Friday, December 14, 2007

Insights Into Judging

What do award judges really look for?

At the recent Kancil Awards 2007, Janet Lee grabbed the chance to interview the foreign and local creative gurus. These video interviews provide a revealing insight into what they look for, how they think, why they chose what they chose, and where they see the Malaysian ad industry heading next year.

As the final part of the Kancil Awards Festival 2007, the 4As and 95% hosted this video presentation for all ad agency people on 19th December 2007.
Special guest star of the night was Edmund Choe, the Kancil Awards Jury Chairman and Creative Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi. Here's Edmund and Janet.

For more info on this video, pls email

For more info on Kancil Awards, visit

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Idea Generators In Progress

On 15th January 2008, after 6 weeks of training, the current intake of Idea Generators In Progress put up their work to be judged by a group of Creative Directors.

Here are the judges...
From left :
• Deputy Creative Director of TBWA-ISC\Malaysia Paul Lingan
• Executive Creative Director of Y&R Rahul Mathew
• Regional ECD of Grey Worldwide Jeff Orr
• Creative Director of XM Malaysia Stuart Godwin.

The Best of Show was awarded to a campaign for Amnesty International created by Rudy La Faber.
Also nominated were:
• An ambient idea for Cintan Noodles and an interactive campaign for Kotex by Alex Yeoh,
who was part of the Ad Unplugged 'Signature Slippers' winning team.
Pix shows Alex with trainer Janet Lee.
• An ambient idea for Milo and 'Slurrrp' TVC by Natasha, Bronze winner at Kancil Awards 2007.
• And an interactive 'virtual mall' idea by Cheryl Low, a law graduate who is now aiming for a career as a brand planner.

Stuart : "I have to say that I was impressed with the standard of the thinking in general. What was of particular interest to me was the number of students from other institutions who were doing the 95% courses in addition to their other courses. I think this speaks volumes about the calibre and reputation of Janet and her outfit.”

Rahul : "I love the fact that you're not just doing interactive but RELEVANT interactive."

Jeff : "You've introduced the Brand Values into the target's life."

Here are the triumphant (and exhausted) participants : Natasha, Fiona, Alex, Cheryl, Silvia, Becky and Rudy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

95% Graduates win at Kancil Awards

Congratulations to our graduates Natasha who won a Bronze, Wilson Santoso who won a Silver, and Fajar Kurnia who won a Bronze, Silver AND Gold!

For the full list of winners, and to see their work, click on the title of this post.

Fajar says " 95% is where I learned about what advertising really is and who I really am. I learned something here that I did not get in my three and a half years in college (or even in another 100 years) such as building a solid strategy, generating, evaluating and polishing ideas, and crafting copy. But this is still less important than knowing about myself. There I realise how powerful a human can be; it is beyond measure. I am able to see things from a different perspective. I know what I want, why I want that and how to get it. And I think that is the reason I am who I am today."

Fajar also won a Bronze earlier this year at Crowbar Awards, a regional award competition in Singapore. He is the most awarded advertising student of 2007. Look out for more from this amazing young talent!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ad Unplugged 2nd November 2007

To read the write up in The Star, click on the title of this post.
It was a full house! 180 enthusiastic students came to work with six top Executive Creative Directors :
• Rahul Mathew
Executive Creative Director of Young & Rubicam
• Bas Moreu
Executive Creative Director of TBWA-ISC\Malaysia
• Jeff Orr
Regional Executive Creative Director of Grey Worldwide
• Ted Lim
Executive Creative Director of Naga DDB
• Ronald Ng
Executive Creative Director of BBDO
• Daniel Comar
Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather

The brief was to turn Tat Seng rubber slippers into a global cult. As you can imagine, the students were not exactly thrilled with the brief!

The ECDs however, set them straight to work, directing their thinking and bringing out their ideas. Here's Ted working with his group, taking many by surprise when he insisted they think of the strategy first!

