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People: Collaboration and Thai humour with Yell Advertising’s Creative Group Head Duo

BANGKOK, THAILAND — What makes a successful creative team? Is it communication? Knowing how to solve a problem? Stress management? At Yell Advertising, it would seem the agency’s creative group head duo, Peeradon Kongphakdee and Witsanuporn WattanaChang, have nailed the art of working together: It’s all about enjoying the process.

The team at Yell emphasises how they always try to think outside the box, and it shows in their approach to creativity. Recent work from Yell has captured audiences with its award-winning film playing on superhero tropes with Weber Glue, a campaign with iQIYI that took 15 food carts and made more than 11 million impressions online and working with ONETOUCH on a YouTube campaign that garnered more than 2.5 million organic views.

Here, creative heads Peeradon and Witsanuporn sit down with LBB to explore their relationship as a creative duo, how they got started in the advertising business, and why injecting Thai humour is key to their success.

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Excited from the start
A career in creativity didn’t always look like the most obvious destination for the duo. As they tell LBB, they were given a chance by Yell’s CCO to be ‘who they believed they could be.’ Witsanuporn first joined Yell as a trainee at 30 years old and had been working part-time at KFC before ‘finally’ turning himself into a full-time creative. It’s clear speaking with the team at Yell that the agency cares about talent, in any shape or form, rather than relying on the background.

Peeradon had started in motion graphics and had been changing around his positions before landing as creative art director. The two, once they started working together, got along immediately. “We spent the time working together until we not only became co-workers but real best friends,” says Witsanuporn. At Yell, the pair have earned notable nicknames: Beavis and Butt-head.

Peeradon Kongphakdee and Witsanuporn WattanaChang

Humour as a secret weapon
So, how do these vibrant creative minds approach their craft? It’s simple: “Never miss throwing the Thai sense of humour into your work, it’s the secret weapon.” They point to Yell’s work with Weber Glue on its ‘The Gecko Man: A Big Idea That Stuck’ film, which recently won bronze at the Epica Awards. “It’s a case example of how we apply Thai humour into scenes audiences may not be focusing on at first, but the jokes are able to capture their attention.”

Weber is a client the duo are particularly excited about after the agency pitched for three campaigns against many ‘high profile’ competitors in the Thai advertising space. “Every day, we feel the same sense of excitement about pitching,” says Witsanuporn.

Work as play
Creative partnerships have a legacy of capturing attention, from Lennon and McCartney to Steven Spielberg and John Williams – we’re always interested in how creatives work together. So, how do Peeradon and Witsanuporn work together? The answer is perhaps the opposite.

“Work? No. Actually, we play,” says Witsanuporn, who tells LBB that when the duo presents work to a client, they imagine they’re presenting a game show. “It’s our gimmick,” he adds.

And it works: “One client once said to us, ‘I guess you don’t have to show us the storyboard next time, because from the way you presented you already gave us the whole picture.” Potentially there’s no higher praise in the initial phases of a project.

Work for many people equates to stress, but Witsanuporn and Peeradon emphasise how they take a headstrong approach to dealing with it. “Just let it go, and don’t give a shit about it!” Adding: “That’s pretty much how we deal with it.” And to keep the energy flowing? Well, it’s a simple answer, says Peeradon: “Think about seeing your bills at the beginning of the month, your energy will come out of nowhere, believe me.”

So what does the future look like? “It’ll be unpredictable, but we’re excited to crash into it,” says the duo. “The point is, we believe we’ll gain something from it.”

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