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 Ng Xi Wen, a Brand Manager at TBWA \ Singapore.
A longtime member of the Singapore Tourism Board account, Ng Xi Wen enjoys working through the strategy, conceptualization and execution stages of a project. She’s inspired by the creativity of her mom and the tenacity and hardworking spirit of her father.
Name: Ng Xi Wen
Agency: TBWA \ Singapore
Position: Brand Manager
Current Location: Singapore
Education: Nanyang Technological University, Bachelor of Communication Studies, 2017
How did you get your first break in the industry?
I landed an internship at TBWA \ Singapore during my university days under the Standard Chartered Bank account and got to learn more about the industry and find my bearings then.
After I graduated, I applied for the (now-defunct) Upstarts program under the Institute of Advertising Singapore and got a placement in TBWA \ Singapore again, and have been on the Singapore Tourism Board account ever since.
What is your personal mantra?
Try your best and don’t worry, be happy — these are the words that have been echoed to me growing up. Whenever I get overly stressed out, be it personal or work-related, it’s a little reminder to take a step back and put things in perspective, don’t sweat the small stuff.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
I would say my parents, as cheesy as that might sound. My late mum used to be an interior designer back in the day and I’d like to think that I got my ‘creative streak’ from her, as growing up I always loved drawing and painting. My dad’s also an extremely tenacious and hardworking person and it gives me the inspiration and motivation to keep pushing forward even when it gets tough.
What do you love about the job?
The adrenaline whenever we finally launch something we worked tirelessly on and see it come to life. I also love how it’s not a boring environment to be in, you get to be around creative work, meeting different people from clients to production vendors and it’s not your usual 9-6 job.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
The tight timelines. Somehow every campaign is always running on crazy timelines which don’t give us enough time to breathe.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
I’m really proud to be a part of the team behind STB’s “Don’t Travel Blur Travel Sure” campaign, a domestic campaign to educate consumers on the importance of buying travel insurance, ensuring your travel agent is licensed and checking your T&Cs.
Dubbing over popular 90’s Mediacorp drama serials, we turned something rather dull into something really humourous to cut through the clutter of this category.
As within usual campaigns, I saw through the strategy, conceptualization and execution stage, down to the very second we finally launched the campaign. But what made this project particularly meaningful to me was the teamwork behind it — the close working relationship we had internally with the creatives and with the clients as well, because we were all giving it our 100%.
Condor Heroes Go On A Road Trip
Condor Heroes Lose All Their Luggage
When You’re Too Lazy To Read The Fine Print
When A Travel Deal Is Too Good To Be True
Another recent piece of work that I’m proud of would be a brand film for STB — to reimagine the future of business events, where the story was about how a group of robots (safe distancing robots, cleaning robots) came together with event planners to stage an event.
During the production stage, gathering all these robots seemed like an impossible task especially since none of us worked with these kinds of robots before! But through determination, we managed to make it happen.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
If I wasn’t in advertising, I would try pursuing a career in early childhood education — as a preschool or kindergarten teacher. I guess it’s a little similar to what I do now, except I’m managing tiny humans instead of clients and creatives.