Interview with Yang Yeo

24 July 2014

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JWT China Chairman & North Asia ECD

Known for his infectious laughter and healthy appetite, Yang is also famed for shaping the creativity in Asia. Under his leadership, JWT won ‘Agency of the Year’, he was named ‘Creative of the Year’, and the President of Singapore crowned him the ‘Designer of the Year’.

The advertising campaigns Yang led topped the Global Gunn Report numerously, won China it’s first-ever Cannes Grand Prix, and claimed the all-time most awarded print campaign in the world. His creative reputation, solid leadership and consistent track record earned him a place on the Cannes Chimera Committee, where he was mentor to the ‘Grand Challenges Exploration’ in Seattle, organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Beside his achievements in advertising creativity, Yang is also known for his structural and spatial design projects, which he and his teams has won the Grand Prize at the Design for Asia Awards, The International Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award, World Architectural Festival, Architectural Review House Award, and the President’s Design Award.


What is most attractive about the advertising industry?

Engaging with imaginative and unconventional people.

Which country is leading the advertising industry nowadays? And which country will lead the industry in the future?

No specific country is leading, great work is coming out from all corners of the world. And that is the future.

You have worked in different agencies in different countries. Are there any differences between the people and atmosphere..?any agencies now hire foreigners from different parts of the world, resulting in a multi-cultural and international atmosphere, thus the differences are minimum nowadays.

If you have an opportunity to work in an absolutely different sphere what would it be?

Architectural design. I love building stuff.

Which person in advertising inspires you? Why?

Dan Weiden, John Hegarty, and David Droga. They run agencies that are consistently great.

What is an ideal ad agency?

A happy and healthy environment so to produce smart creative work.

Will digital ads completely displace print ads?

No. People will still be attracted to interesting ideas, digital or print is just the medium.

Name five things you cannot live without.

Food, sleep, spectacle, friends, and the ability to imagine.

The Slogan of Red Apple festival is “Exchange ideas, change the world!” What are changes for you? Do people need them and why?

Exchanging ideas is good so to stimulate new thoughts, but not sure if we need to change the world. Advertising people can certainly use our imagination to improve our environment, but changing the world might just end up in a disaster.

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