Executive creative director, China
In 2007, a young Awing Chen attended the Cannes Lions Festival as one of the candidates of Young Lion. 15 years later, in 2022, Chen was invited onto the Cannes Lions stage, this time as a lecturer to share her award-winning cases and experience on driving local relevance for international brands, in response to the fast-changing Chinese market.
From a candidate to an invited lecturer, Chen’s trajectory has been far from overnight. Her journey from a young creative, to a creative that drives impacts for brands, has taken her from career beginnings in Taipei driving offline and digital marketing, to Beijing and Shanghai, where she provided integrated creative solutions for both local and international brands, achieving encouraging milestones including winning the first international awards for Chinese brands at Adfest and Spikes.
In the past year, Chen has continued her award winning streak for DDB, leading her team to success (with 20+ awards, making DDB the Agency of the year) on work for candy brand Skittles, repositioning them from an aging brand to a young and award-winning brand.
Chen was key to bringing the idea for the Skittles campaign to life through impactful insight and media innovation. The result was an increase in brand fans, including a 46% growth in GenZ, record-breaking engagement on Tik Tok, making the campaign one of the most successful activities on Tik Tok. Skittles also shined on the stage of London International Awards with 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze, and DDB China was named the Agency of the Year. Given the success of Skittles, Mars Wrigley (parent company) nominated Chen as the creative lead of another brand—Doublemint.
As the creative lead of DDB’s Shanghai and Guangzhou offices, Chen has fostered a strong synergy. Her teams are arranged based on their strength, the goals they would like to achieve, and types of projects. Different talents will be put together for projects that suit. This cross-office cooperation approach is not only a great way to unleash people’s full potential, but it also motivates the team to learn from each other and be inspired by different points of view.
Chen has driven a number of workplace initiatives, including a 2+1 working model for creatives, so that her team, especially the young ones, can have more opportunity to lead projects independently with their own creative approach to enhance ownership, self-growth as well as efficiency. She is also a committed advocate for enhancing gender equality – through the Omniwomen programs, Chen has shared her personal experience on how to focus on the work itself instead of being constrained by gender stereotypes. She also runs one-on-one lunch sessions with her team regularly.