Staff Reporters
Nov 10, 2021

40 Under 40 2021: Youji Noh, TBWA Media Arts Lab

From a global standpoint, Noh is bringing the K-creativity to an international stage, demonstrating that excellent Korean creativity is recognised worldwide.

40 Under 40 2021: Youji Noh, TBWA Media Arts Lab
Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry

Youji Noh

Creative director
TBWA Media Arts Lab

Youji Noh is among only a handful of female creative directors in Korea. While the traditionally strict hierarchical structure can make it particularly difficult for women to rise through the ranks in the Korean advertising industry, she is the prime example of what talent and persistence can achieve when going against the odds.

Noh grew up speaking four languages—Malay, Chinese, Korean and English—and attended school across three countries. Yet, despite her obvious flair for languages, it was her passion for the arts, in particular visual communication, that she would ultimately pursue.

After starting her career in a design studio in New York, Noh moved to Singapore, where she churned out regional work for APAC and global clients. Soon after, she was handpicked to return to Seoul to become one of the first creative members of the newly established TBWA Media Arts Lab Seoul office, which is dedicated to supporting Apple’s business in Korea.

Noh’s level of performance has helped her get promoted every 24 to 36 months. Today, she’s part of the management team and a creative director in the Seoul office, leading a group of six other creatives and overseeing all production.

Noh and her team have been involved in several global campaigns for Apple’s major products, such as the iPhone, the company’s privacy initiatives, and the MacBook. During the height of COVID in 2020, Noh led the creative development and the execution of the first ‘Shot on iPhone’ global campaign deployed from outside the central hub in Los Angeles.

That same year, she also led the creation and execution of the first ‘Behind the Mac’ campaign in Korea—one of the very few locally developed campaigns by Apple. By bringing together footage of Mac appearances in Korean music videos, the film celebrated Korean creativity in a genuine and authentic way. Hitting 16.8 million views (a third of the Korean population) in one week, it is still the most watched film on Apple’s Korea YouTube page to date.

Over the years Noh has remained committed to nurturing new talent. She established an internship program for aspiring art directors, has mentored young creatives, and makes it a point to personally contribute to empower young female creatives. She credits her ability to empathise and work seamlessly with others to her multilingualism and multicultural background. When needed, she’s able to be super hands-on and provide one-on-one mentorship. Her regular workshops and crash courses on cultural nuances and market trends became a core lesson to not just her team, but the entire Seoul office.

Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry


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