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Beyond budgets and boxes: VML Ogilvy Japan CCO Doug Schiff on Asian creativity at One Asia 2023

SHANGHAI, CHINA — The One Club for Creativity invited some of the most prominent creative leaders from Asia for an in-person judging session back in October. Doug Schiff, Chief Creative Officer at VML Ogilvy Japan, was among the jury members this year who determined the campaigns that made up the shortlist and highly-anticipated winners list, which are set to be released on December 12, 2023. 

Doug caught up with adobo Magazine while in Shanghai to share snippets from inside the jury room for the following categories: Creative Effectiveness / Creative Use of Data / Public Relations / Gaming / Integrated / Interactive, Online & Mobile / Social Media. Having spent majority of his years in the industry within the region, particularly China and Japan, Doug has developed a deep understanding of the culture and creative capabilities from this part of the world, making him an integral part of One Asia’s diverse jury board. 

Currently, he’s been working as the CCO of VML Ogilvy Japan for the past five years, looking after its over 60-strong creative department. He also spent a decade with Ogilvy China, working on the agency’s biggest accounts: Nestle, Siemens, VW, IBM, Lenovo, and Mercedes Benz. The work he had done here had also won him awards from the industry’s biggest shows, including China’s first-ever Yellow Pencil, as well as a Spikes Grand Prix and multiple Cannes Gold Lions.

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Looking at the work entered for this year’s One Asia Awards, Doug underlined Asia’s knack for thinking outside the box: “Finding ways to make your money go further — I think [Asian countries] excel in this because the budgets are a good bit less. One example in the gaming category, which came out of the Philippines, is the Unbranded Menu [by Leo Burnett Manila]. That was a really low-budget campaign but had amazing results just because of clever thinking. So sometimes when you’re put in a box, which is a small budget, you have to find your way out through cleverness. We’ve been seeing that in One Asia this year,” he stated. 

He furthered, “When you have a smaller budget, you find clever ways to make the work resonate with the audiences and get the recognition it deserves. So, you know, we’re not doing these massive TV productions here that you see in the States and maybe across Europe, but you do see really great clever ideas that make the most of the budget that they have.” 

Doug highlighted a few stand-out campaigns in his categories as well that underlined the culture and tenacity of Asian creativity despite budget constraints or technological limitations, namely “The Taiwanese World of Creativity” by Dentsu Taiwan, and “Smart Farm” by Leo Burnett India for PepsiCo India Holdings. 

Winners for the 2023 One Asia Awards will be announced on December 12, 2023, with creatives looking forward to the works that stood out from the region this year. 

Watch Doug’s full interview with adobo Magazine President, Founder, and Editor-in-Chief Angel Guerrero below:

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