One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Darren Chia

Highlighting young talent in the ad world – one person at a time.

As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight”, a feature focusing on up-and-coming individuals in the ad world.

Next up is Darren Chia, senior copywriter at Geometry Malaysia. Prior to his current gig, he had stints with Wunderman Thompson, Saatchi & Saatchi Arachnid, and Havas Immerse.

Before all that, he was a suit – in a job that, as he frankly phrases it: “I sucked.” Fortunately for him and his colleagues, he found his calling on the creative side of the aisle.


The Basics

Name: Darren Chia
Age: 28
Agency: Geometry Malaysia
Position: Senior Copywriter
Hometown: Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Current Location: Kuala Lumpur
Education: Monash University, Bachelor of Communications

Seven Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

Not a lot of people know this, but I started as a suit. Frankly, I sucked. But I found myself gravitating towards the work. I pitched ideas to the CD and even filled in to write copy. Eventually, I compiled spec ads and sent them to every agency in KL. Only one responded. The rest is history.

What is your personal mantra?

At the risk of sounding pretentious, I’ve been reading up on Stoicism. It’s a philosophy of life that asserts values such as happiness should be based on behavior, not words. So, maybe something from a renowned stoic: “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

From what person, place, or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?

The internet is my biggest source of inspiration. Memes, gifs, YouTube, award archives, tech sites, Reddit. The list goes on. It’s a treasure trove of ideas. The best part is that they’re free and readily accessible. The challenge is leveraging them to solve business problems for clients.


What do you love about the job?

Other than the fact that we’re essentially paid to brainstorm all day? I like that I can wear different hats. No two days are the same. And you learn something new every day. Besides, the potential that my work changes how people behave, how they react to brands and products. That makes for a challenging yet highly fulfilling job.

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

Time, or rather the lack of it. I wish we had more time to crack the perfect idea or craft the perfect headline. But the reality of our industry is that it’s always a constant race against the clock.

What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?

CIMB Sound of a Nation. Because it was unprecedented for a financial institution to attempt something of this magnitude.

If you had to choose another career what would it be?

Probably a game developer or a scriptwriter for a late-night host/comedy show.

Want to submit your suggestion for One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight? Feel free to drop us a line: [email protected]

Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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