Rhandell Rubio
Aug 17, 2011

CREATIVE Q&A: TBWA Singapore's Maurice Wee

TBWA Singapore's Maurice Wee opens up to Campaign on his worst job ever, recalling his first ever advertisement in the industry, and tumbling into the best bed in the world.

Maurice Wee, creative director at TBWA\Singapore
Maurice Wee, creative director at TBWA\Singapore

How did you get into advertising?

It was a happy accident. I had always liked making things out of imagination. I did computer science hoping it’d lead to video game design but it was all coding filing and retrieval systems. I couldn’t get into architecture and ended up in design school. That’s where I found out I was good at ideas. It felt natural, it never felt like work, I’ve loved it since then. I wouldn’t call it a decision to go into advertising. It’s more like tumbling into the best bed in the world.

What was your first ever ad?

A retail ad for a pharmacy. Can’t remember if it was for Apex or Guardian. Yeah, it was that good.

What was your first ever job?

When I was in primary school, I helped my mum man a snack stand in the tiny one room rented flat we lived in. We sold to the neighbourhood kids. It had great job perks. I got to eat the snacks sometimes and they came with toys inside.

What was your worst job ever?

Endless hours of mind numbingly dull sentry duty during national service.

What does it take to impress you?

Inventiveness. And going to great lengths to make something amazing.

Where do you go to be inspired?

Everywhere, showers, my Bodhi Tree in the toilet.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Superhero movies. comic books. Harry Potter. Final Fantasies. and over-the-top wrestling finishers.

If you can spend one day with a celebrity or historical figure, who would it be? Why?

She’d be a guilty pleasure.

If you have to come back as an animal, what would you be? Why?

A continent-sized Gruffalo. So I can poo on countries that make war and my kid would still love me.

What is the last book you read?

One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Stopped two thirds through. I’ll wait for the movie.

Which ad do you wish you had made?

Too many.

Worst haircut you’ve ever had?

In high school, I once had hair that was gelled spiky with the right side pointed up and the left side pointed down. It’s like a bad stylist had grafted a bipolar porcupine onto my skull.

Describe your typical day.

Alternating 'Yeeeeeees's and 'Fuuuuuuck's between long periods of 'meh's.

Can you suggest a question for our next Q&A candidate?

If you can invent a superpower, what would it be?

What was the most extreme thing you did when you tried to sell an
idea to the client? (Question provided by JWT China’s Elvis Chau)

I wrote two two-minute scripts that were songs and presented by belting them at the top of my lungs in their entirety.

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