AME's Grand Jury represents some of the world’s most creative and strategic minds in advertising and marketing communications, these thought-leaders are recognized as award-winners who deliver distinctive and effective results for global brands.Their high standard of excellence ensures that AME’s 27-year legacy is upheld and respected globally both by winners and industry reports measuring creative distinction.
2021 AME Grand Jury member, Tze Kiat Tan, CEO, BBDO, Greater China brings years of leadership and brand building experience to the jury panel. Since 2015 she has lead a team of 400+ employees, had 40+ brands under her watch and 13 direct reports in 8 agency branches across 5 offices in Greater China. Tze is also a member of BBDO’s Global Board of Directors and is the first Asian in the firm’s entire history to have ever achieved this feat. Additonal honors include: 2015 Women to Watch by Campaign Asia, named 2019 Greater China Agency Head of the Year and 2020 APAC CEO of the year – Women Leading Change.
In the interview below Tze shares her perspective on stand out work, how key events have changed the way consumers reflect on their values, innovations that are changing the industry, and more.
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative effective advertising?
Tze Kiat Tan: Every strong campaign that addresses marketing objectives has become the norm in the age of digital accountability. The most stand out work will be those that connect marketing objectives with cultural objectives. They recognize that brands need to evolve as positive forces in society and must carry out this role in an authentic way. A purpose cannot be faked in an era when everyone with a smart phone is a walking editorial.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Tze Kiat Tan: Because clients are proud of awards that signal their work was not only creative, they also worked as promised.
AME Awards: How has the brand’s voice changed since the pandemic confinement measures? Speak to the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID.
Tze Kiat Tan: Aside from COVID, other key events such as Black Lives Matter and the unprecedented US elections have also made people around the world reflect a bit on their values. The importance for brands of embracing a purpose that is genuinely reflective of their own values can no longer be denied. Consumers are also now more conscious about “Purpose-washing;” they will not just be skeptical, but also critical of them on social media.
AME Awards: What innovations are changing the way agencies create on behalf of brands or launch new products? Does big data and AI play an even bigger role today?
Tze Kiat Tan: We are starting to witness the Sino-fication of eCommerce in Asia. With Alibaba’s ownership stakes in Lazada (Southeast Asia), Daraz Mall (South Asia), and Tokopedia (Indonesia), digital marketing tactics once popularized in China such as Double-11 are finding their way across the region. Asian marketers and their agencies have two choices – to let this trend overtake their wills like a tidal wave and become driven by short-term sales lifts, or to strike a balance between this and long-term brand building.