Thomas Yang and Benson Toh
DDB Group Singapore has promoted Thomas Yang and Benson Toh as Executive Creative Directors to lead its regional and local accounts, respectively. The duo will jointly take charge of the agency’s 102-strong creative department, replacing Group Chief Creative Officer Chris Chiu who is leaving after four years.
The agency group has also hired Mario Van der Meulen as Head of Customer Experience, Ida Ong as Engagement Director, Ravi Eshwar as Creative Director, and promoted Herry Budiyanto to Head of Technology to bolster its growth transformation as a digital, tech development, and content hub, where tech and digital solutions currently account for more than 50% of the agency’s creative output.
Yang steps up from Deputy ECD to lead DDB’s creative output while Toh assumes responsibility for Tribal in Singapore. Listed as one of the top 10 highest-ranking creative directors at Cannes in 2011, Yang has won numerous D&AD, One Show, Spikes Asia, AdFest, and the Creative Circle awards.
Similarly, Toh has been recognized at AdStars, Cannes, Canberra International Film Festival, D&AD, London International Awards, New York Festival, and Spikes Asia. This year, the former Creative Director led Tribal to win the MARKies’ Overall Creative Ideas award for the third consecutive year. During his time with Tribal, Toh has built the agency’s Total ExperienceTM solutions covering digital, social content, and tech innovation.
“Thomas and Benson are two incredibly talented leaders, respected and loved by clients and peers,” said Neil Johnson, Creative Chairman at DDB.
“They have done a stellar job of leading our incredibly dynamic teams of more than 100 creatives. We need talent, bandwidth, and depth in our teams and leaders to continue delivering agile, integrated, and breakthrough creative work.”
Despite a challenging year, the agency group has produced eight of the top 10 most-watched videos on YouTube for the first half of 2020 and won several new accounts, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Unilever, and Singapore Institute of Management. The agency also topped the 2020 MARKies’ for Overall Creative Ideas, establishing its reputation as a top performer in the market.
“This has been a tough year, but it has brought out the best in us,” said Toh. “2020 has taught us to be more agile, digital, and sophisticated in our range of creative work. Thomas and I enjoy a natural partnership and we look forward to taking our working relationship to the next level.”
Over the past two years, Tribal’s TX has transformed the agency’s offering to be over 50% technology-led. As a result, a string of recent hires is set to further strengthen the successful business consulting arm.
Previously the Principal Consultant for Technology, Budiyanto will continue to lead a team of 30 technologists in his new role as Head of Technology for TX. He is tasked to develop agile solutions for commercial and public sector clients and cement partnerships with enterprise brands such as Adobe, Sitecore, Microsoft, Alibaba Group, and GovTech.
Van der Meulen joins as Head of Customer Experience for TX. Previously with Frog Design Shanghai and Foolproof Singapore, he has over 25 years’ experience working on brands like DBS, Visa, Amgen, and various Singapore government agencies. In 2012, Van der Meulen was named one of fifty design innovators in China by CBS Weekly.
Ida Ong joins as Engagement Director in the TX business consulting team. With previous stints at Publicis Sapient and VMLY&R under her belt, she has eight years’ experience delivering business and technology solutions for Ford, Castrol, and Telkomsel on their digital marketing and transformation initiatives.
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