Here's Daniel Comar giving his group a taste of how Ogilvy works

It was amazing what some of the students managed to come up with in just three hours.

Among the shortlisted ideas were :

• The designer Tat Seng : famous artists are given the chance to create their own designs on a Tat Seng slipper which would be autioned off to the highest bidder.

• A viral contest featuring stunts with Tat Seng slippers.

• The Electric Shock Proof slipper. Very nice ambient ideas.

The judges had a hard time deciding on the winners! After the six ECDs presented the best ideas from their respective groups, they were asked to vote for their top two favourites. Four ideas made it into the Finals. The ECDs debated each idea and weighed it against the brief : to make Tat Seng a global cult. They were looking for a big brand idea.

Then, they voted again to decide on the 1st and 2nd Prizes.

These two ideas almost made it : they would have been third and fourth, if we had that many prizes.

• The 'un-slippable' slipper. The group drew a great storyboard of a hilarious TVC where an old lady wearing Tat Seng foiled the efforts of a car thief. Very funny, and it's a great TV idea. Get a Thai Film Director to shoot it and it'll probably win awards all over.

• Mr. Tat Seng : A cranky character who is an incredibly individualistic individual. He says something like "F..k Off if you don't like my logo. I like it." (hey, guys who did this - pls give me the actual line if you can remember it)


2nd Prize went to the group who positioned it as the 'No Choice' slipper, an anti-fashion statement.In the three hours, this group managed to express the brand idea very well in a series of POS and ambient ideas.

1st Prize was awarded to the group who branded it as the 'Signature Slipper', packing it with a set of three markers for customers to design their own personalised slippers. This won over the artist's designed slipper as it was down to earth, accessible to everyone and allows young people the opportunity to self-express.

According to the CDs, a few groups were also thinking along the same line, but this was better thought through and a more articulate expression of the brand idea.
What both winning groups had in common :
1. The brand idea came from a truth about the product. They accepted it as it was, and looked at how they could twist it into an appealing proposition. Many groups that didn't make it were too focussed on all the things that were unappealing about the product, and they got stuck there.

2. They did not rely on a tangible product USP. They created a personality, an attitude, that says a lot about the user.

3. They managed to crack the strategy and also come up with great ideas for the creative expression of that strat.
Some had strong strategy, but not enough time to think of ideas. Others had ideas but strategy was not strong.

Everyone had the same brief, same amount of time. For all those who also achieved these three criteria, good for you.

Here's Ronald sweating it out with one of his groups

If you want to develop your ideas fully and create something fit for your portfolio, contact Jeanette at 03-2287 7095 or and book your seat now.
Date : 27th November (Tuesday)
This session is open to all who attended Ad Unplugged.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

95% The Advertising Academy

We provide trainings designed specifically for the Advertising Industry

How much of your talent are you aware of?

Talent, not skills. Skills are what you learn, but talent is something you are born with. It is already there, inside you. Now, what are you doing to bring that to the surface?

At 95%, we’ll lead you to explore and uncover more of yourself. Led by Janet Lee, a Creative Director who has won over 80 local and international advertising awards in her 20 year career, 95% develops the thinking processes and idea generation abilities that prepare young talent for success in advertising.

The only thing blocking you from achieving your greatest dreams are the beliefs that you are holding on to. Beliefs that you may not even be aware of. Once you realise what those beliefs are, you have the ability to exchange them for more empowering ones.

No amount of book learning alone can do this for you. That’s why 95% has designed advertising skills trainings that are built on a foundation of personal growth. We lead participants to explore and experience more of themselves than they ever have, and this opens up the way for their talent to emerge.

To find out more about 95% and our trainings, keep reading this blog! Or just email us at

Monday, October 22, 2007

Crowbar Student Awards in Singapore

Here are our Crowbar heroes : Fajar, Wilson Santoso, Wilson and Ernest at Crowbar Awards night on 16th August.
Wilson won a Bronze last year, the other three got their work shortlisted for this year's award show. You make us proud, guys :)

Crowbar is a student award organised by the 4As of Singapore. It is a regional competition, with entries coming from Malaysia and Australia. This year, they received 1135 entries. Click on title of this post to read more.

