperating with China to make a film commemorating a revolutionary that the two sates share, Sun Yat-sen. He said, "We are planning the film to celebrate our own nation's birthday and we do not need any extra, complex factors to be involved."
In the long run-up to the event, expect more "complex factors" as the foundation responsible for branding the anniversary tiptoes around making the celebration communicate too much "sensitive" information. A delicate branding project, indeed.