Staff Reporters
Sep 9, 2021

Creative Minds: Asawin Phanichwatana's learning journey in adland

We get to know the deputy CCO at GreyNJ United through his answers to 11 questions. Learn about his key influences, the Levi's ad that's stuck in his head, why he has no tattoos, and how he never imagined 'Friendshit' would become a global hit.

Creative Minds: Asawin Phanichwatana's learning journey in adland

Name: Asawin Phanichwatana

Origin: Bangkok

Places lived/worked: Bangkok, Hong Kong

Pronouns: He/him


  • Deputy chief creative officer, GreyNJ United Bangkok (2016-present)
  • JWT Bangkok (2014-2015)
  • DDB Hong Kong (2012-2014)
  • Euro RSCG Bangkok ((2009-2011)
  • DDB Hong Kong (2008-2009)
  • Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong (2007-2008)
  • Leo Burnett Hong Kong (2006-2007)
  • Publicis Bangkok (2004-2006)
  • BBDO Bangkok (2002-2004)
  • SAATCHI&SAATCHI Bangkok (2002)
  • Leo Burnett Bangkok (2000-2001)
  • Grey Worldwide Bangkok

1. How did you end up being a creative?

I didn’t plan to be in advertising at all. At first, I wanted to be a designer. But given the state of the economy when I started working (recession), I ended up joining an ad workshop to expand my choices, then I got interested and have been doing it ever since.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

I like every single piece of work I’ve ever done. Because each piece has its own story behind it. There’s always something I can learn and remember from it and then go on to prepare for my next piece of work with more knowledge.

If I had to pick one now, it’d be “Friendshit” for KBank. At first I only thought it matches well with the local market insights. I never imagined the film would go viral from there and become popular outside of Thailand too.

3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

Wow so many…too many amazing works out there that always make me curious (and envious) on how they came up with such a great idea and wish it was me. If I had to choose one for right now, it would be Levi’s “Odyssey” by BBH. I remember I just joined the industry and when I first saw this film, I was blown away by the amazing craft and how attention-grabbing it is. It’s been stuck in my head ever since.

4. What kind of student were you?

A nerd. Obsessed with getting good grades, but always jealous of those who can do their work freely by following their heart.

5. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

I’m quite disciplined and a person who follows routine. At work, maybe the craziest thing I have done is telling a client they’re wrong. Luckily they saw my point of view, agreed and went along with me. I’m thankful for that!

6. What/who are your key creative influences?

All my bosses throughout my career. I may not understand all their decisions at the time, but they all played a part in shaping me into having my own vision today.

7. What's your favourite GIF/meme, and why?

The “woman yelling at cat” meme. So many possibilities…and so many questions—why is the cat sitting there?

8. Tell us about your tattoo(s).

I don’t have any. I want to get one but everyone always tells me it doesn’t go with my style. And…I’m scared of needles and I don’t want to cry in front of the tattoo guy!

9. Do you have a nickname? Why?

My nickname is Bear. In fact, my original nickname in Thai is ‘Nueng’, but it’s too hard for foreigners to pronounce. And some of my friends say I look like a bear. So people started calling me Bear.

10. Do you have a catchphrase?

"I don’t care. Make it work." (Copied from Tim Gunn.)

11. What makes you really angry?

Things that don’t work according to common sense.

In Creative Minds, we get to know APAC creatives through their answers to 11 questions—three required and the rest from a long list ranging from serious to silly. Want to be featured? Contact us.


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