By Suzanne Basra, Content & Internal Communications Manager at Ogilvy UK


The communication landscape is peppered with ever increasing ways to connect with consumers, therefore making memorable creativity more important than ever for brands. With the diversification of pathways to enter the industry, what a creative career looks like today has become more varied than ever before.

Following her panel discussion at NABS’s ‘Future of Creativity’ event, we caught up with ex-deputy editor of ELLE turned Ogilvy UK Creative Director, Lotte Jeffs, to get her take on being a 21st century creative.

After 15 years as a magazine editor, what prompted you to make the move from the world of journalism to ad land?

I have always been excited by big creative ideas. The work I was doing for ELLE had evolved into social campaigns, events, video, social media as much as the printed issue itself so I felt that there might be a natural cross over with the world of advertising. Plus, I want my career to be interesting and diverse and keep me on my toes. I never want to get too comfortable. The thought of learning the ins and outs of a whole new industry was extremely compelling.

Are there elements from your time in publishing that have helped ease the transition to advertising?

Running a magazine means knowing how to get the best work out of a creative team. When to step back, and when to lean in. I think this is a useful skill to have as a CD too. Working quickly, trusting your instinct and always being open and collaborative has also helped.

Have there been any surprises along the way?

So many! I had no idea Creatives worked as duos for a start. I didn’t know what a Planner was, or how the briefing process worked at all. But this is all stuff I quickly got to grips with. I was surprised by the attention to detail and work that goes into even the smallest social carousel and honestly the biggest surprise for me is how long it takes to get an idea made. I’m used to filing copy at 11am and seeing it in the paper at 4pm!

You’ve been working in advertising for nearly a year now – what’s excites you about the industry?

The people. I’ve met so many amazing talents. Also I’m excited by how open minded and inquisitive everyone is and how keen to learn from my different experience. I remain optimistic about how combining an editorial and advertising perspective could produce some award winning work.

Any advice for career changers wanting to break into a different industry?

Just do it! Be confident, emotionally honest and authentic. Don’t bullshit, admit when you don’t know something - ask questions, ask for help and find a forum for showcasing what you do know and what you can do.


There's more from Lotte on her move to ad land in London Evening Standard here.

Plus, read Lotte's views on the new generation of queer female role models in Sunday Times Style Magazine here.