Shawn Lim
Feb 13, 2023

'There are no rules right now': VaynerMedia's new creative lead on generative AI

In an exclusive interview ahead of joining VaynerMedia from VMLY&R, Chan Woei Hern reveals why he made the switch and his thoughts on using generative AI.

'There are no rules right now': VaynerMedia's new creative lead on generative AI

VaynerMedia has appointed Chan Woei Hern as its new head of creative for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore.

Chan replaces VJ Anand, who has relocated to London to take on the agency's global and EMEA creative mandate.

Most recently, the executive creative director at VMLY&R, Chan, has more than two decades of experience with the likes of Naga DDB, Dentsu and Ensemble. He will relocate to Singapore from Malaysia.

Speaking exclusively to Campaign Asia-Pacific ahead of his appointment, Chan says the prospect of working across disciplines like social, content and data, aside from creativity, attracted him to VaynerMedia.

"The most important thing for me is knowing how to deal with the fear of doing something I've never done before and having fun at it simultaneously. On a personal level, I am always unlearning, learning and reinventing. I cannot wait to see what we can come up with at VaynerMedia."

Chan is also keen to bring VaynerMedia's attention-first model to life, as he has always enjoyed creating people-first campaigns.

For example, at VMLY&R, he was behind Telekom Malaysia's campaign, where the brand used platforms and tools to reimagine the endangered cultural aspects of Malaysia during the festive season.

Chan created a self-learning Kufi art, the oldest calligraphic form of the Arabic scripts, allowing people to write their greetings in Bahasa Melayu, which automatically turns into Jawi, but in a Kufi art piece. People could then send these personalised art pieces to their loved ones.

"The operating system of VaynerMedia is attention first and, for me, is not just a methodology for the output of work. In addition, VaynerMedia's people-first culture regarding talent is beautiful for me," Chan says.

"In everybody I have met so far; attention was centred around the people and leading to the output. So these two things combined, I want to see how it comes to life end to end."

The emergence of generative artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney has caused ripples in the advertising industry. Chan says it is an exciting time as there are no rules right now, as it is just a 'wild west' situation.

For example, in Ryan Reynolds' Mint Mobile ad campaign, Reynolds asked ChatGPT to write a commercial for Mint Mobile in his voice using a joke, a curse word, and letting people know that Mint's holiday promo is still ongoing. In Reynolds's words, the result is "eerie" and "mildly terrifying."

"It is the time to play. It's time to have fun, make mistakes, learn, figure things out, and find uses for them in terms of scaling for media-based creative businesses like programmatic and addressable content, this kind of funnel of creativity. Imagine everyone can be a creative lead to run like 10,000 pieces of work in two hours," Chan explains.

"You can spend the rest of the day coming up with ideas instead, rather than just churning through visual or text-based work. From what I have seen at VaynerMedia, everybody is naturally inclined to play with AI like ChatGPT and Midjourney outside of work. I believe the more they play with these tools outside of work, the more they will be able to use them in their work."



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