This is a story about the pioneers of the Hong Kong creative advertising scene, the foundations they set in place, upon which the industry was built, and the core period which followed when creative competition, and standards, were at their peak.
The early chapters set the scene from the 1950s through 1960s. How Hong Kong first developed as an advertising market thanks to the post-war boom years, paving the way for the big international brands looking to cash in on the emerging middle class, and the big name advertising agencies which were hot on their heels.
This book features anyone who was anyone on the Hong Kong creative scene during the last 30 years, and explores some of the greatest campaigns that the territory has seen, pre and post-1997. It traces the evolution in style of creativity from the earlier, western-influenced, and expatriate-driven creativity of the 1970s and 80s, through to the emergence of a more unique, local and very Cantonese voice which preceded and followed the handover.
Finally we look to the future. To China, and to the role that Hong Kong might play in the bigger scheme of things.
This is a tribute to all those who built the industry, and features samples of long forgotten campaigns which many people had grown up with.
CEO, KYMECHOW, HONG KONG
Chris has worked in advertising for over 20 years, starting as a copywriter with FCB London in the early 1980s (true to popular advertising legend, his career actually began in the mailroom).
His early years were spent creating TV commercials and poster and press advertising for clients like The Daily Mail, Cadbury’s, Dulux Paints, London Transport, British Airways and Heinz Foods.
In 1987, he accepted an offer to come and work in Hong Kong with Leo Burnett. During his first year he created a campaign for Hong Kong Land (The Centres of Central) which was voted Best TV Campaign for Asia at the Media and Marketing Awards.
He then joined Grey Hong Kong where he became Executive Creative Director, creating some of Hong Kong’s best known work during the first half of the 1990s, for clients such as Schweppes, Tom Lee Music and Satchi Leather Goods. Campaigns that are still remembered by many today.
In 1997 he joined FCB Asia, and was soon posted to Singapore to help drive the office there, also taking the role of Regional Creative Director for Asia, and was made a member of the worldwide creative board.
Chris was voted Singapore Ad Man of the Year in 2001, prior to returning to Hong Kong where he joined Eight Partnership as Creative Partner, before establishing Kymechow, his own creative services agency which he still runs today. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Chris is still very connected to the industry today and continues to win awards. At the 2012 Kam Fan awards show, Kymechow picked up a Gold and 4 Silvers for their short film ‘Jing Yat’ for Sun Life, written and director by local artist and director Stanley Wong.
Chris has been Chairman of the Hong Kong 4As awards on three occasions, and is a regular speaker at industry events. In 2004 he was invited to speak at the Cannes International Advertising Festival on Hong Kong advertising. This presentation was the catalyst for the content of the book Chris has now written about the Hong Kong industry. He was also a member of the Executive Jury at the New York Festivals in 2013 and 2014.
Tommy Cheng 鄭之樂
BUSINESS DIRECTOR, McCANN GROUP WORLDWIDE
A holder of a High Diploma in Marketing from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Tommy has over 25 years experience in the business. His career
really got off the ground as Group Account Manager at McCann Erckson where he was groomed in the art of client relations during a three year spell serving clients such as R.J.Reynolds and Nestle.
After a short excursion as Account Director at DY&R, where he helped secure the much prized Kentucky Fried Chicken account, he found himself a part of one of the most exciting advertising companies in Asia in the eighties and nineties, The Ball Partnership, where he rose to become Partner.
Helping to drive some of Hong Kong’s most awarded campaigns during the agency’s hey day, Tommy was no less influential in winning business, and some of his key successes included Vitasoy, Café de Coral and Hong Kong Economic Times.
Leaving in 1995 to join Bates as Client Service and Business Director, by now Tommy was one of Hong Kong’s most respected management figures in the industry, consistently associated with great examples of creative advertising. His subtle yet quietly firm hand at client relations proved invaluable with some of Hong Kong’s most prized brand names, like HSBC, Shell, Nokia, BAT and Heineken, to name but a few.
In 2000, he broke away, along with two partners, to form Hot Dog, where he was Founder and Business Director, before taking up his current role as Business Director at McCann Group Worldwide. Still an active figure in the industry, Tommy’s knowledge of the history of the Hong Kong advertising scene is second to none