As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia presents “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.
This week we talk to Amni Yusoff, the 28-year-old Senior Copywriter at Lion & Lion in Kuala Lumpur.
Over the course of our conversation, he talks about how he got his first break in the industry, what he enjoys most about the work, as well as what he doesn’t like about it, what inspires him, and more.
Name: Amni Yusoff
Company: Lion & Lion
Position: Senior Copywriter
Current Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Education: Occupational Safety & Health Management, Consist College
How did you get your first break in the industry?
I actually came into this industry by chance. I had just finished my studies in Occupational Safety & Health Management, and was looking for jobs in the oil and gas industry. That’s when I saw a vacancy posting for the role of a Copywriter. I didn’t know what that was, but I loved to write, so it piqued my interest.
I googled the job and thought it was cool, so I applied, with no prior experience or knowledge. The agency was gracious enough to let me have a go, and I fell in love with the work. Now I’m here with Lion & Lion, thanking the stars that I took the road less traveled that day.
What is your personal mantra?
Question like a child, experiment like a scientist.
The world is a complex place. I deal with it by asking questions, even if it’s just to myself, and experimenting to find my answer.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
People and play. Talented and intelligent people push me forward, and I’m thankful to have met so many of them. But when it’s time for coming up with ideas, I’m most inspired when I take my mind off things and just vibe. Sometimes I go down for some fresh air, sometimes I play ping pong, sometimes I talk about movies. These little things inspire me the most.
What do you love about the job?
Playing with creativity. Creativity isn’t bound by rules, so there are an endless number of solutions you can find for a client’s problem. I love the process of discovering these solutions. You never know what form it’s going to come in, but when it does, it’s just the greatest thing.
I also get to meet a lot of interesting characters in this industry, which is a big plus point for me. Sane people are boring.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
One word: Timesheets. Our brains didn’t evolve to remember how much time we spent on tasks. I don’t even remember what I had for lunch sometimes.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
Two of my proudest works happened this year, during the Eid festivities. Eid has always been the biggest festive occasion in Malaysia, but this year it was extra special. Because it marked the first time Malaysians could celebrate it in person after spending 2 years in lockdown.
The first project was an Eid film we did for Guardian. To mark the return of Eid celebrations, this comeback of joy, we worked with the brand to create a musical film brimming with excitement. A sing-along story about four sisters travelling back to their hometown for Eid. Bonus point: I also got the chance to work with my mom and use her Eid song for the film. It was a dream come true!
While working on client projects for Eid, we realised that there was a group of people who were left out of the celebration – migrant workers. Unlike Malaysians, migrant workers were unable to return home for Eid and reconnect with their families.
And so we partnered with fintech company, BigPay, to give migrant workers a chance to be a part of their family’s celebration, by sponsoring duit raya (the cultural act of giving money) for them to send to their loved ones back home.
In just a short span of time, we managed to help migrant workers celebrate Eid with their loved ones, with the BigPay app seeing a 33% increase in remittances within the target corridors of our campaign duration.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
Definitely a filmmaker. Working on commercial scripts has made me realise how much I love the craft. You can express a lot through films ‒ art, music, words – everything works together for one purpose. It’s the craft that binds and rules them all.