Staff Reporters
Nov 18, 2020

40 Under 40 2020: Didi Pirinyuang, Ensemble Worldwide

Following a three-year hiatus as a tattoo artist, Didi Pirinyuang has rapidly ascended to become a “unicorn creative” who breaks stereotypes both culturally and creatively.

40 Under 40 2020: Didi Pirinyuang, Ensemble Worldwide
Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 

Didi Pirinyuang

Executive creative director
Ensemble Worldwide

Didi Pirinyuang’s creative journey began writing classified ads in a no-name, five-person agency. After copywriting at several local boutique agencies in Malaysia, she took a hiatus from the industry to pursue another form of creativity: tattooing. In 2010, she was lured back to the world of advertising, joining Naga DDB, where she was promoted twice within three years, elevated from copywriter to creative group head. Following a two-year stint at GOVT KL (rebranded as The Clan in 2017), Pirinyuang was “handpicked” to join a lean team at Ensemble Worldwide to explore new territories of creativity, combining storytelling with data and tech innovations. Since then, the startup agency has grown from 20 to an 80-strong full-service agency. Pirinyuang, who has again been promoted twice within three years, has been a key contributor in the agency’s growth, both operationally and culturally.

Pirinyuang’s career-defining moment arrived in 2019 when she was assigned co-creative lead of Petronas, one of Malaysia’s biggest accounts. In two years, she’s grown the business, helping define the narrative of Malaysia’s biggest brand. In this role she oversaw the brand’s seven festive films in 2019, which garnered the highest total views (91 million) and engagement (32.3 million) for the brand, contributing 62.3% to brand strength growth in Q4 2019. She also spearheaded the brand’s revered three-part film ‘Land of Light Bulbs’ to introduce the brand in India, which garnered a total of more than 4 million views on YouTube.

Beyond Petronas, Pirinyuang’s other notable work includes a ‘Grab for Good’ initiative to bring awareness of the capabilities of Grab’s deaf drivers, and engaging Southeast Asia's first virtual influencer, Maya, for Puma Rider’s regional launch. Thanks to her creative chops, Ensemble closed 2019 with 43% revenue growth. Moreover, Pirinyuang opened 2020 with four new business wins—Toppen Mall, Puma Regional, Safi and Spotify—helping the agency deliver 30% growth in billings this year despite Covid-19. For her contribution, she was elevated to ECD this year.

Pirinyuang fosters a non-hierarchical culture for creatives at Ensemble, which has scored with employees (she notched a 93% approval rating in the manager index) and contributed towards the agency’s 82% retention rate. Due to her mentorship, five of her direct reports have been lined up for promotion. She is also a “huge advocate” for mental health, committing one day a week to check in on her team’s mental wellbeing.

As a fully tattooed female leader in the corporate world, Pirinyuang breaks stereotypes both culturally and creatively. Amit Sutha, the CEO of Ensemble and Universal McCann in Malaysia, refers to her as a “unicorn creative” who doesn’t see things merely in black or white, or confined to ads: “With her, magic happens in the grey”. Grab’s head of brand and marketing services Pamela Chia called Pirinyuang “one of the better creatives I've had the pleasure of working with”.

Top-tier talent transforming APAC media and marcomms 


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