Benjamin Li
Oct 17, 2013

Elaine Chow leaves Next Media Group to become TVC director

HONG KONG - Elaine Chow, chief creative officer of Next Media Group for nearly seven years, has left to follow her passion to become a film director, joining Hong Kong production company Such Films (實在制作).

Chow at a movie-themed hotel in Spain
Chow at a movie-themed hotel in Spain

Chow (pictured) left Next Media in August. She also had served as chief marketing officer for Apple Daily.

In an exclusive interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific, she talked about why she would leave a top creative job at a large media company like Next Media Group, especially when she had a very good working chemistry with her former boss, media icon Jimmy Lai.

“I have always had the interest in becoming a film director and have been a regular film critic in the mass media, as a creative talent," she said. "And now I have reached the stage to take up a new challenge. It's about time to open another chapter in my life.”

Such Films was co-founded in 1996 by Maisy Choi, herself a veteran film director who has worked with 4A agencies. The company has crafted TVCs for Greater China clients including Mannings and McDonalds. Such Fiims'  most recent production was for Bank of China Insurance, and it is currently doing the first TVC for Broadway Cinema Circuit.

Chow said Choi, who is an old friend, invited her to join the company a year ago, and as a result Chow gave Next Media "a very long resignation notice" in order to ease the transition. Chow’s job at Next Media is still vacant.

Chow praised Lai, saying he “has a good understanding of creative ideas, with quick decision-making and is willing to invest”. She contrasted that situation with clients that she served while working at several 4A agencies (including DDB, Euro RSCG, DY&R and FCB), many of whom often "don’t have the budget to try new things".

During her years with Next Media Group, Chow helped to create a wide range of new print and online products, managed strategic client relationships and travelled to Myanmar to explore untapped business potentials for the company. 

Chow said her new opportunity was "served on a platter" and proved hard to resist.

She believes the market is big enough to absorb new TVC film directors, although "many people think the current commercials on TV are quite boring, with many directors relying heavily on visuals.' Good communications come with strong concepts, she added.

If her career as a TVC film director takes off, Chow said she would like to take a shot at becoming a movie director in the future. The key to staying young working in a stressful career as a creative head is to "follow your passion, and you will look youthful too”, she said.

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