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 Se-Reem Oh, Account Executive at BBDO Korea in Seoul. A Visual Arts major, Oh got her start in the industry with an internship at BBDO.
Over the course of our conversation, she talks about how she got her first break in the industry, what she loves about the work, what she doesn’t like about it, and more.
Name: Se-Reem Oh
Agency: BBDO Korea
Position: Account Executive
Current Location: Seoul, South Korea
Education: Dongduk Women’s University, Visual Art major
How did you get your first break in the industry?
My first job after studying Visual Arts at university was an internship at BBDO, where I got a taste of the advertising industry as well as project and campaign planning.
I immediately fell in love with it, and that’s when I decided to pursue a career in advertising as an Account Executive.
What is your personal mantra?
My personal mantra is “Little strokes fell great oaks”. Meaning even though something may seem impossible, if you break it up into small parts and take one step at a time, you will succeed.
There are lots of unexpected situations in my day-to-day work, but I never give up in my efforts to help clients overcome their challenges. I enjoy finding solutions to problems that will help my clients succeed. I just find it extremely rewarding.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
A lot of the time, for me, inspiration comes from everyday conversations I have with people at work. I also enjoy going to galleries, and the pieces of art I see there definitely inspire me.
I love how artwork has the ability to tell stories in unique and different ways, reflecting the world with various approaches. Advertising takes many forms so I think as creators our job is to always keep an eye out for different types of content.
What do you love about the job?
As an Account Executive, I really like my job because I’m constantly exposed to new projects and industries, which keeps me on my toes and teaches me new things every day. It’s a challenge, but I like that I have the ability to constantly grow.
Also, identifying needs that even the client wasn’t aware of and offering great solutions is amazing.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
Getting everyone to agree on so many different points and ideas isn’t easy, but eventually, we do, but it can take a while.
And although it can take time and be hard to come to an agreement, I feel proud when I do.
As an Account Executive, communication and negotiation skills are critical. If I can understand and communicate my client’s and team’s interests effectively, we get better results.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud of the “MPRO4 Skin Improvement Project,” a campaign we did for HY (formerly Korea Yakult). The probiotics industry typically promotes intestinal health as the main benefit, but in this campaign, our team was able to successfully launch the product by making it about improving the overall health of the skin.
Ads were placed in less traditional places like beauty apps and bus window stickers to reach a wide audience of skincare lovers.
As I managed the entire campaign from winning to executing, it specifically forced me to communicate more effectively, and I still use what I learned in this campaign today.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
I’m not sure. It would still have to be a job with the ability to influence people through creativity, so perhaps a designer or an artist. But I’m really happy where I’m at right now at BBDO.
I love being an Account Executive because I get to work with so many talented, cool people from different departments and I enjoy the challenges I face on the job. I continue to grow because of them.