Staff Reporters
Aug 18, 2020

Women to Watch 2020: Sarah Emmanuel-Cheong, UltraSuperNew

The former events management executive has rapidly evolved into an agency leader of note, devising a series of digital innovations enroute.

Women to Watch 2020: Sarah Emmanuel-Cheong, UltraSuperNew
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Sarah Emmanuel-Cheong

General manager
UltraSuperNew
Singapore

In an industry that favours people who fit into a template rather than those who break out of it, Sarah Emmanel Cheong has broken the mould. In a decade, she has gone from grinding out a name for herself in the events and entertainment industry (while waitressing in the off-season to bolster her income, as the primary breadwinner) to being a trailblazer with DDB, TBWA and most recently with UltraSuperNew.

From her early days in event management, Emmanuel-Cheong’s has fought against being labelled “too young”, “too outspoken” and “too emotional” and repeatedly proved her mettle.  First, with DDB Singapore as an account manager where she oversaw work for nine Unilever brands across Asia-Pacific and then with TBWA Singapore, where she shone with her retail marketing skills for Wrigley Mars Asia, advertising for Uniqlo Singapore and work on brands such as Abbot and Amgen. 

It was, however, a bet against the run of play that helped Emmanuel-Cheong really shine. Rather than climb up the ladder or to another large agency, she instead moved to UltraSuperNew, an upstart shop in Singapore.  There, she led and won a pitch for Martell Singapore twice, and has since been the driving force over the last year in successfully re-introducing the brand to a whole new younger audience, resulting in a 90% increase in awareness among the target audience and 35% uplift against budgeted sales.

Most recently, she led a successful relaunch for Storefriendly to create an AI-generated track to voice the brand’s mascot. This was supplemented by geo-targeted digital ads, social media support and strategic OOH communication. Emmanuel-Cheong also led work on what claims to be a world-first Instagram AR filter discount coupon for Puma, resulting in over 1.6 million impressions and 135,000 store visits. She has overseen a 203% increase in revenue, and a 122% increase in net profit over the previous year. For the company.

When she isn’t busy pitching for and winning these contracts, Emmanuel-Cheong has also driven structural change within her agency. For instance, she drove the creation of an in-house production studio to support clients with social media content ideation, creation and execution—managing to reduce third-party costs by $100,000, along with far faster turnaround.

As someone who has fought against stereotypes herself, Emmanuel-Cheong does not place limits on her staff. She emphasises that age and experience shouldn’t determine or limit performance, and cultivates a collaborative environment where staff are encouraged to contribute suggestions, ideas and ways of working.
 

SEE ALL OF THE 2020 WOMEN TO WATCH
Exceptional female talent from the APAC marcomms industry 

 

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