The One Academy recently played host to a Master Forum by Hex Ng He Xiang – Creative Group Head at TBWA\Kuala Lumpur, titled ‘Stumbling onto Advertising: How Jobs Choose You’. Since graduating from Advertising & Graphic Design in 2006, she has worked at Bates, Lowe, Leo Burnett and now at TBWA\. As a graphic designer turned copywriter, her talk centered on her discovery of something she really loved, and how it developed from there.
She said that one can plan anything and everything that they want to do, as planning is important in order to progress somewhere. But at the same time, luck and timing also add to the equation. So, one just has to be open-minded about their destination in the future. Always plan with an open mind, because nothing is set in stone. Keeping an open mind lets you discover the many different areas that you could go into.
“If you go through a difficult phase, it’s not always the worst thing that could happen to you. It could be an opportunity. You just need to know how to turn it around,” Hex said.
She had a specific plan to do packaging design, but soon discovered that there are multiple facets in advertising. That was when she met and fell in love with copywriting, which is writing in advertising. She then focused more on marketing and advertising-related classes instead of design which she realised was not her strength.
“But it doesn’t mean that all your other classes don’t matter. All classes matter, because every class will teach you something different that you will eventually need to use when you start working. You might not discover it now, but you will as you go along,” she added.
“Mistakes are inevitable. It’s common to make mistakes, but make it fast and get out fast. Don’t linger, because it doesn’t benefit anybody,” she advised from experience.
That led her to join the agency where she is today, accompanied by a leadership role. She is now shouldering more responsibilities, working for TBWA\ and its collectives, Creative Juice\ and DAN (Digital Arts Network) simultaneously. While it is not easy, it is interesting at the same time. She has created effective work for brands such as U Mobile, Nando’s, Petronas, IKEA, Maxis, BMW, Astro, McDonald’s and Samsung.
She shared that one has to be flexible with their plans and surroundings. She assured them that their journey in the industry will definitely be interesting and challenging. Be kind and nice to everybody, because there is no such thing as working alone in this industry. All in all, Hex’s advices left the students with a clearer understanding of the advertising industry.