“I think that… if life separates us and we end up in totally different places, i’ll always remember our pasts aligned for this time period and i’ll be thankful for that… and hope that wherever you are you’ll be thankful too and I think that’s the best we can wish for!”—Josh in “Strangers, again” by Wong Fu Productions
Joji, final question - say I’m a raw, young, promising creative entering the business right now… what advice would you give me?
I can only draw from my own experience, Kim.
Believe in yourself. I was a small town kid trying to break into advertising and there were a lot of people who were pretty pessimistic about my prospects in this business - and God knows, some people still are (laughs). But I stuck it out and 16 years alter I still look forward to coming to work each morning. So I’d say screw the naysayers.
Work with people who’re better than you. Ten years ago I just upped and walked away from an ACD gig and my comfort zone in India to take a copywriter position in Singapore with the hope of working with some of the best art directors in the world. That didn’t work out too shabbily.
Screw talent, just outwork everybody else. You can’t choose how bright you are, but you can choose to stare at a blank piece of paper of word document till that idea sashays in.
When I first came to Singapore I heard stories of how David Droga would insist that his teams fill sixty boxes with ideas for each brief. The thinking being that if you had sixty ideas at least one of them wouldn’t suck so much. I took that to heart and have tried doing that with every brief.
We defended the Stone, we found the Chamber, we freed the Prisoner, we were chosen by the Goblet, we fought alongside the Order, we learnt from the Prince, and we mastered the Hallows. We are the Harry Potter generation.
One of my good friends is spending her summer reading Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts, a well-known almost mandatory book for marketing professionals. I haven’t got a chance to read it yet but boy I’m for sure planning to read it soon. So I guess this is just snippet for me…. and I like what I’ve seen so far!
Always surround yourself with inspirational players.
Zig when others zag.
Get out of the office and into the streets.
Live on the edge.
Nothing is impossible.