By Yolanta Boti, Creative at Ogilvy UK

 

I had the pleasure of visiting Ogilvy's offices in Beijing whilst on holiday visiting family.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with the team's award-winning Executive Creative Director, Andrew Low. During his lunch break, Andrew shared a world of knowledge and advice.

I left inspired to create an interview to share.

I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to interview you. You’ve had a remarkable career, spanning over 19 years - how have you grown and adapted over the years?

Well, 19 years of growth is tough to put exactly into a few words but what I find has helped me along the way, is really simply perseverance, naivety, stubbornness, some measure of curiosity and certainly an ounce of wishful thinking always helps.

I come from a performing background and never thought I’d end up working in the Advertising world. Were you naturally drawn to a career in this industry?

Yes, I would say naturally.

It was either that or an architect. 7 years just to be a certified architect. But I guess the lack of funds for such an education, made up my mind.

There was also the idea of flight cabin staff and travelling which I fancied. 

In Ogilvy's UK office, we launched “The Pipe” a creative internship specifically for non-conformists and rebels. It is how I entered Ogilvy and the industry. Do you think hiring creatives from diverse backgrounds creates better work?

Absolutely. Diversity of minds and backgrounds could bring different solutions to different sets of problems. But if the cocktail mix is just right and dynamics work, everything comes into play. 

Observing the ads that touch the hearts of millions, there’s a special something that makes some ads standout more than others - why do you think that is?

Compelling stories that stir a human emotion(s).

What are some of your all-time favorite ads?

Real Men of Genius. Pure Genius. Apple - Think different. Of course, I could go on. 

When it comes to the creative process it can be so intimidating to sell a creative idea. How did you learn to trust your creative eye?

I still don’t. Trust puts me too much into a self-indulgent comfort zone. Many eyes are better than one. If anything, trust your voice.

That’s incredibly reassuring to know. As a young person adulting, it’s never easy to know when you’re making the right decisions. Was there a moment when you knew you were on the right path in life?

When I didn’t have to call mum for help.

There are so many layers that make each of us individual. If you didn’t work in Advertising what would you be doing?

Architecture. But recently, I think I would’ve been working at a barbershop.

Whatever fuels my need to create, mold, sculpt, tease, expand, pull, contract, chop up, assemble, I’m digressing. With my minds, hands, keyboard, etc.

I personally believe that there’s a book for every problem, and some books can change the trajectory of your life. For me it was reading Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and Stephen R Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. What book changed your life or thinking in some way?

Books before the internet opened my eyes to knowledge. The world. But really, none I can think of that changed life for me. Life, changed life for me.

Do you perform any activities or spiritual practices that keep you grounded?

God. Wife. Dog. Family. Not always in this order.

How do you stay creative outside of work?

Holidays in Japan.

What is one fact about you that not a lot of people know?

I’m greying.

What is one piece of advice you’d tell your younger self?

F%#k yeah. Do it.

And lastly, what do you hope will be your legacy?

Just my surname, “LOW”. That’s all.

 

Yolanta is always on the look out for interesting people to speak to - if you would like to be interviewed for her next feature, email: aninterviewwithyolanta@gmail.com