24 Hours With… Iris Singapore creative director Ed Cheong

Ed Cheong24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella Asia’s world. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Ed Cheong, creative director of Iris Singapore.

8:00am: Another day begins for another round in this ring we call advertising. I gear up just like every other self-conscious caveman in this world. Get in the car and try to focus on the road and not on yesterday’s idea that could have been better.

9:30am: Check my tweets for the news and events that make advertising feel small and insignificant. Check Instagram for the innocent moments that again keeps adland in its place. That daily dose of perspective helps to keep my feet on the ground while my thoughts are somewhere else.

12:00pm: By this hour, I would have accepted a couple more meetings. And rejected some. Gave the thumbs up to some thoughts and rejected more. As I’m envisioning this to be about Monday, I sit down with my partners in crime Luke (Nathan, regional CEO), Grant (Hunter, regional creative director, APAC), Craig (Mapleston, managing director), Mark (Hadfield, regional planning director, APAC) and several other fellow misfits to go through the game plan, resources and other non too sexy grown-up stuff.

12:20pm: I gaze at our finance guru – Jade (Rainbird, financial controller) and I secretly wonder if she loves the word “EBITDA” like I do and that it would be an awesome name for her first child/pet.

Typically by lunch, I would have an inkling if the break would be short and the day would be long.

3:00pm: I get settled to do some thinking of my own. Gone are the days when creative directors just give the nod and give the green light for the hit. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still love coming up with ideas in the hope that the creative teams would make mine suffer from an inferiority complex. They seldom disappoint.

4.30pm: A couple of us get into an intense debate. It involves planning, accounts and creative folks. After much analysing, we arrive at our line-ups for the week’s Fantasy Football League. Serious stuff. 

5:00pm: Client meeting. Honestly, I used to dread heading to some in my other life. But I must keep it real and give credit to the clients we meet regularly. As we’re not a boring behemoth and not a tiny tot either, it sort of filters out the type of marketers we collaborate with. They want the good stuff, minus the bullshit. For that I’m always thankful.

6.30pm. An interview with a potential hire. Everyone’s motivated to do good work, but not everyone has the right motivations. Sussing that out is the hard part.

7:30pm: I decide to call it a day or welcome the night. If it’s the former, I try to head to the gym. The operative word is try.

11:00pm: The bedroom beckons. A sanctity where the missus and I never talk about work. Being a marketing director, she knows my pain and I recognise hers. Enough talk.

11:59pm: I hope that tomorrow’s better. It usually is.


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