Staff Reporters
Apr 27, 2023

Creative Minds: Meet 'Vickypedia', the Leo Burnett copywriter with a passion for trivia

Largely an introvert with spikes of passion, it takes Cate Blanchett movies, special causes, or campaign ideas for Vickknesh Raj to burst out of his shell.

Creative Minds: Meet 'Vickypedia', the Leo Burnett copywriter with a passion for trivia
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Vickknesh Raj

Origin: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Places lived/worked: Malysia

Pronouns: He/him

CV:

  • Senior copywriter, Leo Burnett, Malaysia, Jan 2022 – present
  • Copywriter, Ogilvy, Malaysia, Jun 2020 - Jan 2021
  • Junior copywriter/copywriter, Leo Burnett, Malaysia, Jan 2016 - May 2020

1. How did you end up being a creative?

At the risk of being an absolute cliche, I stumbled upon it. I was a week out from starting my first job at a national newspaper as a journalist when I got offered an interview at an agency. Mind you, this was when all I knew about advertising came from Mad Men. Soon enough, my ideas were being killed on the daily by my creative director, but I was jamming with an incredibly diverse group of cool creatives, and experiencing first-hand the high that comes from selling ideas that make people feel things. It was no doubt a better learning experience than anything I could have gotten out of an ad school.

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

To launch a rather unusual flavour of Mondelēz 'sTwisties, we created an entire merchandise drop inspired by the same flavour. Dubbed 'Kaya Butter Everything', which called on young Malaysians to embrace their unique selves and expressions. Each piece was fun to craft and tells an entertaining tongue-in-cheek story. The campaign was well-received by the clients, the industry and most importantly, the public. 

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

I will have to go with Weiden & Kennedy's 1994 work for (now discontinued) soft drink Ok Soda. The soda was discontinued in 1994 but the product had some great branding, it was unique, ahead of its time and unmatched even today. A shame that it was let down by the product. 

4. Who are your key creative influences?

Nathan Fielder. For those of you who have not yet seen his show “Nathan For You”, please fix that. In each episode, Nathan goes about solving the problems of small businesses in the most roundabout way imaginable. It is is super creative, funny and honestly, with a few little tweaks they could even be effective.

 

I mean, in one episode he turns a cafe into a parody of Starbucks to trick customers into walking in and the whole thing becomes a performance art piece that people thought was from Banksy.

5. What advice would you give to 10-year-old you, if you could?

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or coming across as silly. It’s how you learn and have fun.

6. What’s your favorite film or TV show and why?

I’ve been obsessed with Tár, a 2022 psychological drama film written and directed by Todd Field. It stars Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár. Everything about this is incredibly controlled and intentional. From the way, Cate Blanchett moves in every frame, to its use of sound (any movie that slips in a Blair Witch Project Easter egg is G.O.A.T in my book), not to mention the nuanced way it approaches the timely topic of problematic creators.

7. Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?

Well, I’m really into trivia. And that led to David HK Tan, my creative partner coming up with my nickname, Vickypedia. Which is somehow both cringe and kinda flattering.

8. What makes you really angry?

Complacency. Taking things for granted.

9. What food can you not live without? What food would you be happy to never taste again?

I love burgers. They come in a highly efficient-to-eat form and are hard to screw up. I could also happily go the rest of my life without ever having any sort of porridge again.

10. Extrovert or introvert?

Introvert, for the most part. Although I tend to come out of my shell and get excited when it comes to things I’m passionate about like movies, a cause or a campaign idea.

11. Any regrets?

I never learnt how to swim as a child. But that’s something I’m working on. I just started swimming lessons this month. Which is a little intimidating to do at 30 but the thought of all the beaches in the world I’m yet to visit keeps me going.

Source:
Campaign Asia

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