This week we welcomed former Elle UK editor, Lotte Jeffs, to O&M London as creative director. Reporting to chief creative officer Mick Mahoney, Lotte will bring editorial experience to the team's campaigns.
We caught up with Lotte to find out why she made the move to adland, her career highlights so far and her advice for career changers.
Welcome to Ogilvy - and adland! We're increasingly seeing more creative types make the jump, what prompted you to take up the role of creative director here at Ogilvy?
Ideas. I want to be somewhere people are open and creative, where thinking big is encouraged and it’s not all talk – stuff actually gets done. I’d been through two massive redesigns at ELLE, I’d run the magazine and really felt I’d reached Peak Me there. Rather than going to another magazine or into ‘content’ (*shudder*) I thought I’d do something totally different. After talking with Mick, Charlie, Kevin and the other CDs I felt Ogilvy was somewhere I could feel excited and inspired. They were all up for shaking things up and doing things differently and so was I.
With your background in journalism, how do you foresee the two worlds colliding?
‘Story-telling’ is the latest buzz word it seems but I can’t think of a better way of explaining it. As an editor my job is to find the best way into a story, tell it in a way that resonates for a particular audience and then sell it – we want people to pick up a magazine or click on a link in the same way in advertising you want someone to buy a product. I see a lot of crossover in the critical thinking involved in a campaign and how a story is approached as a writer and editor. Also being able to listen as much as talk, observe the way people behave and be charming and socially agile seem to be skills shared by the best journos and advertising types.
What excites you most about the industry?
The free coffee. The swearing. The river views.
After 15 years as a magazine editor and writer are there any career highlights you're willing to share?
Rihanna once gave me a lap dance. I went on night out with Kristen Stewart and we were in the back of a taxi when the result of Europe referendum vote was announced so I had to explain Brexit to her. Lana Del Rey climbed a tree for me... (I have lots of ridiculous celebrity stories including the time Harry Styles fed me chicken nuggets). But I’m most proud of winning the Writer of The Year award in 2016. I was shortlisted for Columnist of the Year last year but lost out to Monty Don!
Any advice for career changers wanting to break into the ad industry?
Think of yourself as a brand. What are you about, why do people need you?
Lotte wrote more about her move to adland in London Evening Standard - find out what she thinks here.