20 Questions With Cheuk Chiang, CEO of Dentsu Creative Asia Pacific – Media Agency Interviews

Josiah Neo Media Agency Interviews

Name: Cheuk Chiang
Role: CEO of Dentsu Creative Asia Pacific

In his 29 years of experience in the creative industry, Cheuk Chiang has made every year count. The newly-appointed CEO of Dentsu Creative Asia Pacific has presided over 140 award-winning campaigns and “Agency of the Year” awards during his tenure at fellow agencies: Omnicom Media Group, PHD Media, and Cummins & Partners. He has also been part of the judging panel at the Cannes Lions – the advertising industry’s Oscar equivalent.

Cheuk’s new post expands on his responsibilities at Dentsu, where he already holds the position as the CEO of Greater North Asia Pacific and Chairman of Dentsu China. TheSmartLocal recently got to pick his brains on his leadership philosophies, his favourite Dentsu campaigns, and what he hopes to achieve at the agency.

1. Congratulations on the new appointment! How are you feeling about it and why?

I am feeling both humbled and excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. It is great to focus on creativity, an area I am passionate about. At Dentsu Creative, we have the opportunity to deliver a unique and powerful proposition around modern creativity, creativity that creates culture, changes society and invents the future.

2. What are some of your hobbies?

My two big hobbies are food and fitness. I have to do the latter to work off those calories.

cheuk chiang at the gym
Image credit: Cheuk Chiang

3. What is your favourite quote?

I am a big believer in embracing change which is why my favourite quote is “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

4. What is your favourite movie or Netflix show and why?

Star Wars because it’s ahead of its time, it created culture, and invented the future.

5. Who are some of your peers in the industry that inspires you?

I am lucky enough to work in a young industry where I get reverse mentored every day by our team of brilliant and talented people. The thing that I’ve come to know over the past few years is experience and knowledge can come from anywhere.

6. Do you have a daily routine before and after work?

I am normally up at 7am and off to the gym or out for a run It’s a positive way to start the day.

7. Three words that people use to describe you:

Creative, collaborative and energetic

8. Tell us a fun fact about yourself that your colleagues don’t know:

I am a black belt in the kitchen.

cheuk chiang cooking
Image credit: Cheuk Chiang

9. What has been the most memorable moment in your career?

Winning Campaign Asia Pacific, Agency Head of the Year in 2015.

10. Tell us more about the culture at Dentsu Creative APAC in three words and why

Modern, Obsessive and Collaborative because these form part of the superpowers of Dentsu Creative.

11. How do you think consumer behaviour has changed in the past 5 years?

Consumers nowadays connect better with brands that have purpose, that do good for society, and have a positive social impact.

12. What do you think are 3 upcoming marketing trends everyone needs to know?
  1. The trend toward predictive marketing and machine learning to inform decisions.
  2. The rebalance between brand and performance marketing
  3. The shift towards cookieless marketing 
13. Which campaign done by Dentsu Creative are you the proudest of?

The Unfiltered History Tour, created by Dentsu India for VICE World News.

In Love We Trust, a brand film created by Dentsu Taiwan for Sinyi Realty.

Disease Dilemmas, a campaign done by Dentsu Australia for the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

14. Which campaign done by others most inspired you?

Contract for Change by FCB Chicago that was done for Michelob Ultra. It won the Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness at the Cannes Lions 2022.

15. How do you get out of mental blocks when brainstorming?

By sleeping on it.

16. What do you think is the difference between a boss and a leader?

 A boss directs. A leader inspires.

Cheuk Chiang Dentsu Creative APAC
Image credit: Dentsu Creative

17. What top three qualities do you look for when hiring? Any interview tips?

Attitude, attitude and attitude. The interview tip I could give is to do your homework about the organisation and position yourself as someone who can add value.

18. What do you think is the best way to retain employees?

By fostering a workplace where employees are able to collaborate, co-create, have fun and most importantly, where they feel they are part of an organisation where they can bring their whole selves to work each day.

19. What advice do you have for students starting a career in an agency?

My advice is to bust your ass (work hard), fall in love (appreciate your wins), and pay attention (observe everything that’s happening around you).

20. What do you hope to achieve at Dentsu Creative in the next year?

My first order of business is focused on identifying and unlocking ways for us to do better work. This plays across talent, culture, our ways of working, our client partnerships and our creative reputation.

Related links:

Cheuk Chiang’s LinkedIn
Dentsu Creative Asia Pacific website

This post is part of our Media Industry Leaders series. If you’d like to be featured, or have a nominee in mind, please drop us a note at [email protected].


Cover image credit: Cheuk Chiang/Dentsu Creative

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