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 Siwakorn Seetaraso, Senior Digital CRM Planner at Wunderman Thompson, Bangkok
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, and more.
Name: Siwakorn Seetaraso
Agency: Wunderman Thompson, Bangkok
Position: Senior Digital CRM Planner
Hometown: Saraburi, Thailand
Current Location: Bangkok
Education: Chulalongkorn University, Bachelor of Economics, 2015
How did you get your first break in the industry?
My love of my advertising started in one marketing class I took when I was in senior year. My professor showed the DoveReal Beauty Sketches ad. It was the first time I realized how advertising can make an impact on consumers, not just to drive sales, but also to impact societies. Since then, I’ve set my goal to get into an advertising agency and make an impact like the Dove ad.
At first, it was pretty hard for me to break into the industry with my background in economics and zero experience in advertising or creativity. I started to work in small, new digital advertising agencies to understand more about the industry and tools such as Facebook Ad, Google Adwords, and digital planning platforms (since those platforms were newly introduced to the Thai market six years ago).
Luckily, two years later, J. Walter Thompson announced they were recruiting for a project executive for social media content. With knowledge of my digital marketing. At that moment, I definitely thought it was my time to break into the advertising agency. I tried my best and after four rounds of interviews, I was accepted. It took 2 years for me to explore and seek the right opportunity.
What is your personal mantra?
Two sentences that changed my life:
“No matter how hard it is, your work will protect you.”
It is a quote my previous director gave me before she left the company.
In every workplace, you will face so many problems to challenge you, both physically and mentally. Everyone in the workplace values you because of your work. Beyond personality and manner, as long as your work is good enough, no one can blame you or can hurt you.
“The only person you can be, and you have to be the best, is yourself”
This was said by Maureen Tan, my CEO. It was the time when I started questioning my ability and my work, aka quarter-life crisis. The reason I am here was not complicated. It was ‘me’ who tried so hard to be at this place. I cannot be like others to be better, I just have to be MY BEST VERSION. At that point, I no longer questioned myself anymore and I try my best to be better at what I’m good at. Don’t waste time being other people.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
‘PEOPLE’ in general.
Personally, I don’t have any particular idols or great inspirations, not even famous marketers or economists. My work is to understand consumers’ lives to analyze them for great inspiring insights. Therefore, I put most of my effort to blend into different societies and cultures to be able to understand them to the fullest. They are both my targeted consumers and my teachers at the same time.
What do you love about the job?
For me, the beauty of advertising is not about ads, it is to understand ‘Human’.
- What do they do?
- How do they live?
- What are their struggles?
- Why do they make those decisions?
- How do they feel?
These what/why/how questions take me to their hearts and bring me insights, not only for my work but also as life lessons.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
Finding inspiration for award-winning content. This might sound crazy, but I personally believe that great work must be inspired by a consumer-first perspective. Then we create impactful works for them, not for awards.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
Instinct – Twitter Hunt
This was one of my very first works as a planner. It was talking about “Instinct”, the first NSFW series introduced on LINE TV platform.
When we talk about instinct, the first thing that came to my mind was Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory (Id/Ego/Superego). So we designed the campaign from this theory and articulate it into interesting execution. The reason I am proud of this work is because I can make use of human psychological theories alongside human insights, and turn it into an unfamiliar fresh idea that was delivered through familiar touchpoints.
Tra Mongkut – Shelter Signboard for Farmers
I grew up in the countryside. I am familiar with farming, and since I was young, I’ve wished that one day I can do something for them.
This project was recently launched specifically for Thai rice farmers. Our client, Tra Mongkut fertilizer (Terragro), was determined to help farmers grow together. Besides the support of agronomists and farming knowledge, we offered them a signboard to protect their skin from the sun and their back from planting rice.
It’s little things like these that matter. Without good collaboration and determination from clients, this campaign would not have happened.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
I do have a passion for education, so maybe I would work in an EdTech start-up to find solutions for Thai education.