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    One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Yashanti Yap Siew Mei

    Highlighting young talent in the ad world - one person at a time.

    By The Staff - Feb 1, 2021
    One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Yashanti Yap Siew Mei

    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 Yashanti Yap Siew Mei, a Copywriter at TBWA Singapore.

    When discussing her favorite campaigns, she mentions TBWA’s Christmas Sweater, saying “This campaign taught me that there’s more value in learning as you go than in waiting for perfection to happen before taking action.”


    The Basics 

    Name: Yashanti Yap Siew Mei
    Age: 26
    Agency: TBWA Singapore
    Position: Copywriter
    Hometown: Singapore
    Current Location: Singapore
    Education: Singapore Management University, Bachelor of Sociology, 2017

    Seven Questions

    How did you get your first break in the industry?

    I wish I had a cooler story, but truth is, my break came largely through luck – 4 degrees of it to be exact. I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who offered me my first advertising internship.

    From there, I landed my first proper job at BBH with a stop motion video of myself getting disemboweled, all to prove I had a good gut instinct for advertising.

    What is your personal mantra?

    “Everything you can imagine is real”. Stole it from Picasso. It’s a good North Star for me when I get too mired in the daily grind of presenting work and having 9 out of 10 of my favorite ideas rejected.

    This phrase always helps me remember that if I can think of something and stay open to different ways to bring it to life, then that thought will eventually turn into a thing that could really mean something to someone, somewhere.

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

    Whenever I’m stuck and I feel the dread of an impending deadline, someone always reminds me to ‘have fun with it’.

    Doing anything fun usually eases the constipation of the creative block and lets inspiration flow. No pun intended.

    What do you love about the job?

    This is one of the rare jobs where there’s a direct correlation between fun and success. The more fun you have, the better the ideas you come up with. So I love that a good creative department is kind of like being in a kindergarten class where the teacher has stepped out. There’s a playful anarchy about it that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

    What about your job are you not so crazy about?

    It’s easy to get wrapped up in the advertising universe and start taking ourselves a little too seriously. It does me good to take a step back and remember that there’s a whole world out there. Maybe that’s why everyone’s work tends to be better after a nice long holiday.

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

    THE TBWA\ SINGAPORE CHRISTMAS SWEATER

    This campaign taught me that there’s more value in learning as you go than in waiting for perfection to happen before taking action. It was a really run and gun type of project, but I also learned that as long as you have a team that works together with a strong creative vision, there’s very little you can’t do.

    IKEA HUMAN CATALOGUE

    When I first joined advertising, senior creatives kept telling me about this push to do advertising that isn’t ‘advertising’. Being on the creative team for this campaign really helped me understand what they meant by that and has always been a good benchmark for the kind of work I’d like to do in the future.

     

    My INTERNSHIP APPLICATION VIDEO

    This last one isn’t client or brand related, but it’s the first piece of content I ever wrote and made myself to land my first job. I spent a month making it, and still thought it was kind of lousy. But in hindsight, it has a lot of sentimental value to me and says quite a lot about who I am, in more ways than one.

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

    Movies probably. Or anything that asks for stories to be told.

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