One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Joseph Leong

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 regular feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world.

This week we feature Joseph Leong, Senior Designer at Lion & Lion Malaysia, who tells us that, “In this day and age, it’s easy to come up with a gimmick that looks and sounds spectacular,” but what he enjoys most about working in the industry “is coming up with work that’s effective.’

The Basics

Name: Joseph Leong
Age: 25
Agency: Lion & Lion Malaysia
Position: Senior Designer
Birthplace: Kajang, Selangor
Current Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Education: UTAR, Bachelor of Arts Graphic Design & Multimedia


Six Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

Three years ago, I got my big creative break in the industry when I was offered an internship at J. Walter Thompson. On one of my first assignments, I was tasked to write a short story as well as develop key visuals. Fortunately, the team managed to sell the idea to the client, and the campaign was even featured in a leading publication.

What is your personal mantra?

“If there’s no one but me in the team to reach whatever objective, I’ll do everything in my power to reach it.”

Not everyone is born with innate creative talent. But it’s our efforts and determination that will ultimately guide us to the desired results.

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

I’ve discovered that cooking is a great outlet to harness inspiration. From mixing and matching different spices to controlling the heat and down to the presentation itself.


It pushes you to be daring, and more importantly, it reminds me not to be afraid to make mistakes. The same methodology applies to the creation of ideas. Want it sweet, salty or bitter? Well, the world’s your oyster.

What do you love about the job?

In this day and age, it’s easy to come up with a gimmick that looks and sounds spectacular. But I guess what I love the most is coming up with work that’s effective. Work that is actually capable of shifting behavior or habits of the people. That’s the type of work that keeps me up at night.

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

Time, it’s always the time. Or the lack of it. There’s an influx of work, pitches, and meetings, but not enough time to sit down and craft the work. I am aware that we work in a fast-paced environment but let’s not forget that every human has 1 functioning brain and a pair of hands.

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

The work that I am most proud of is something I worked on three years ago, Safi Toothpaste “Segar & Beradab”. The campaign anchors in on the product benefits of being clean and pure, and parallels that as a social and moral reminder to consumers to refrain from using swear words to dirty their palate.

If you had to choose another career what would it be?
In a parallel universe, I would probably be an ice cream maker. I’d have a nice brick and mortar shop tucked away at a quiet corner of the street. And I’d make it a habit to give free ice cream to every kid in the neighborhood.

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

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Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.


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