HAMBUSHED: Weng Keong, as he leaves the building!


(Marketingmagazine.com.my) – Anyone in the digital marketing space who does not know Chin Weng Keong is a newbie. In a not-so-previous life, Weng Keong was an advertising creative from JWT before leaving in 1996 to co-found Arachnid which he has run as Saatchi & Saatchi Arachnid after it was acquired by Publicis Groupe in October 2012.

Wengky came from the ad industry, dived into the digitlal scene, survived the dot-com crash, and soldiered on to prove all critics wrong; that good people can win!

What’s it like to retire?
I don’t know. I’ve barely begun. But I think the notion of retirement is relative and means different things to different people.

What I do know is that my diary is now happily filled with catch-ups with so many people who have reached out to say “now you have no more excuse not to meet”, and they’re right of course.

I’m also really glad to become a soccer mom. My wife has been holding down the parenting role almost single-handedly and I’m just really privileged to be able to climb that steep learning curve and carry more of that responsibility with her.

It really is the hardest job in the world! And besides that there are personal interests, and other things I want to get into so I know for sure I’ll be busier than ever.

It must be really nice spending more time with the family now?
It’s a bit like a red velvet cake made with real cocoa vs red colouring.

Have you considered voice acting for commercials as a career?
Wow, not really. But I suppose I’ll enjoy getting back into doing some if anyone’s still keen. Especially character voices.

After turning down so many recordings over the years, producers must have all written me off so I’m not holding my breath.

After 20 years seeing your baby Arachnid blossom and now part of global network Saatchi & Saatchi, do you feel like a rich Dad?
I feel like a Dad who’s happy to see his child leave home only because it’s the right thing to do.

What advice would you give all those budding digital marketing professionals out there?
Don’t forget that really compelling digital work leaves the screens you view it on and jumps into your analog life.

You feel strongly about the “no scam work”​ policy…what’s so bad about scams? We know many creative careers have been made based on scams…
Oh, you do know how to get me talking, Ham. Haha!My take is this… Scams are cheating. Plain and simple. It’s agencies’ way of appearing to be better at what they do than they really are.

It treats marketing communications as art sans boundaries. Real creativity in the context of what our industry does, is defined by restrictions, realities, constraints, KPIs, balance.

To be creative despite all that is what deserves awards, not when all the realities are surreptitiously removed and it’s a free for all.

If our industry needs an outlet to demonstrate creativity so badly, I would suggest creating an awards show purely for scams.

Only criteria for entry is that it must not originate from real briefs defining real marketing problems from real paying clients.

However I suspect people will think it’s a stupid idea because the show will have no credibility nor prestige.

What books have you read the past week?
Garden Composting for Dummies. And The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Silkworm Cultivation.

Your experience lend naturally to driving mentorship programmes. Any thoughts?
It’s crossed my mind. I’ve roughly earmarked two pursuit areas post-retirement: developing areas of interest and secondly, helping others.

In the former, I’m looking into something related to architecture which I love, and doing more circuit driving and scuba diving.

In the latter, I’m making arrangements to volunteer in an organization that brings hopes and medical breakthroughs to life. And yes, some form of training or teaching is a possibility I’m incubating in this second area.

Your departure has been relatively quiet. No announcements, no press releases. I only found out from your Facebook. What’s the deal?
I’m sure the network has been looking into it since I tendered half a year ago.

Perhaps they’ve been busy on other priorities.

But even if there will be no official announcement of my departure, I’m sure they have the professional intent to announce my successor’s ascension and his journey of achievements getting there.

There is simply no one better than David Soo to pass the baton to, and the agency will blossom further with him at the helm.

Are you taking the lift? It’s going 16 floors down…
Yes Ham, I walked up earlier this morning.

APPIES Malaysia 2016 Marketing Conference open for registrations!

‘2-day MBA’ in Marketing, ‘TED of Marketing’, call it what you will, and come what may, we will see you on May 19 & 20 at the Eastin Hotel.

•        36 latest Marketing Case-Studies  

•        22 marketing leaders as Judges  

•        3 top-notch Keynote Speakers  

*        4 Game-Changing Panel Speakers

Says Chief Judge Adam Wee Abdullah, Group CMO of CIMB Banking Group about judging the entries, “Clarity in the Objective statement is fundamental. If this is not clear, the solutions will not be clear as well. It is also important to juxtapose the expected outcome against the Objective statement so you can gauge if the strategies are aligned. It’s a bit like looking through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.”

Date:           19 & 20 May, 2016 

Venue:          The Grand Ballroom, Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Time:           8.30am – 6.00pm

To register, go to APPIES REGISTRATION.

Download full brochure here.

Or contact Ruby on 03-7726 2588, [email protected]

APPIES Malaysia 2016 judges:

• Abdul Sani Abdul Murad – Head of Marketing, HSBC Malaysia

• Ben Mahmud – Head of Retail Marketing, Shell Malaysia Trading

• Eric Wong – Marketing Director, IBM Malaysia

• Fiona Liao – Chief Brand Officer, Prudential Assurance Malaysia

• Jasmine Lee – Chief Marketing Officer, U Mobile

• Jauhar Munir Shaikh – FVP, Brand Marketing for F&N Malaysia

• Loh Keh Jiat – CMO, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd

• Mark Ng – ASEAN Marketing Director, Castrol

• Martin Soong – Marketing Manager, Fonterra Brands Malaysia

• Matthew Ho – Regional Digital Marketing Director, Huawei Technologies Malaysia

• Nirinder Singh Johl – GM of Strategic Communications, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

• Noreen Sabrina – Head of Brand Communications- Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

• Pan Choi Yen – GM of Marketing, WIPRO-UNZA Malaysia

• Philip Whittaker – Group Chief Marketing Officer, Themed Attractions & Resorts

• Rizan Ismail – Head of Brand Management, PETRONAS

• Santharuban T. Sundaram – Group Marketing Manager, Permanis Sandilands

• Stephane Vilquin – Marketing Director, Campbell Soup Southeast Asia

• Syahar Khalid – Digital Engagement Manager, Nestlé Products Malaysia

• Vincent Chong – Marketing Director of Unilever Malaysia

• Zaki Zin – Marketing Director, Wyeth Nutrition Malaysia

• Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin – Chief Marketing Officer, Celcom AXIATA  

MARKETING Magazine is not responsible for the content of external sites.

The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

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