Hakuhodo Singapore Creative Director James Keng Lim on the Importance of Developing Young Talent

The Hakuhodo Group’s vision of Inventing the Future through what’s referred to in Japanese as sei-katsu-sha – or people – manifests itself in their commitment to nurturing the talents of tomorrow.

In line with this vision, James Keng Lim, Creative Director of Hakuhodo Singapore, has taken on the mantle of judging at Ad Stars in Busan, Korea this year, where he will judge work in the Direct, Media, Promotion and PR category, as well as guide young creatives in the Young Stars category.

“Ad Stars celebrates students’ creativity from all over the world” Keng Lim comments, while adding, “every time a chance to mentor budding creative arises, I never hesitate to get onboard.” Keng Lim was also recently Chairman and Head of Jury for Advertising in the Crowbar Awards, on top of being part of the team driving Hakuhodo Singapore’s agenda to polish the potential of young talents, training them not in silos but as hybrids, who are adept in multiple roles when the situation calls for it.


James Keng maintains that their individual specialty and discipline has extended to clients, who increasingly value their efforts. “Our work now has a greater purpose and truly embraces a more holistic approach with sei-katsu-sha as our North Star,” he affirms.

Keng Lim has regularly been recognized by award show giants like D&AD, Cannes and One Show, as well as marketing and effectiveness award shows such as Effies, MARKies and Appies.

He has also judged in New York Advertising Festival, Creative Circle Awards, and Google Creative Awards, and is the current Chairman for Crowbar 2017 and sits on the Management Development Institute of Singapore, School of Media and Communications Industrial Advisory Board.


“I’ve got a feeling this year’s Ad Stars is going to be really exciting,” he muses. “I’m eager to do my part to contribute to the ‘Creative Economy’ where I can impart my knowledge, and at the same time, learn something new. As an award show that respects and celebrates cultural diversity, I’m looking forward to witness the multiplicity of work and people at the festival, and how as an industry we can leverage on creative solutions to bridge that gap and bring about positive change.”

Learn more at www.adstars.org