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I used to be a girl, virgin, girlfriend…an interview to Yoo Shin Lee, Creative Director from Cheil Worldwide, Korea

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Jul
9,
2009
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I used to be a girl, virgin, girlfriend. I'm now a daughter, wife, and mom. But with all this in me, I also know that there is much more needed (insights) to create a great campaign.

Yoo Shin Lee, Creative Director from Cheil Worldwide (Korea) and Cannes Lions 2009 jury member in CYBER category


Cannes Lions is maybe the most important advertising festival and it receives the best ad pieces, doesn't it frighten you?

It's true that I'm a little nervous but I am not really frightened because I, myself have won a Lion recently.

What is, in your opinion, the role that women play in nowadays advertisements?

In my opinion, these days there is no need to divide gender. The stereotype no longer exists. There are so many women full of passion for advertising and they are considered very important and integral in the industry.

There are some surveys that show that the majority of women do not really feel identified with brands. Why does it happen? Do you thing that this could possibly change if there were more women engaged in making campaigns for women?

Well…I am not so sure we should place so much importance on these surveys? I strongly believe in a women's power of imagination so I couldn't really agree with the result, but as mentioned, it's easier for women to create campaigns for women.

Do you think that there are enough target insights done when it comes to women-oriented products?

A definite 'yes'.  I used to be a girl, virgin, girlfriend. I'm now a daughter, wife, and mom. But with all this in me, I also know that there is much more needed (insights) to create a great campaign.

The incorporation of women into creative teams is a slow process. What is our influence on the creative performance [if there is any]? Do we contribute something characteristic that men don't?

Well… in Korea, that statement is not true. Women are often recognized as very efficient when in the creative process.  In the Korean advertising industry we are regarded strong in communicating ideas, and presenting it to client.

In advertising agencies, do women perform freely? Aren't they influenced too much by men surrounding them?

Of course. Most Korean women in advertising agencies have to be tough. We are influenced by men, as much as we want to be or not.

Did you ever need to fight with your colleagues over what could possibly work (or not) with female target?

Yes, sometimes they may tend to be stubborn, but we don't really have the need to fight. When they appointed me as a creative director, they believed and trusted my instincts and ideas.  I speak from a creative person, rather than just creative female.

It is said that advertising is too tough for women who want to have a healthy family life. Is this sacrifice needed to get a good job as creative?

Unfortunately, as much as I don't want to answer this as a "yes", my answer is "yes".

Just to know, how many women are there in your team?

There are three.

In the interview with Ruth Lee she told us an anecdote about one product for women, whose campaign have been created my men, and that it didn't really work with its female target. Notwithstanding, it got to be awarded in Cannes, voted basically by men who found the creative idea very attractive and easy to understand. What if campaigns made for women would be judged by female jury…?

I can't really answer this question in full as I am not familiar with this and I haven't seen it. However, I can say that I don't like to judge a creative work by the gender of the creator. Good creative can be produced both by men and women.

Due to your experience, is there something like a female factor in creativity?

Insight, Intuition, and Sensitivity.

To sum up, a brief test:

Your best campaign: A corporate ad for Samsung
A nowadays campaign that you like the most: Campaign for Samsung Electronics-"Part of Your Family"
A friend from work: Director Jongyol Paek
One creative female professional: Hyeawon Oh
An advice for young creatives: Be a storyteller with full of emotion.
A farewell: It's not about being a girl or not. It's all about being an interesting person.

Thank you very much for your time and dedication.

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