Lars Bjorge

Name: Lars Bjorge
Title: Head of digital strategy
Company: PHD China
Years in China: 5
I consider myself to be a digital native because:
I've always been fascinated by the promise of computing and digital connectivity, ever since I got my first Commodore 64 and started coding at the age of 12. What started as a fascination with making my computer do stuff, has now transformed to a fascination with what computing and digital is doing with us as it impacts and transforms culture and society.
My career highlights:
I started out in digital in 1999, buying a significant share in one of Norway's first digital agencies. This agency was later acquired by BBDO and became the foundation for Proximity in that market. In 2007, I was the founding partner of Tribal DDB Norway. In China, I've been fortunate to help oversee both PHD's and key clients’ digital transformations since 2009, from digital as a sideshow to becoming the main event.
Professional mission:
To bridge the gap between the wealth of skills, knowledge and business savvy of the traditional communications industry with the hunger for innovation and new solutions of the digital industry. It takes two to tango.
The best thing about my job is:
Fantastic clients and colleagues that help push what is achievable.
Personal mantra:
You live as long as you learn. So always keep learning!
My proudest achievement is:
Helping PHD achieve Agency of the year in 2012 and 2013.
The secret to my success is:
No man is an island, and in an increasingly complex world you need increasingly skilled co-workers. Finding the best possible people to work with, within the best possible work culture, gives the highest likelihood of success.
The trends I'm watching in China are:
All the trends are important to watch. However, it is of equal importance to remember to exploit and execute on old trends while keeping an eye to the future. We do have a tendency to chase the “new new” thing in the digital industry, which often leads to sacrificing quality of execution and missing out on value in the present.
My favourite digital campaign is:
Dove "Real Beauty - sketches" by Unilever. It is a great insight and idea that is beautifully executed and proves Dove's brand belief from a fresh perspective. There are other campaigns that have been global in scope, but none with as poignant a message.
Challenges I'm seeking to overcome this year:
The systemic issue I find most vexing in China is how far we are behind on ad serving, tracking and transparency. It's high on my agenda to make significant inroads in this area.