YDA JURY 2019: Ted Lim
Chief Creative Officer
A creative strategist, Ted believes “we are in the business formerly known as advertising” and marketing in the digital economy requires a creative strategy that is more relevant and personalised to make the human connection necessary for business transaction.
He repositioned Dentsu Asia-Pacific as an “Innovative Business Solutions” network beyond advertising that produces non-traditional work in the mobile, digital and social space. Different and better ideas that make a difference, work that moves people and business, from engagement to transaction.
His first integrated digital/social campaign for Toyota Asia-Pacific ‘Wakudoki’ garnered over 10 million views on Facebook and YouTube to rejuvenate an aging brand. TIME magazine wrote, “This Toyota ad is utterly insane – and wonderful” and deemed it, “The most delightful two minutes of your day.”
Creative luminaries like Andy Greenaway, Merlee Jayme, Santosh Padhi and Rob Belgiovane joined him and helped Dentsu win a slew of new business across the region including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Zespri, Prudential, Unilever, Adidas, Qantas, Uniqlo, Toyota and Yamaha.
The work his team produced – ‘Project Revoice’ for ALS Association in Australia, ‘Dead Whale’ for Greenpeace in the Philippines, ‘Odds’ for Adidas in India, ‘Single Belief’ for Glenlivet in Taiwan, ‘Clean Light Hand Soap’ for Zantiss in Thailand, ‘Air Pollution Discount’ for Kobayashi in China, ‘No Detail Too Small’ for Singapore Airlines and ‘Instazoom’ for Canon in Singapore – got global attention. Grand Prixs at the Cannes Lions, AdFest, Spikes Asia and AdStars, accolades at D&AD, One Show, Clio, London International Awards and the Facebook Award for Innovation. Dentsu was crowned Campaign Brief Asia’s Most Creative Network 2017 and 2018, and AdFest Network Of The Year 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Ted pushed the envelope to further differentiate Dentsu Asia-Pacific from traditional advertising networks. He took the concept of a strategic support unit from Dentsu Tokyo, remodelled it into a specialised business solutions network by mothers for mothers and launched MamaLab Asia-Pacific. BBC took notice of the massive potential of marketing to the “mom economy” and featured MamaLab on World News. MamaLab has since won projects from Nestle, Wyeth and Johnson & Johnson.
Ted spends an inordinate amount of time on people and product development. This includes a yearly Innovators Conference in Bangkok, a Young Innovators Workshop in Tokyo, digital immersion with Google, Facebook, Amazon and Snapchat in Palo Alto and Best Of Month creative reviews. In 2018, he spent four months in Beijing to help transform the structure, system, people and culture of Dentsu’s biggest office outside of Japan. His emails to the network typically end with two words, “Keep pushing!”
On top of the work he is paid to do, Ted served as Jury President at the Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia and the Asia-Pacific Advertising Festival (AdFest). He judged D&AD, Clio Awards, New York Festivals, London International Awards, the APAC Effies, sits with the AdFest Collective and on the New York Festival Advisory Board. An engaging speaker, Ted spoke at the World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, the P&G Asia Brand Managers College in Singapore, CreativeFest in the Philippines and gave postgraduate Integrated Marketing Communications students from the Northwestern University of Chicago a session on Innovative Business Solutions.
Former DDB Worldwide Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Bob Scarpelli has this to say, “Not only is Ted an outstanding creative person and inspiring leader, he is just an outstanding person. He’s the kind of person you’d want to work with. In the words of Bill Bernbach, he’s ‘talented and nice,’ the best combination to be. The work he has done and inspired at DDB was always among the best in Asia-Pacific and in our network. The people who have worked with him have learned, grown and soared under his nurturing style of leadership.”
On Dentsu’s consistent success since Ted joined the network, Dentsu Aegis Network Global Chairman and CEO, Tim Andree said, “This sustained excellence has many contributors but I want you to know that I know it would never have happened without you.”