40 under 40 2021: Youji Noh, TBWA Media Arts Lab | Advertising


Youji Noh

Creative director
TBWA Media Arts Lab

Youji Noh is one of a handful of female creative directors in Korea. While the traditionally strict hierarchical structure can make it particularly difficult for women to climb the ladder in the Korean advertising industry, it is the best example of what talent and persistence can accomplish when they go against the grain. .

Noh grew up speaking four languages ​​- Malay, Chinese, Korean and English – and attended school in three countries. Yet despite her obvious flair for languages, it was her passion for the arts, especially visual communication, that she would ultimately pursue.

After starting her career in a design studio in New York City, Noh moved to Singapore, where she produced regional work for APAC and global clients. Soon after, she was handpicked to return to Seoul to become one of the first creative members of the new TBWA Media Arts Lab Seoul office, which is dedicated to supporting Apple’s business in Korea.

Noh’s level of performance has helped her get promoted every 24-36 months. Today, she is part of the management team and is the Creative Director in the Seoul office, leading a group of six other creatives and overseeing all production.

Noh and his team have participated in several global campaigns for major Apple products, such as the iPhone, corporate privacy initiatives, and the MacBook. At the height of COVID in 2020, Noh led the creative development and execution of the world’s first “Shot on iPhone” campaign deployed from outside the central Los Angeles hub.

That same year, she also led the creation and execution of the first “Behind the Mac” campaign in Korea, one of the very few locally developed campaigns by Apple. By bringing together images of Mac appearances in Korean music videos, the film celebrated Korean creativity in an authentic and authentic way. With 16.8 million views (one-third of Korea’s population) in a week, it is still the most-viewed movie on Apple’s Korea YouTube page to date.

Over the years, Noh has remained committed to nurturing new talent. She has set up an internship program for future artistic directors, has mentored young designers and makes a point of personally contributing to the empowerment of young designers. She attributes her ability to empathize and work transparently with others to her multilingualism and multicultural background. When needed, she is able to be very hands-on and provide one-on-one mentorship. Her regular workshops and crash courses on cultural nuances and market trends have become an essential lesson not only for her team, but for the entire Seoul office.


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