Alice Yu Yuebo | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2020

Alice Yu Yuebo

Lead, Digital Content



“Great innovators need to both have a pair of sharp eyes to identify where the gap is, and a pair of dirty hands to make things happen”

There may not be too many analytical chemists working in digital marketing, but Alice Yu Yuebo is proof that critical thinking can combine with creativity and connection to impressive effect. As Prudential’s digital content lead, Yu Yuebo has played a part in the company’s "Together, let's #Dogood" campaign this year, which was produced in three days by leveraging user-generated content online, and has gathered over 500k views across all social media. Yu Yuebo has also worked as a special reporter for the largest Chinese newspaper in Singapore, Lian He Zao Bao, and was a winner of the Global Women in Marketing Awards ‘One to Watch’ category in 2019. 

How do you define innovation?
Innovation is not just constantly creating new things, but constantly identifying problems to solve. Just like my favorite Einstein quote, "If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions." Great innovators need to both have a pair of sharp eyes to identify where the gap is, and a pair of dirty hands to make things happen. Eventually, the outcome of innovation should be able to bring some positive impact to people's lives, whether it's spiritual or physical ease.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
Prudential's "Together, let's #Dogood" campaign which was produced in three days by leveraging user- generated content online. It has gathered over 500k views across all social media platforms and is recognized by Campaign Asia as one of the most emotionally engaging Covid-19 related campaigns in APAC. Putting off my Prudential hat, I also celebrate the campaign led by Singapore Tourism Board on "Rediscover Singapore" as well as Singapore Zoo's "Virtual Animal Buddy".

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
As someone who originally came from mainland China, I observed its digital PR and marketing sphere has grown tremendously in the past few years. Many local brands in China did excellent jobs in coming up with new ways to generate awareness. In a speech I did recently, I mentioned about “Chu Quan marketing ( 出 圈 营 销 )”, as brands are not satisfied with just wowing their own sectors, but also going viral among a wider audience. Some good examples include the Cultural Products by Palace Museum and “The Rear Waves” Speech by Bilibili, China’s biggest video sharing platform.
Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
The moment that I rejected a PhD offer in Analytical Chemistry to pursue a career in PR and marketing. Despite that I have published several academic papers during my university time and was provided with a great offer to continue with science research, I identified my passion in creativity and connecting with people and decided to follow my heart. It wasn’t an easy start to enter a totally new industry, but I made it to where I am today by taking on various opportunities in reporting, copywriting, PR, digital marketing and creative strategies to broaden my experience and set a strong foundation in this area.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation?
Albert Einstein. You can see his quote on my LinkedIn and Twitter banners, and I’ve been learning and sharing his wisdom in all my public sharing and articles. He’s the one that inspired me to always keep a growth mindset, go beyond myself, and discover many possibilities. Like him, I also advocated for the integration of art and science, and I believe the future of PR and marketing should be a blend of both sides. “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Break our personal ego and continuously learn from outside. Read, listen and watch how the other brands are on their game, not limited to our own industry.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Keep an open mindset towards how the industry is changing. We shan’t define what PR should do or should not do based on what it is like today, but always think “what's more we can bring to the business?”, “what’s the greater impact we can bring to the community?” for the future. With nowadays’ fast changing atmosphere, we need to constantly adapt to new challenges and needs and keep transforming our roles.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
An educator. Born in a teachers’ family, I observed how my parents nurture their students and pass on their knowledge. In fact, I started off my first full time job as a management trainee in an education chain, too. Although I’m working as a digital marketer nowadays, I still do pro bono trainings to people who need them. In 2020, I managed to train over 1500 financial consultants at Prudential on social media and content marketing. I believe a good educator should also be a good practitioner, so that he/she can share the best practices in the real world.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
I love Netflix's show "Somebody Feed Phil". It is my spiritual food. As someone who loves traveling, it’s a shame that we are locked in our own room most of time this year due to the global epidemic. Watching the show and following Philip Rosenthal, ex-producer of the famous “Everybody Loves Raymond” series, to virtually travel around the world and try different food is a pleasure. Most importantly, I adore how Phil respects and embraces the cultural diversity at various places. As he always loves to say, “Isn't that how it should be? Shouldn't we all have friends all over the world?”

What's your favourite time of day and why?
7am wake up and do my daily exercise!
11pm my son is asleep (usually) so I can spend some personal time on reading and learning new things.