One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Gavin Lee, Digitas China

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 Gavin Lee, Senior Art Director at Digitas China.

A native of Singapore, Lee got his first break in the business with Saatchi & Saatchi in 2014 after they answered one of his cold-call emails. He eventually went on to work with Blak Labs, Dentsu and again with Saatchi & Saatchi, this time in China, before settling in with Digitas in Shanghai in August of last year.


The Basics

Name: Gavin Lee
Age: 29
Agency: Digitas China
Position: Senior Art Director
Hometown: Singapore
Current Location: Shanghai, China
Education: Loughborough University, 2014, Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Communications

Seven Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

I started out very young and naïve, but this in some way gave me the courage to simply send out cold-call emails with my graphic design book attached to most of the agencies in Singapore. Eventually, I managed to squeeze into Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore on a freelance basis.

What is your personal mantra?

Technically I just live life, one day at a time.

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

I take a lot of inspiration from the more experienced creatives at Digitas. Our work environment is really energizing and I’m constantly learning from those around me. Recently, I was given the opportunity by my agency to participate at Adfest, in Pattaya Thailand. It was another example of how Digitas continues to support me and I definitely feel excited and ready to put to use the creative inspiration I gained from being surrounded by the region’s most thoughtful innovators and creative minds.


What do you love about the job?

This job has taught me how to be thick-skinned and fearless. To not worry if I’m asking a stupid question or smart question, and most of all to learn from each situation and enjoy the process.

I also love that I’m at an agency that is pushing the boundaries of the creative advertising space. I get to be part of teams and projects that are unique and challenging the status quo of marketing in China.

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

Not being able to see the daylight when I leave the office, as most days I’m getting off work pretty late. And also this job requires you to simultaneously juggle a hundred and one things at once while keeping your calm, which can be exhausting but is also a challenge I’m happy to take on. It allows me to prioritize what is important.

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

This was my second TVC shot in China. It was really great to see the client willing to take a different execution approach from the typical television commercial shot.

This was a fun project and the idea seamlessly translated into a simple China insight.  The idea we found was that family’s with a Bear Kid (熊孩子) are worried that when their children play and run around all day they are consequently exposed to lots of germs.  This project was an effort to ease moms in China fear of their children getting dirty in the dirt

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

Probably a competitive food eater. My guilty pleasure is watching competitive food eating YouTubers gobbling lots of food down their throat. After many views, I think this is something I would definitely be good at too.

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Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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