Creative Circle: John Koay + Koh Hwee Peng

Creative Circle: John Koay + Koh Hwee Peng

In a new regular series Campaign Brief Asia asks two creative thinkers from the region to highlight recent great work that caught their eye from around Asia and globally. Creative Circle contributors this week are John Koay (above left) and Koh Hwee Peng (right).


John Koay
Executive Creative Director
Ogilvy Hong Kong
Asia: My pick from the region goes to BBDO Bangkok’s recent film called ‘Covidman’ for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, directed by Suthisak Sucharittanonta. Commercials from Thailand usually make me either teary eyed (who’s cutting onions) or they make me LOL (which also leads to tears of laughter). And this ad did just that.

I love how this action paced film takes the viewer through several twists and turns with nuggets of humour around every corner to tell a story that isn’t really about the dangers of catching the virus at all, but speeding. A serious issue but told in a captivating way that made you want to continue watching.

Congratulations to the teams for making this. Shooting during the pandemic is hard enough, but being able to create good work like this should remind all of us that it’s still possible, even when we’re faced with the biggest challenges.


Creative Circle: John Koay + Koh Hwee Peng

Global: My pick from around the world goes to the recent outdoor stunt done by RED, for Sony’s PlayStation 5 launch in London. Unfortunately, it also reminded me how old I am since owning my first Playstation 1 back in 1994.

No pack shot. No brand logo. No names. The work spoke to the right people using the right semiotics. Gamers know what the famous circle, square, triangle and cross means. Even if you weren’t a gamer, you’d notice the dramatic change of the stations. It’s a clever, simple, eye catching idea that made it unmissable. And because of this, it’s easy to see why it reached far beyond the people who walked past it, and onto the screens of millions of people around the world.

Well done to the team, I can’t image it was easy to bring this brave piece of work to life. Having to sell an idea that had to change a permanent classic British icon, to getting all the legal approvals to make it. It’s almost just as hard as getting your hands on the new PS5.


Creative Circle: John Koay + Koh Hwee Peng

Hwee Peng Koh
Creative Partner
Blak Labs Singapore
Asia: My pick would be “Dear client: Thank you for cancelling our work” by Thasorn Boonyanate (Wunderman Thompson Bangkok). The story was emotional and insightful, yet funny. Managed to do justice to his client and made them famous. Refreshing vs many covid ads running at that time.

As an agency owner, we share the same thoughts. Each economy change advertising is always the frontline to get cut first. Nevertheless, love this ad, wish I had done it.


Creative Circle: John Koay + Koh Hwee Peng

Global: My pick would be “It’s about that fearless spirit and imagination when pushing boundaries” by Burberry. Their choreography mixed with great VFX is perfect. They used a simple and unforgettable song which works into the mix.

Music also made it happen, many times music is neglected, here its well taken care of. It’s so enjoyable to watch. Literally pushing the boundaries and as the title says the fearless spirit. Addition, the talent contemporary dancers make the ad come alive. There is a saying when you get the right talent, half the ad is done. It’s proven here. Simply entertaining.


Creative Circle: John Koay + Koh Hwee Peng