Jane Leung
Jun 16, 2010

Creative Q&A: Get to know JWT's Tay Guan Hin

Tay Guan Hin, regional executive creative director for Southeast Asia at JWT Asia, on what he looks for in a prospective employee and where he would be without advertising.

Tay Guan Hin
Tay Guan Hin

How did you get into advertising?
When I was in school, my teacher warned us how poorly paid designers were. She wished she had studied advertising because it paid better. The next day half of our class switched from Design majors to Mass Communication.

How did you get your first job?
I won 'Best of Show' at the first Los Angeles Creative Club Student Competition right after graduation. Jean Craig, one of the judges and the famous writer who came up with 'You have our word on it' for Sunkist oranges, hired me to work at Kresser/Craig in Santa Monica.

Which ad do you wish you’d made?
Tourism Queensland’s 'The best job in the world' by Nitro. Its ground-breaking in their approach to selling tourism and relevant in a time when everyone was losing their jobs.

What was your worst job ever?
Tank Mechanic.

What qualities do you look for in a prospective employee?
Curiosity.

What does it take to impress you?
Guts. Passion. Humor. But most importantly, sincerity.

Where do you go to be inspired?
Fishing. Its a good way to wait for the fish or the inspiration to strike first.

Who do you consider to be a creative genius?
Richard Branson. From music to airline to space flight to (who knows) Moon Tours. He’s got it all figured out.

If you were not working in advertising, where would you work?
I used to sketch Spider Man in all of my school books. The teacher called my parents for counseling and advised them to expand my artistic flair. So, I guess I would be a comic book artist if I didn’t become an art director.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Haagen-Dazs Cookies & Cream and Rum & Raisin. In the morning.

What would you like to be in a next life?
A huge suitcase, so I can stuff all my excess baggage from this life.

What is your favourite word?
We’re DOOMED!

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
My thumb wakes up and hits the blinking red light on my Blackberry.

Worst haircut you’ve ever had?
Whenever I’ve gone too long without a haircut because long hair makes me itchy.

What’s your favourite song lyric?
'The winner takes it all' by ABBA.

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