Andrew Yeoh | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2020

Andrew Yeoh

Head of Marketing & Innovation (Shopping Centre) Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur


“Less talk more action. Fail faster. Make new mistakes.”

Andrew Yeoh currently oversees all IKEA Southeast Asia’s shopping centre marketing strategies and initiatives, placing him at the unique nexus of retail, digital and shopper insights. Yeoh has used those learnings to good effect, conceptualising and bringing to life IKEA’s first Mood Menu app functionality — which matched users moods to different food in the company’s mall, all via a neuroscience-based proprietary algorithm that mined their Spotify playlists. Yeoh has more than 15 years’ experience across both the client and agency spectrum, handling brands as diverse as IBM, Pantene, KFC, Uniqlo, SK-II, BMW, Microsoft and Disney, both locally and regionally, in Malaysia and Australia. Prior to IKEA, Yeoh’s previous experience included marketing and strategy leadership roles at IBM, P&G, Interbrand, Isobar and DDB.

How do you define innovation?
The commercialisation of creativity at scale to solve meaningful problems.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
LVMH repurposing its fragrance production lines to manufacture sanitisers to address shortages in French hospitals.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Burger King (RBI), IKEA, TikTok, Uniqlo, Nike, R/GA, Droga5.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Conceptualising and bringing to life our world first, globally recognised Mood Menu app functionality that matched users moods to different food in our mall, all through a neuroscience-based proprietary algorithm that mined their Spotify playlists.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation?
Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Reed Hastings, Jony Ive.

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
Read, people watch, reddit, journaling.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Less talk more action. Fail faster. Make new mistakes.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
Tim Ferriss Show, The Prof G Show, Joe Rogan Experience, The Boys - Amazon Prime, Bible.

What's your favourite time of day and why?
11pm onwards - Journaling and reflection time.