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Interview to Selina Ang

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Mar
24,
2009
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Selina is Executive Director of OgilvyOne in Malaysia and leads a team in Kuala Lumpur which ranks as the #6 direct agency in the world (The Big Won 07). The team has won awards in both direct and digital campaigns.

Selina has been in the industry for ages, and still loves the life. She gained equal experience in direct and advertising in the Singapore offices of Ogilvy Direct, Batey Ads, McCann-Erickson and Lowe; and now also enjoys the integrated play of creative and technology in the digital space.

Selina is a Council Member of Direct Marketing Association of Malaysia. She was a judge at ADFEST 2008 and AWARD 2008. In September 2008, she took on the additional role of Executive Director, overseeing the 70-strong unit of OgilvyOne Malaysia.

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AdWomen: First of all, we would like to congratulate you for being selected a jury member of as significant festival as Adfest. How one feels when gets a new like this?

Selina Ang: I'm happy to serve as a jury member and to give back to the industry. It's always fun to see what's been done, and what other jury members think and feel.

AdWomen: ¿Do you think that Adfest, since its first edition, has influenced the advertising industry in the region?

Selina Ang: Yes, AdFest celebrates the creativity of the industry. It also celebrates "Asia", which stretches from New Zealand to South East Asia, Japan, China and India. It's a forward-looking Festival, as it brings together the next generation of stars. I think everyone who takes part in the Festival goes home feeling energised and inspired.

AdWomen: Just some years ago there were almost no women in the juries of international advertising festivals. Do you think that since their incorporation the type or style of awarded campaigns have changed?

Selina Ang: I think these jury members are creative professionals first; they judge the work based on how brilliant the idea is.

AdWomen: You work as a Executive Director for Ogilvy One. Without any doubt you needed to work hard to get where you are. What was the clue moment in your career until the moment? And who is the person that has taught you/helped you the most in the word of advertising?

Selina Ang: There is no single moment or single person - and not only in our industry. I am inspired by people who forget themselves - whether engineers or musicians – they are absorbed in the work, fascinated by the task at hand.

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Of course there are advertising giants you can learn from. But equally, it could be the studio artist who tries to work out the impossible, crazy 3D idea you want – and never gives up.

AdWomen: A woman in the territory dominated by men. How did you survive and what's the experience you're living now?

Selina Ang: I have been very lucky that growing up as a Singaporean woman, I have not needed to fight for equal rights for women. Now working in Malaysia, it's the same. This is a tough business for anybody. So I guess I survived by having a thick skin!

Do what you believe is right, what feels true and honest. I don't believe that women should be "more like men", we may have different styles, but at the end of it, we all want to do great creative work.

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AdWomen: Presently, the number of women working in the creative departments is increasing, little by little. Does it change somehow the way how agencies and creative teams work? And what about the influence on realization of ads and campaigns?

Selina Ang: (I can't answer this, because I don't find this question relevant. Sorry.) (No

AdWomen: The data show that the majority of women do not feel identified with advertisements. What are the creative keys that make it possible to connect with women successfully? And the most efficient techniques and advertising strategies that work with women the best?

Selina Ang: It has to start with the insights. Really understand the consumer. The worst thing to do is to assume.

AdWomen: Could it be that the scarce presence of women in creative teams is a consequence of the lack of female role models in this field? What can be done in order to change this status quo?

Selina Ang: I think the key question is, do the women have a choice? They should not feel the pressure to join – or to quit. Being in the creative line is not easy - for both men and women.

AdWomen: To end up a brief questionnaire:

Your best campaign:

The one I haven't created yet

The recent campaign that you like the most:

Barack Obama's wholly-integrated campaign.

A friend from work:

I have many friends!

One creative woman:

Lee Siew-Tin

Your tip for young creative women:

Never say "never".

A farewell:

I hope one day it won't be necessary to talk about women in advertising, because it will become a non-issue.

Find out more interviews, here.

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