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Campaign's Women to Watch Greater China 2022: Laura Geagea

Speaking six languages, Geagea is a genuinely international creative female leader with a strong understanding of local brands and agencies, working to elevate the advertising industry in Greater China and Asia-Pacific.

Laura Geagea first became a freelance producer for production house Sweetshop in Southeast Asia back in 2015. Three years later, she skyrocketed to be the managing director of three regions, China, Asia and MENA, as the youngest managing director of the company—by almost a decade.

While running Asia’s operations, Geagea simultaneously opened the Shanghai office in 2017. She worked on projects as diverse as art installations, photoshoots, commercials, and feature films. When lockdown and travel restrictions left the company’s international roster of directors unable to travel, Geagea quickly came up with a plan B: cultivating a roster of local talented directors in Shanghai, Bangkok and Singapore, as well as streamlining remote production solutions.

Despite the pandemic and recession, Sweetshop China and Asia have grown exponentially. In the past year, Geagea led the team to produce commercials for brands including Lux, P&G, OnePlus, Budweiser, Michelin, Vivo and Vidal Sassoon, and helped win business in Asia for Olay, Agoda, Spotify, Tiger Beer to name a few.

Under her leadership, Sweetshop Shanghai is now the fastest growing office in a network of eight, with the office’s revenue increasing 47% in 2021. Headcount in Shanghai also grew from three to 15 during 2021. Meanwhile, Sweetshop Asia’s revenue significantly increased—doubling the previous best, non-Covid year.

Geagea not only hires and mentors the right people, but also touches every project to ensure the highest level of craft and production service. She invests her time and energy with team members and clients and listens to their feedback and advice.

Paul Prince, chairman and founding partner of Sweetshop, refers to Geagea as “a superwoman with superpowers”. She has served as Dubai Lynx’s Film Craft Jury President and on Film Craft Juries for ADFEST, AdStars, Ciclope Asia and Cannes Lions Young Director Awards in the last two years. She will also sit on the Spikes Asia 2022 Jury for Film Craft.

What’s more, Geagea utilises her energy and ideas to inspire more women to lean in. Whenever possible, she works to advance gender inclusion by partnering with agencies and brands in this arena, and she believes in challenging gender stereotypes.

Geagea is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, French, Arabic, Spanish, and Turkish. Before joining Sweetshop, she was a freelance producer in the United States and worked for Black and Cameron Productions.

This article (available here) was first published by Campaign on Thursday 27th January 2022.