Organized by the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Malaysia, produced by INXO Arts & Culture (L) Foundation, Tea Philo is a series of sharing sessions revolving around the discussion of philosophies and humanities. First presented in April 2017 and active for 5 consecutive years and counting, Tea Philo has invited more than 40 luminaries from Taiwan to share experiences in their respective arts and industries and engage in meaningful exchanges of ideas with the local audiences.
The latest Tea Philo E-Talk featured Mr. Kurt Lu, a director, writer, and the former creative director of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Taipei. The E-Talk titled “What’s Inside You Is Greater Than The World” was broadcast live on Tea Philo’s Facebook Page on the 29th May 2021 and has attracted over 2600 unique views and counting.
Lu played a few advertisements and brand story micro movies he has created for multiple companies and organisations over the years, including Greenvines, WPG Holdings, Google Inc., Toyota, Child Welfare League Foundation, Lexus, Letter (《字母會》, a Taiwanese literary project), Prudential, Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, and Formosa Cancer Foundation. He told the audience detailed behind-the-scenes stories of how these projects were put together, and the philosophy and message he wished to convey through each story.
When asked by a viewer how one could improve his copywriting skills to deliver stronger and more concise messages, Lu emphasized that it is extremely important for creative workers to learn from texts and works outside of their industry. He advised copywriters to look to poetry for inspiring and efficient ways to tell a story, for instance. He explained that the advertising business is a relatively young industry that learning just from within can help you land jobs but is not enough if one is aiming to deliver great and moving stories.
Lu also emphasised that the key to solve sales problems nowadays is not through product-related persuasive communications anymore, but by facing and discussing our society’s problems truthfully. “The stories that have mattered in the past decade either provided insightful ideas or asked important questions about human realities,” said Lu, which was why he always tried to take inspiration from and tell stories about real individuals and events.
“I am an ordinary person, and this is great news,” Kurt Lu claimed. To him, being an “ordinary person” is a gift because it means he could relate to most of his readers’ or viewers’ struggles and desires, questions, and constant search for meaning and answers. Lu believes that if one is privileged to have even slightly more choices than the others around him, one shall take responsibility in life and choose what he really thinks is right for himself and for the world.
“I strongly believe that everyone is capable of changing the world. It is not as intimidating as it sounds. You are a part of the world. So by being a better person with better choices, you are already changing the world, and your work might go on to inspire others too.”