terence teo meet Isaac

20 Questions with Terence Teo, Co-founder of Meet Isaac – Media Agency Interviews

Jessica Lai Media Agency Interviews

Name: Terence Teo
Role: Co-founder, Meet Isaac
Age: 39

Terence Teo co-founded Meet Isaac, an award-winning agency, from the ground up and has nearly two decades of industry experience. We had a chat with the lively runner, who’s also a co-founder of the largest running community in Singapore. 

1. What are your hobbies?

Definitely running! Running is not just a hobby but something that I am very passionate about. It was something that helped to tide me through the difficult periods in my life back when I first started running. 

running department

I fell in love with it and have never stopped running since. I even started a running community in Singapore for runners to run-together. You can check out some of my running journey on IG at @ahterry and @runningdepartment.

Terence teo bakes

Additionally, I also like to bake! I would often get into bake sessions with my baking mates to try out new recipes. Who knows, it might be my semi-retirement job in future. 

2. What is your favourite quote?

​​Teamwork makes the dream work. This relates a lot to our working culture at Meet Isaac and how teamwork is a very important component in every aspect of our day to day.

3. What is your favourite movie?

I don’t really have a favourite movie per se. Especially with COVID-19, I kind of cut down watching movies but instead, binged-watch dramas on Netflix during my free time on weekends.

4. What is your favourite song?

Lost In Space by Lighthouse Family. One of those songs that I listened to a lot during my younger days. 

5. Where’s your top foodie spot?

Sushi Tei – I love their Sashimi Salad! Pro tip for those who don’t know, you can actually ask for two helpings of the salad dressing! When mixed together with the salad, it’s heavenly!

6. Three words people use to describe you:

Reliable, Caring and Nurturing.

7. Three words you’d use to describe yourself: 

Sensitive, Reliable and Passionate.

8. Last good Netflix show you watched?

All Of Us Are Dead” – the recent Korean zombie drama.

9. People who inspire and influence you?

My mum – she constantly reminds me that we should always be grateful to others and to be kind, giving and respectful. I hope to share similar traits with her – it makes me happy when I can give – be it giving back to the society within my means or be it showing gratitude to others in my own way.

Someone else who inspired me is definitely our founding father Lee Kuan Yew. I read his books and I am really inspired by his ideas, thinking, and how he has gotten us from a tiny little red dot to where we are today.

10. Share a personal or life goal

I hope to semi-retire by the age of 50. But really, jokes aside, I hope to spend my time wisely to help and nurture the young and talented individuals in the agency, and to groom them to become future leaders.

11. What was the most memorable moment in your career?

It was definitely when I was given the opportunity to start Meet Isaac back in 2014. It was named for what we do – Integrated strategy, Social media, Analytics, Activation and Creative content. And it’s funny, I’m still looking for a person actually named Isaac to join the agency.

Starting a business was pretty life changing, I must say – kinda like how #adulting hits you. 

We also had to understand finances, work on the operations, and bring in the dough (a.k.a. clients) and it’s a continuous effort of fine-tuning and improving on what we are doing.

When we received our first award, I was like, wow, we actually did it. Eight years down the road, I have seen the agency grow from a 3-person team to a team of 45 very talented individuals now. I am very proud of this achievement.

12. Campaign done by others that most inspired you:

There’s really a lot of awesome campaigns out there that left a lasting impression. If I have to name one – probably “Best Gift For Your Child” by Income and BBH! I honestly thought that the story line and the narrative were very heartwarming. It hits the spot when it comes to financial planning.

Image credit: Income

13. Campaign done by you that you’re most proud of:

Aye.. very difficult right? I would say that I am very proud of all the campaigns that the agency has rolled out for our clients.

One key agency initiative was the launch of dontsabo.com in 2021. It started with a conversation on how we were going to organise our CNY visitations with all the COVID-19 regulations in place. In the span of 3 short weeks, the team conceptualised a microsite with CNY activities, developed a booking engine, created AR filters, games, stickers, and even merchandise that were given to our clients – it was amazing.

dontsabo cny meet IsaacA look at the festive Dontsabo microsite, which was quickly developed in the midst of the pandemic. Image credit: Meet Isaac

One of the most memorable client projects would definitely be the Starbucks 1,000,000 Moments campaign. It’s a celebration for Starbucks Rewards Singapore hitting the 1,000,000 members milestone.

Consider that one-fifth of Singaporeans are actually Starbucks Rewards members. Hence, we celebrated with the community by creating an immersive 360 experience – starting with a digital personalised walk-down memory lane for our members to celebrate their golden moments to offline activities that were available in-store.

Starbucks campaign meet Isaac The campaign went social too, with cute templates that users could customise.
Image credit: Meet Isaac

14. Peers you highly respect in the local industry:

It’s difficult to name individuals because I find that there are many different things I can learn from different folks. What inspires me the most is their drive and passion to push the growth of the local industry by constantly innovating and coming up with new ways of doing things.

15. Tell us a fun fact that most of your employees don’t know about you

Ok it’s not fun but I have arachnophobia.

16. What do you look for in employees when hiring?

Personality and attitude definitely comes first. For us, we are constantly looking for like-minded individuals to be a part of the team. 

Personality and attitude are very important aspects to us as that represents the core of the Meet Isaac DNA. You may not know everything, but if you have the right attitude and willingness to learn, we will do our utmost best to guide you so that you can succeed.

I always tell my team members that their success is our success.

17. Advice for people to become more creative?

Expose yourself to different experiences and definitely spend time reading up to understand what’s going on. They always say think out of the box, but sometimes we have to get out of the box before we can think out of the box. The experiences and exposure will help in generating ideas and concepts for your campaigns.

18. Advice for students thinking of starting a career in an agency?

It’s common knowledge that agency life can be tough at times, I will not sugar coat it and say that it is not true.

However, working in an agency does have its plus side. I always see working in an agency like a training ground. You get to learn and expose yourself to multiple verticals of marketing and creative advertising and it will definitely be a rewarding experience as you build up your portfolio to be a well-versed marketeer. 

It’s a mindset that we need to have: yes, it’s hard work when it comes to project timelines, but it’s also rewarding and satisfying when you see a campaign coming to life. 

19. Any shout-outs you want to give or interesting projects you’re working on?

To my partner, for giving me the support I need behind the scenes, being patient with me, especially when I have to prioritise some of my work matters. I am truly thankful to you for being there for me.

To the past and current team at Meet Isaac – you guys know how much you mean to me and I am proud to be working with all of you.To my partners-in-crime Elaine and Johnson, who work alongside me to run the agency business – there’s so much that I am learning from the both of you and I am blessed to have this opportunity to work with the both of you.

To my boss of 18 years, Bryan, thank you for giving me this opportunity to embark on this rewarding journey with Meet Isaac! I will always be thankful for the mentorship and experience.

To all clients, thank you for giving us the love and letting our talents showcase their creativity.

  1. What do you hope to accomplish at Meet Isaac within the next year or so?

There are a lot of exciting plans that are lined up for Meet Isaac in 2022. We have just moved into a new space and are already seeing a lot of collaborations and initiatives taking place as we settle down in our new home.

I definitely want to take Meet Isaac to the next level with new service offerings as well as agency initiatives and to make us one of the best places to be working at. Also, stay tuned for our 8th birthday initiatives this year!

Related links:

Meet Isaac
Terence Teo’s LinkedIn


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]

Stay up to date!Receive news, promotions and more via email from The Smart Local