Former Ogilvy APAC creative chief Eugene Cheong starts up independent agency

After spending most of his career building Ogilvy, APAC creative chief Eugene Cheong is starting from scratch with his own agency named e. The new agency will ally with creative independent, Blak Labs, which will provide creative, tech, media and production firepower. Cheong declined to share more on the partnership.

After more than three decades at Ogilvy, Cheong says he sees more strategic opportunities in the smaller, nimbler agency model. “In the last 18 months, I’ve worked with the likes of Gut Brazil and Blak Labs and it’s plain as day that smaller, creative-led agencies move 10 times faster and make work 10 times fresher than big networks,” explains Cheong.

e is currently working on projects for Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Singapore National Eye Centre, Natura Malaysia plus several other clients.

“Our first client, for example, came to us out of sheer desperation. Their large retainer agency took three weeks and multiple attempts to produce a banner campaign. We got it out in a day and a half,” Cheong said in a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. “Advertising folks are world champion talkers, but they are somewhat lacking in the dept. of Doing,” Cheong added.

“That’s why, I love my buddies at Blak Labs. They’re not talkers, they’re doers. They are creative painkillers. That’s also why clients love them and keep telling their friends about them.”

“Eugene is one of the founding fathers of advertising in Singapore. He has more creativity in his pinky than most creative departments combined. Blak Labs’ alliance with e is win-win for both agencies,” adds Charlie Blower, managing partner of Blak Labs.

Cheong has big ambitions for little e. “We want to be the brand famous for making brands famous. We want to do work that weakens the knee, boggles the mind and sells a shedload of stuff,” Cheong remarks.

“The people at Blak Labs will help me transmute the great ideas and grand plans in my head and my gut into films, posts, websites, billboards, banners, strategies and world-class content. It’s good to have good friends.”

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