From the four pieces of work that was shortlisted, Fajar's Vitagen 'Where's Waldo?' won a Bronze. Congratulations!

Here's Wilson and Fajar with their entries.

And here they are with Programme Director Shahnaz, all oozing testosterones!

What's next guys? Kancil Awards? Young Guns in Australia?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Copywriters In Progress graduates!

On 7th of September, the first batch of copywriters graduated after doing the 5-month Copywriters In Progress training.

The graduates are :
Victoria Robertson, ex-flight attendant, soon to join TBWA-ISC
Farid Izanee Che Mat, engineer, available.
Ng He Xiang, graduate from The One Academy, employed by Bates Asia
Faisal Ahmad, ex-engineer, interning at Euro RSCG
Ellie Woon, philosophy major, interning at Euro RSCG
Aaron Mokhtar, ex-event manager, available
Anuradha Kaliappan, ex-journalist, available
Izham Fazely Pakhorarazi, freshly employed copywriter.


They're our first batch of Blue Elephants. Why Blue Elephants? Here's the story...

In 2004, we set up 95% to train aspiring copywriters. A noble mission, we thought, given the great shortage.

However, in our first two years, only 30% of our participants were copy based! The rest were designers and art directors.

We couldn’t find aspiring copywriters in the advertising schools. And the non-advertising school students were either allergic to writing or thought that copywriting involved pirated DVDs.

It seemed that nobody wanted to be a copywriter. Nobody even liked writing! Were we hunting something that did not exist? Something that was only a figment of our happy hour hallucination? That's when Peter coined the term Blue Elephant in a moment of frustration.

Trainer and Director of 95% Janet Lee said "I was tired of telling ad agencies that I didn’t have any available writers for them. The agencies were like a hungry pack of wolves waiting at my door, and everytime a copywriter graduated and walked out, you could hear the teeth snapping as they fought over him or her.”

We must find these Blue Elephants!

So we launched a new strategy targetting people who enjoy writing but have ended up in the more respectable careers: law, engineering, IT, journalism.

(insightful campaign created by Lucideas)

We set up and started running the weekend workshops "Me? A Copywriter?"

Eventually, we found a group of closet writers who have been secretly longing for a career change. Now, after 22 weeks of training, our first batch of Blue Elephants graduated on Friday night.

As proud of them as we are, we are even more elated knowing that we have tapped into a steady stream of fresh writing talent for the ad industry. The Blue Elephant exists!

The way the ad industry responded to our announcement tells us that they are just as excited about these creatures as we are. Several key people took the time to celebrate this graduation with us.

Datuk Vincent Lee, President of 4As and Group CEO of the Feotus Group addressed the audience and shared his big picture view of how building brands is critical to the country's economy.

Jeff Orr, Regional Executive Creative Director of Grey Worldwide povided inspiring insights and tips on what makes a great copywriter. Jeff was one of the judges who came to evaluate the graduates' work during their final module, and here he is pointing out the highlights of each of the graduate's work.

The audience is rapt as Jeff shares his copywriting tips. He is one of those writers who makes it seem easy.

Executive Creative Director of Lowe, Ng Heok Seong, says the industry must do their part to nurture interns. Behind him is our faithful supporter and friend Bas Moreu, Executive Creative Director of TBWA-ISC\Malaysia.

Ray Goh, Associate CD of Dentsu and the legendary Kins Lee, a sharp strategist disguised as an art director and Janet's former partner at Spider Network.

Here's Programme Director Shahnaz (also known as the 'guru besar') showing Neal Estavillo, MD of JWT where the party is.

Grenville Francis giving his POV on copywriting.
Jeff won the Best Caption contest : What would you do with a Blue Elephant? I would turn it into grey.

