At bol.com we know: new insights help us grow. Differences in culture, gender, age, interests and perspective increase our brainpower and expand our innovative thinking. That’s why we’re catching up with colleagues throughout the organisation in our ‘Talking Perspectives’ blog series. You’ll meet colleagues with inspiring ways of working, noteworthy backgrounds, and interesting views on life. One thing is for sure: we’re all unique. We have the same goal, but we each approach it differently. And that’s the way we like it.
Meet Chung Hwa Chao. He’s one of our advertising heroes at bol.com. As a kid, he always wanted to stay up later so he could watch more ads on TV. They fascinated him, and now he’s turned this fascination into his work. Chung is Brand Communication Manager at bol.com. Besides his love of advertising, he loves to go running. He’s out training five or six times a week. When Chung does something, he does it the full 110 percent. That’s what keeps him in balance.
Finding the balance
“If I’m going to do something, I want to do it properly and give it everything I’ve got. This is great for most things, but I realised I was getting too absorbed in my work. Then, all of a sudden I started running. I gave it 110 percent as well and I noticed this was going good, too. So I started to focus on training for marathons. After I completed the Rotterdam Marathon, I set a new goal for myself: to run my next marathon in under three hours. Someday, I want to run the marathon of marathons — the Boston Marathon! Can I make this dream come true? I’m certainly motivated.”
“Funnily enough, running has brought my life back into balance. It’s put my motivation back on track. I have to divide my energy between two passions. Running helps me clear my head, take a step back from work, and this means I can put things into perspective. I’m in a better mind-space to achieve my goals. And that feeling of achievement seems to have become my new addiction.”
Passion for advertising
“Advertising has always fascinated me. Before I joined bol.com, I was an advertising strategist. In that role, I was responsible for the direction of concepts, strategy and researching ideas. But I wanted to be involved in the process from start to finish, to have an overview of the whole process. What’s more, I wanted to make really cool things for a really cool brand. Naturally, an organisation like bol.com is at the top of such a wish list. So that was how my adventure as Brand Communication Manager got started.”
“Together with my team, I’m responsible for the content and budget of all bol.com advertising campaigns — from internet banners to radio and TV commercials. We base our ideas on the seasons and other current trends. We look at what’s important to people. My main focus is Select. That’s a special service for customers offering extra benefits and greater convenience. In these ads, we mainly show what the service is and what the benefits are of a Select subscription. It’s always nerve-racking when a campaign finally goes live after four months of hard work. But, boy, doesn’t it feel good when you see it’s a success.”
Culture and diversity
“I’m really in my element at bol.com. There’s not a lot of difference between the Chung at home and the Chung at work. I don’t have to hold back here. I can let my creative spirit run free. I’m in close contact with all my colleagues so it’s very easy to involve people in a new campaign.”
“In my department, it’s quite easy to put your own team together with colleagues who all have different ideas. This diversity is important to me. I make sure I keep in contact with lots of people with varying backgrounds, I know how valuable this can be. And I try to find the balance within all this diversity. Not only to be inspired and gain new insights, but also to give people with different views and opinions a voice. So you’ll understand when I say my ideal team has people with a wide range of talents and very different backgrounds.”
It's a marathon, not a sprint
“Diversity in our campaigns is also very important. It shows we understand our different target groups. Only when we truly understand diversity, we can be ‘de winkel van ons allemaal’ — the shop for everyone. Many different types of people make up bol.com. Together, we’re driving the company forward. Each one of us has our own opinion, which we’re free to express. But it’s also important to have an opinion and point of view as a company. Things have started moving, but it’ll take some time to get to the finish line. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And when these two passions meet, we keep them in balance, too.”