NYFA 2017 Executive Jury: Interview with Waifoong Leong

New York, NY | September 26, 2017

NYF: Why did you decide to accept the invite to NYF’s Executive Jury?

Waifoong: It is simply an honor to be invited by an award show with such a long history.

NYF: Are awards shows and winning awards important and why?

Waifoong: Entering an award show is like doing an annual body check-up. It helps to understand whether or not we’ve been doing good work over the past year. Winning an award is just as vital as passing the check-up.

NYF: Are there any emerging trends this year, that you think will be reflected in this year’s work?

Waifoong: I think more brands will be crafting campaigns with a social purpose as a way to connect emotionally with consumers (and the judges, of course).

NYF: How has the way that agencies approach marketing challenges for brands changed in the last few years?

Waifoong: Due to the rapid change of the marketing landscape, agencies are no longer just thinking of ideas to solve business challenges. They also need to go through seas of data to identify the exact challenges of the brands.

NYF: What’s the future of the advertising industry and how does it differ from when you first started in the business?

Waifoong: Despite all the changes in the media landscape and technology, the core values of advertising continue to be about telling a story to sell a brand or product. That didn’t change in the past, and it won’t change in the future.

NYF: Why did you choose advertising as a career path?

Waifoong: It is the only occupation that allows me to play multiple roles all the time, every day.

NYF: What’s the best ad you ever created? Can you share the ad?

Waifoong: I’m going to give you the answer that you would expect---the next one.

NYF: Who gave you your big break and what was the defining moment in your career?

Waifoong: Through the introduction of Johnson Tan, the founder of an award winning post-production house in Singapore, I got a chance to join BBDO and build my career.

NYF: How do you or your agency champion young creative talent? Do you have any advice for someone just starting out in the business?

Waifoong: Live like a sponge and absorb as much knowledge as you can. It will help you to craft some nice stories in the future.

NYF: What’s your all-time favorite ad and why? (Can you share the ad?)

Waifoong: This is the toughest question you’ve asked me. There are just way too many…

NYF: Do you have a mentor who guided you in your career? What’s the most important thing they taught you?

Waifoong: This may sound funny, but all the demanding/bad marketers that I’ve dealt with are in fact my mentors throughout my career. They forced me to think faster, smarter and sharper.