2 Minutes With … Rachel Chew, ACD at Ogilvy Singapore

On 'Wandermust' and creating a wacky origin story for Pond's

Rachel is an associate creative director at Ogilvy Singapore, working on brands such as Pringles, Vaseline and Cadbury.

We spent two minutes with Rachel to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Rachel, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I grew up in Singapore, spent five years studying in the U.K., then came back home because my folks said they were growing old. Fifteen years later, they are still alive and kicking. 

How you first realized you were creative. 

In primary school, I wrote a collection of stories about Michael Owen, my favorite football player and childhood crush. In secondary school, I wrote Wheel of Time-inspired fantasy stories and newsletters. I don't think there was one moment where I realized "I'm creative." I just enjoy writing about things I like. 

A person you idolized creatively early on. 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I want to write dialogue the way she does. 

A moment from high school or college that changed your life. 

As a kid, I was scared of everything: insects, ghosts, turbulence, talking to strangers. Leaving home to study abroad at 17 forced me out of my shell. It made me a braver and more open-minded person. I'm still terrified of cockroaches though. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire. 

The National. I loved their music while at university. But listening to them in my 30s hits differently.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring. 

Triangle of Sadness. Came highly recommended and definitely did not disappoint. So chaotic, so much truth and just so funny.

Your favorite fictional character. 

Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory

Someone or something worth following in social media. 

@milotruckdreams on Instagram. I love her honest-as-hell, zero-fucks-given commentary about Singapore and life in general. 

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.

We created a cheeky brand campaign for Scoot, the low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, where we helped travelholics validate their need by proving that it's hardwired into them. It's not just a luxury or a want. It's not wanderlust, it's "Wandermust." I remember not believing my luck when I found that the professor behind this research was based at the National University of Singapore. We got him on board and presented the idea. The clients bought it almost wholesale. The professor even made an appearance in our promo film. I've heard it's rare that a pitch idea gets created for real, so this one's very special to me. 

A recent project you're proud of. 

Sonali Ranjit and I spun a dubious tale about the origin of the air kiss for Pond's new Ultra Bright Oil Fighter facial foam for men.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

The "After Hours Athlete" for Puma by Droga5

Someone else's work you admired lately.

"La Compil des Bleues" by Marcel for Orange

Your main strength as a creative person. 

Not being afraid to look or sound stupid. Many of my favorite ideas went from "Wouldn't it be so funny if we…" to "Oh my god, we're doing it!" 

Your biggest weakness. 

Truffle fries. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising. 

Interior designer. I planned the renovation of my new place because my husband didn't want to pay for an interior designer. Despite disaster after disaster (and many delays), I really enjoyed the process.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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