Despite not being able to utter a single word in Mandarin, Joey Khor accepted a job offer in Beijing close to two years ago. He perhaps practices what he preaches, that change is the only constant in the world. In the process of adapting to change, he has achieved tremendous acclaims for the work he has done overseas as the Executive Creative Director George P. Johnson Beijing.
As the creative team lead, he has brought to life integrated experiences for some of China’s dominant brands such as Tencent and Alibaba. In his first year serving the company in 2017, the agency won bronze for Campaign Greater China Experiential Marketing Agency Of The Year.
In his sharing titled ‘Using Creativity for the Real World’, Joey addressed the elephants in the advertising room. One problem with the creative industry is the prevalence of meaningless noise. To avoid this creatives have to rethink the value of their work, and to do this, change has to be embraced. This quality among creatives will ensure their adaptability to any other industry as creativity can be used to achieve different goals.
According to him, designs also change according to the way we work. “I’m changing, learning and constantly going through this phase where I relearn and stop learning and relearn again, and I’m 40,” he said, indicating to students that learning is a lifelong process.
When design is mentioned, it extends more than vector and graphics. It should have a reason, a form and function, akin to user experience and how it is used to lure people’s attention. “Design is not about how smart you are, but how you connect with people.”
Therefore, the existence of creatives is to connect the brand to their consumers. Google, for example, builds products like applications to connect themselves to the people.
Technically, creativity is essentially 2 things – stories and experiences. Coca Cola as an example has proved time and again that through creative storytelling, consumers will buy almost anything. The trick is to highlight the magical and happy moments to get people to listen to you.
“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, people can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, they won’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally and freshly.”