We sat down with Sandra Schilling, Executive Creative Director at We Are Social, to talk about briefs, egos and platforms.
“The most important thing for me is to have as much information as possible.”
Is there such a thing as too much freedom when it comes to a brief?
In a sense yes because too much freedom can create a block, where you don't know where to think or what to think about. So it’s a case of establishing boundaries — gentle ones though!
When you encounter a challenging brief, what do you do?
The most important thing for me is to have as much information as possible to create a journey.
It's important to have insight into what is most important, what is the background, who the target group is, and who I'm doing this project for because ultimately it should fit the people and be connected to their life and culture as well. Having all that information is key to creating something that is impactful.
Which is why if I'm still struggling with a brief, I go back to the strategist and ask them if they can help me fix it by obtaining more information about it. It's important to have a clear understanding of what you're working with and that is what they do best.
Is it important for you to have creative side projects as well as the day job?
Creative side projects are crucial for me because they open my mind to new possibilities and allow me to explore creativity in different ways. It's like having a separate creative world, which I find vital for maintaining a balanced and imaginative life.
Any tips on presenting to your client?
When presenting an idea to your client, make sure to show your passion for it. The client should feel that you truly believe in the idea and that it's the right one for them. Being convincing and passionate can make a significant difference — clients love creatives with a passion.
How important is it to be active on the platform?
It's essential to be familiar with the platform you create content for because each platform has specific characteristics and audiences. To make your content successful, you need to know what the audience wants or likes on that platform. If you're not active on the platform, you can't truly understand how people react to the content.
How can the advertising agency improve on its D&I commitments?
The advertising industry is making efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion. Some brands are doing it well, being authentic and truly committed to D&I both externally and internally. However, other companies approach it superficially, changing logos and colours or hopping on trends without genuine intentions. To improve D&I commitments, agencies should focus on building a more authentic and sincere approach from their core.
How do you keep yourself grounded?
What keeps me grounded is collaborating with partners and working in a team. When you work together, the ego tends to fade, and I believe that the best creative work happens in a team environment. Celebrating collective achievements keeps me grounded.
How do you keep others grounded?
Well in many ways it's the same. Managing a team of creatives involves bringing together people with diverse mindsets and ideas. It's crucial to understand and motivate each other positively, rather than resorting to negativity or criticism and like i say working together on projects strengthens a creative team and keeps everyone grounded and on the same page.
When you become a creative boss, do you still get to be creative?
As a creative boss or team leader, there is a lot of management and organisation involved. However, there are still opportunities to be creative. I love to be creative in my daily work, and I find moments to develop ideas with my team, making them more creative. For me, both the biggest challenge and reward of being a leader is helping people grow and become better creatives.