Raz enjoying choc coated marshmallows. Aaron being modest. Faisal trying to impress Woei Hern Snr Copywriter of Dentsu.

The Blue Elephants doing their final striptease.

Guests of Honour : Datuk Vincent Lee and Jeff Orr.

The 95% team : Shahnaz, Janet, Chris (a great MC for the night), Razlina and Peter.

If YOU think you may be a Blue Elephant, contact
NEXT INTAKE : March 2008

Shahnaz, happy for a change! Peter Gan and Janet Lee, proud of the Blue Elephants :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Me? A Copywriter?

[This post has been updated on 13th June 2012]

If you’re good in English, enjoy writing and love being creative, copywriting could be an exciting career for you!

Come and find out more at the “Me? A Copywriter?” workshop. You will get a clear idea of what copywriting is, what the job involves, and explore your potential to be one.

Date : 24th June 2012 (Sunday)
Time : 3pm - 6pm (followed by Idea Rawkstarrs briefing from 6.15 - 7pm)
Venue : 95% The Advertising Academy, Suite 2.02, 1 Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.
Fee : RM50

If you are interested, please contact or 03-2287 7095 to book your seat.

PEOPLE FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS ............................

We've had people from all backgrounds, of all ages, coming together to explore. We've met Mass Comm and Advertising Students, Journalists, Engineers, a whole lot of IT people, Accountants, Fresh SPM Grads, Teachers & Academicians who have a secret dream of being a copywriter or any kind of writer - but were told that they can't earn a decent living that way. It's not true anymore.


With the shortage of copywriters in Malaysia, getting a job should be a breeze. In fact, there are many ex-journalists or PR writers who have found their way into Ad agencies because they are good in writing.

But only to realise that strong language skills are not quite enough for them to crack the brief, conceptualise powerful ad ideas, and thrive in the demanding Ad agency environment. And due to the fast pace of work, many of the more senior people are too busy to provide on-the-job-training.

It is still a lucrative career, nevertheless, for someone who is well-trained and well-prepared for all the challenges.

The Ad industry provides infinite opportunities for growth because it does not take into consideration age, seniority, race, religion, gender or background. You are as good as your talent.

Your salary will increase at the same pace as your talent and skill develops.

So for someone who is willing to work hard, has the burning passion to push boundaries, and you produce great work - you can very quickly be very well paid. But you must be really good.

Most other industries will have fixed salary scales and heirarchy for promotion. Advertising doesn't.

Now isn't that great?

So if you're looking for a way to earn a living with your pen, email, or call Janet at 03-22877095.

This is what Ajay Bakshi, Executive Creative Director of Bates Asia said when he came to judge our graduates' work:
"On the evidence of the well-crafted headlines and sharp ideas I saw in abundance during my visit, 95% seems an excellent way for any aspiring copywriter to sharpen his or her conceptual and crafting skills, and to run the very real risk of having fun in the process."

To read up about the advertising industry in Malaysia, visit
And check out the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents at

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A 5-month training for aspiring copywriters [Updated]

On 29th January 2007, 95% The Advertising Academy, started an intensive 5-month training for aspiring copywriters.

You don’t need to have an art or advertising background, just good grammar, good writing skills and a love for creative ideas.

You'll be trained by Janet Lee, a Creative Director who has won over 80 advertising awards in her 20 year career. Click on the title of this post to read more about Janet, seen here with graduate Jo.

The advertising industry is short of good copywriters. At 95%, we often get emails like this :
“I desperately need a good copywriter. Someone young, enthusiastic and looking for an opportunity within an agency environment that allows unrestrained explosion of his/her talent. Someone who graduated NOT from advertising schools but the school of life!”
Nantha Kumar
Managing Director
Earth, Wind & Fire

"Tell me when your first batch graduates.  I'll be waiting outside in the hallway with letters of offer in hand!"
Pek Andee
Creative Group Head
Brandz Communication


This 5-month training is designed to develop the individual's writing and thinking patterns - it is more than just a workshop or a copywriting course that teaches you only the skills. It nurtures creative talent and leads participants to explore and discover their own unique way of creating great ads, while developing the personal qualities that lead to a successful career.

