Besides being a creative director at Cheil Worldwide, Eugene Park also wears many hats that take her from being a doting mother of a five-year-old daughter to being a jazz vocalist and even a travel writer. Her passions expose her to varied settings and situations that broaden her perspectives on life and the many coloured hues it takes on.
“Talking to my five-year-old daughter inspires me,” says Eugene Park, creative director at Cheil Worldwide. Children and the innocence they bring to conversations gives new insights that spark joy – and ideas. For Eugene, inspiration comes from her daily life and in the people and activities she engages in. “As a lover of travel, music, movies, books and exhibition, my inspiration comes from everything — from the past memory to current experience. Importantly, I think what matters most is filtering those sources so that they can be used in the right direction.”
Fueled by these inspirations, Eugene has no time to be idle. Her motto to live life in the moment propels her to cherish every moment she has, and Eugene certainly knows what she wants to go for in life. As a student, she knew she loved “making up ideas and coming up with phrases”. With that dream, Eugene majored in advertising-creation in college – and that led to the start of a career she has been fixated on ever since.
LBB> What do you find most inspiring about Samsung? And what are the product verticals you focus on?
Eugene> First of all, I would like to talk about the national sentiments of Korea. Seoul is a city that is very lively and inspiring; it’s never boring. I think the same applies for the Samsung brand — it always keeps transforming.
Having joined Cheil Worldwide almost 10 years ago, my time here has really flown by. I think the reason is because Samsung is constantly changing, and I have to study continually to respond to those changes. Not only that, competition is also fierce in the domestic electronics market. So, if you are not keeping up even for a moment, you will lose out. That is why Samsung keeps coming up with better, newer, and more creative products. And that is what makes it inspiring for me. It’s great because this kind of pace really suits my personality; I do not like to stay idle even for a while.
We manage the product lines for Samsung’s laptops, micro LED TVs and service. For the past six years, I have managed both domestic and global projects, which includes car brand Chevrolet and Korean brands.
LBB> What are the key messages that are important for Samsung and how do you apply them in your creative approach?
Eugene> Samsung’s general key messages are: “tolerance for independence”, “pushing boundaries” and “constant innovation under openness”. And we've applied one common principle to all of our creative work: to reflect serious technology in a playful manner. As you know, Samsung's technology is constantly evolving, and it is not easy to explain it to consumers every single time. Nowadays, we do that officially through a “techmentary”, in which technology is explained in depth. But that is not suited for most commercial products, so we have to think about how to show the technology to consumers more playfully. That has been our criteria for evaluating creativity.
LBB> What exciting project are you working on at the moment? Can you give us a sneak preview?
Eugene> Samsung recently revealed Galaxy S22 Bora Purple at the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 Unpacked event. I was excited to create the launch film for the new S22 Bora Purple. This new Bora purple story carries us to this fantasy world that was inspired by the classic Disney movies. If you look into the characters that possess magical power, they are mostly purple. So, we came up with the idea of associating magical power with Bora Purple through the animation technique.
Until now, many product launch films have focused on creating storytelling with 3D techniques. But for this film, we've used animation throughout the film to truly deliver the magical feeling. As this was a new approach, I paid a lot of attention to the steps involved in the process as they were very detailed and complicated. This was a global collaboration project that involved a director in Australia and an animation company in London coordinated by our team from Seoul headquarters.
This was a new approach for myself as well, so I really look forward to see viewer's response. If you find it on YouTube, don’t forget to press the “like” button!
LBB> What are the memorable highlights in your career and why was it significant?
Eugene> It was when I met Yu-na Kim while working on a film for Nike. She is such a great athlete in figure skating. It was a big deal to be involved in that because Nike had never done a film in Korea. They set very high standards, and that was the one and only time Nike did a film in Korea. I was ecstatic to have won the pitch to work on six six-second teasers and a 30-second film, which created a big sensation in Korea at that time.
Not only that, as Yu-na had to be in Vancouver for training, I was cast as her body stand-in. And the composited photo of my body and her face in the print ad was displayed in all Nike stores too. I will always remember that!
LBB> How do you ensure you continually upgrade your skills to stay relevant? And what new skills do you think are very important for creatives?
Eugene> In my opinion, having a strong sense of curiosity is the most important trait a creative must have. For me, if I ever lose that, I think I might leave the advertising industry. Open-mindedness, great imagination, problem-solving abilities, among many others, are also important traits to have.
In terms of upgrading, I always try something new. Recently, I took up NFT courses. Anything new always fascinates me. It’s also very important to be able to handle tech tools. These days, so many people are becoming one-man producers and content creators, and they are using various tools to convey their thoughts efficiently and attractively. We need that as well to create fascinating ads, so I have also started learning how to use Adobe Premier for creative video editing.
LBB> Looking forward, what are the trends or issues that are very important for creatives to note in meeting client briefs?
Eugene> There's a joke we have whenever we get a brief — “this time, the MZ generation will be the target!" Until recently, most of Samsung's products have been targetted at the MZ generation. But now, we have the alpha generation, which corresponds to my daughter’s generation. I think that is the word we're going to see often in briefs.