As a College Admissions Consultant in Beijing, I have seen a number of different approaches from students over the years in terms of how they choose to interact with the admissions committee. Some are reserved and formal, which is "safe," but this may not push you over the edge if it's a close call. Some students take a risk and "swing for the rafters," an approach I appreciate (and used myself back in the day.) It's just more fun!
But it can backfire. There is a difference between a good risk (discussing a highly personal struggle, for example) and a bad risk. (Nobody wants to read your acrostic!)
Well, this Chinese applicant (video below) took the "just go for it" approach in her video application essay and the results are... Um... My first inclination was that this was what the internet generation likes to call a "major fail." But after showing it around a bit and hearing differing opinions, I'm beginning to reassess. Maybe it's genius?
Would you let her in? How about rooming with her?