Participants will learn to look beyond mastery of language, to explore strategic brand building issues and conceptualise great communication ideas.

They'll understand what passion really is. And they'll understand the huge difference between someone who can do copywriting, and a true copywriter.

Towards the end of the training, participants will be presenting their work to panel of industry leaders : top Creative Directors and Agency Heads who are their potential employers.

Here are some of the panelists, from left : Trainer Janet, Executive Creative Director of McCann-Erickson Szu Lee, Film Director Steven Ang, Executive Creative Director of TBWA-ISC\Malaysia Bas Moreu.

On June 14th, 4 leading copy based Creative Directors came to judge our participants' work : they are ECD of Bates Malaysia Ajay Bakshi, Creative Group Head of Brandz Pek Andee, ECD & MD of Dentsu Malaysia SP Lee and ECD of Dentsu Utama Hisham Sahuddin.

After the judging, this is what Ajay wrote...

"On the evidence of the well-crafted headlines and sharp ideas I saw in abundance during my visit, 95% seems an excellent way for any aspiring copywriter to sharpen his or her conceptual and crafting skills, and to run the very real risk of having fun in the process."

To find out more about the 5-month Copywriters In Progress, email, or call Janet at 03-22877095.

If you’re interested to see if copywriting is for you, sign up for "Me? A Copywriter?" workshop (updated 13th June 2012).

Date : 24th June 2012 (Sunday)
Time : 3pm - 6pm
Venue : 95% The Advertising Academy. Suite 2.02, 1 Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.
Workshop Fee : RM50
Call 03-2287 7095 to book your seat.

SOME OF THE CURRENT PARTICIPANTS..........................

Here, meet some aspiring copywriters :

"Classes are rarely conventional and almost always exciting. Every class is an exercise in experiential learning. I was inspired by the insights gained so early in the course; into retail wars, branding and psychology, consumer behaviour. It challenges me to be more observant, more critical and more sensitive with my everyday interactions, commercial or otherwise. This is rather subtle education... the kind that no textbooks teach you."
- Anuradha Kaliappan, copywriting student.

"Only 3 weeks in to the course and I am beginning to see life around me from a completely different perspective.
My inhibitions and pre conceived ideas about the world and its people have been stripped away. This training has opened me up, filled me with confidence, enthusiasm and passion, and awakened my creative nature more than I thought possible.
Our trainers are charismatic, their personalities are infectious, and in sharing their knowledge and experiences, it will take me places I never imagined I could go. There is still a lot more to come. Bring it on!!"
Victoria Robertson

"Values gained? Plenty. Plus you get to know more of yourself. That's what 95% will give you. I consider it more of a journey. Not there yet, but I'm enjoying the ride."
Farid Izanee

Ng He Xiang
"95% has taught me so much more than just copywriting. It has taught me about myself and my potential as well as my strengths and weaknesses. It gave me a whole new perspective on how to go about solving problems. 95% showed me a whole new world of possibilities."

"What sums it up for me - knowing that I'm no longer merely dreaming to realise my aspirations, but actually being in the process of realizing my aspired dreams :-) The fact that my fatigue at the end of the day - juggling a full-time job in publishing + CIP classes 3 times a week - is a result of exerted passion in being, pleasure for living. Call me a geek but I actually look forward to classes and assignments! This is not merely a training of how to break into the field of advertising or writing prints that sell; I'm also learning to unleash my heart potentials, to tap into my imagination and cultivate the garden of my soul because ultimately, Creativity is about feeling chemistry between myself and the world around me. Of course, winning a pencil would be nice too! All in good time ;-)"

~Copywriter wannabe + Wunderkind soon-to-be~ Ellie.
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