AIA SG's brand comms head Joanna Ong-Ash exits to start PR consultancy

AIA Singapore's head of brand and corporate communications Joanna Ong-Ash has left the company after more than 10 years. Following her exit, she has launched her own communications consultancy, Bravery Communications. According to a press release, Bravery Communications sets out to help brands create compelling narratives that connect bold ideas with the right audience. Ong-Ash has also taken up a consulting lead role in Singapore for Hong Kong -based marketing consultancy, Neon Leaders, as part of its expansion plans in the region. 

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Ong-Ash said she is passionate about growing brands that engage, and believes that developing a strong, compelling narrative is critical to develop a brand which is relatable and loved. "Just as clients hire agencies they look forward to working with, people buy products and services from brands they like," she said, adding that this is the foundation which Bravery Communications is established on.

"Having spent the last 25 years shaping global brands on the other side, I recognise the importance of the brand to drive business outcomes and this is what I look to do for my clients," Ong-Ash added.

In her previous role in AIA Singapore, Ong-Ash was responsible for all aspects of strategic brand management and integrated marketing communications management, according to LinkedIn. This includes brand, segment and product category campaign management, sponsorship and corporate hospitality management, offline/online brand engagement and activation strategy as well as corporate communications and public/media relations. 

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, AIA Singapore said, "Joanna Ong-Ash has been instrumental in building the AIA Singapore brand story, helping to propel the company to where we are today. During her time at AIA, she was responsible for numerous award-winning integrated brand and marketing communication campaign, cementing AIA Singapore’s position as an industry leader. We thank her for her decades’ worth of dedication and valuable contributions and wish her all the best in her future endeavours."

Before her stint at AIA, Ong-Ash also held senior marketing and communication positions at various financial institutions including Aviva Singapore, American Express, MasterCard Worldwide, DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank. Throughout her career, Ong-Ash's communications experience is said to span across both regional and local roles across local firms as well as MNCs.

Earlier in July last year, AIA Singapore's chief customer and marketing officer Ho Lee Yen took up the role of chief distribution officer. In her current role, Ho is tasked to lead the transformation of the next generation distribution force and spearhead the advisor-customer engagement model. AIA's chief operations officer then, Melita Teo, was also appointed as chief customer and digital officer, a position which incorporates all the traditional responsibilities of a CMO as well. 

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, an AIA spokesperson said the chief customer and digital officer role is more representative of AIA’s vision of continuously delivering on customer-driven innovations through a digital-first approach. The spokesperson added that the merging the two roles under the chief customer and digital officer position is the logical next step for AIA to double down on its promise of enabling healthier, longer, and better lives by tapping the potential of and leveraging today’s most influential tool: digital technology. 

Separately in October, AIA Singapore called for a media pitch. The length of the appointment is approximately three years, and the incumbent on the account is MediaCom. According to Teo, the agency will be tasked to drive integrated campaigns and deliver results for the AIA brand and business.

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