Campaign Spotlight

Taiwan’s First Embroidered Escalator Reminds Grown-ups to “Be Impulsive”

TAIPEI – Riding up and down an escalator is one of the most common things working professionals do in their day-to-day lives. Recently, in the City Hall Station of the Taipei metro system, commuters may have noticed something different on the escalator. Unlike normal printed ads highlighting products, this escalator ad offers some thought-provoking words for commuters to read – or touch with their bare hands: “When something is heavy on your heart, take the day off.” (心裡有事,請個事假) A 12-meter long escalator ad with embroidered text is now sitting in one of the busiest metro stations in Taiwan’s capital.

Behind this unprecedented campaign are 18 cheeky but thought-provoking reasons for grown-ups to rethink what being grown up is really about. Tailor-made for Hotel Royal Chiaohsi, a leading local hotel resort looking to connect with younger guests 30-40 years of age, Ogilvy Taiwan collaborated with Taiwanese illustrator “Paper Travel” (Teng Yu) and David Ji-Son Ho, the inventor of embroidery software, replacing computer fonts and ink with threads, and transforming the traditional art of embroidery into a new form of out-of-home (OOH) advertising. 450 hours and 5 million stiches later, the team made history, with Taiwan’s first-ever embroidered ad, now within reach in one of the island’s busiest metro stations, with a daily ridership of 10,000 passengers.


Public perception of how a grown-up should behave often involves such keywords as “self-disciplined” or “responsible.” But Ogilvy decided to rethink this idea, as the true beauty of being a grown-up lies in having the right to act impulsively, and a little self-indulgence really won’t hurt.

The charm of the “Be Impulsive” campaign lies not only in the witty copy, but also in the clever placement of this embroidery, sewn with truths that only grown-ups can relate to: in an extremely busy metro station, and right at the fingertips of so many office workers. To practice this calling, Ogilvy chose a road not taken: this first-ever embroidered escalator ad is grand yet delicate, made of flame-resistance cloth – a new material for the craft of embroidery.

The project involved more than 200 hours of dedicated work by the illustrator, more than 30 years of experience and experimental boldness from the embroidery master, and complex back-and-forth communications with metro authorities and construction crew. Knowing that following your own will requires a certain level of courage, Hotel Royal Chiaohsi has put their principle into action, with this inventive combination of traditional art and cutting-edge advertising, demanding a production time triple that of a conventional metro ad.

As successful as the embroidered outdoor ad, the 18 witty reasons to “Be Impulsive” also took form as a kinetic work of digital embroidery, with images and texts scanned and adapted from the actual embroidery piece. Ever since the official launch on October 3rd, the digital embroidery campaign site has created an online fervor. Within a week, thousands of netizens have “sewn” their very own witty lines online, with a simple yet ingeniously programmed interactive mechanism – customers can participate in this ride simply by swiping their fingers horizontally, mimicking the actions of stiches. The participant’s words then appear on screen, joining the ever-growing online collection of prose urging everyone to following their spirit.  With over 10,000 “reasons to be impulsive” shared on Facebook, the lines have struck a chord with Taiwanese, giving the campaign an impression of intelligence and playfulness.

Moreover, the embroidery ride has extended to Hotel Royal Chiaohsi. An embroidery room is now available for a limited time only, including embroidered hotel amenities that let hotel guests be “touched” by these motivating words. Hotel Royal Chiaohsi has extended the concept with other services, such as a free shuttle, delectable late-night snacks and cocktails, and late check-out service, to help their guests put into practice the ideal of indulging themselves a little.

It is essential to stand in customers’ own shoes, so they can identify with brands that share their values. Witty phrases such as, “When something is heavy on your heart, take the day off” (心裡有事,請個事假), and “Effort in vain is a pain, soaking in a hot spring is the gain!” (心血泡湯沒關係,身體泡湯補回來),” express the aspirations of adults today. Ogilvy Taiwan assisted Royal Hotel Chiaohsi in transforming the relaxing ambiance familiar to its guests into 18 gems of advice only grown-ups can relate to, so that adults busy with work and daily pressures can see, experience and explore the beauty of being impulsive in life.

Visit the completely embroidered “Be Impulsive” campaign site:

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