One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Jazz Tonna

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” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.

This week we highlight Dutch expat Jazz Tonna, partner creative & concept at Happiness Saigon.

When discussing his favorite aspects of the job, Jazz touched on the ways in which the industry is ingrained in society’s current events. “Advertising is one of the few jobs that not only lets you be part of pop-culture, but also influence it.”


The Basics

Name: Jazz Tonna
Age: 27
Agency: Happiness Saigon
Position: Partner, Creative & Concept
Hometown: Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
Current Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Education: Willem the Kooning Academy, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2018

The Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

Me and my former partner entered a young creatives competition where we submitted something that had very little to do with the brief. We obviously didn’t win, but we got noticed and were offered our first job in advertising.

What is your personal mantra?

Think less. Do more. – It’s not so much a personal mantra, but more of a reminder to myself. As creatives, we tend to (over)think ideas a lot. I’m probably the best example of that. Sometimes just doing it is the best way to create better work.


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

I love autonomous art. It’s a place where creativity has almost complete freedom. No restrictions or alternative interest that dictates the work. It’s the brief that most creatives dream of, but in reality it is also one of the hardest. You are your own client, sort of.

What do you love about the job?

Advertising is one of the few jobs that not only lets you be part of pop-culture, but also influence it. How great is it that our job lets us touch entertainment one day and earth’s most pressing issues the next?

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

For a job that revolves so much about being up to date with the latest trends in the world, we are spending an awful amount of hours inside an office. How can we know what’s going on in the world if we’re stuck in an office for the largest part of the day? Thankfully, office culture is changing bit by bit.

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

The High School is a passion project where my job and my beliefs came together. Using creativity to make a difference in the world is something beautiful.

To make people aware of the unknown dangers of PM2.5 (particulate matter) on children, we build a school on top of the highest building in Southeast Asia to protect them from it. Because the higher you go, the lower the pollution. People can symbolically enroll their children in The High School. The actual schools of these children are offered the installation of an air quality meter.

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

It would probably be something that would still involve some kind of problem-solving. I’m addicted to the eureka moment.