Up-and-Comers: Maisie D’Cruz, DDB

We’ve given the mic to the industry’s future leaders. Maisie D’Cruz, junior creative and copywriter at DDB has worked across several large campaigns including the recent likes of PetRefuge and Volkswagen. Here, she shares her thoughts on the advertising industry.

How did you get into marketing? What sparked your interest in the industry?

I was in remedial math for most of my schooling life, if that gives away anything… I was always into English, art and media so when my friend told me about the Bachelor of Communications degree at AUT I assumed it would be the only course I’d be good at.

When I was studying Communications at AUT, I signed up to the creative advertising paper on a whim. I read the 25-word blurb about it and thought it sounded cool. The first class really blew me away and I remember thinking wow this is actually a job? Did they just sell that vacuum cleaner with a pun? I could be good at this.

After a few years, a portfolio, a ‘gap year’, a year at Media Design School and another portfolio, I got a job at DDB as a Junior Copywriter.

What is your favourite project to date?

I was lucky enough to work on the PetRefuge campaign. This was my first official ad shoot and it was awesome to see how it all came together, being an animal lover helped too.

PetRefuge NZ by DDB

It was great being a part of a project helping women and animals leave violence, I don’t think it gets more rewarding than that.

I also was a part of the creation of Volkswagen’s last ad for the Beetle, which is pretty monumental seeing as DDB and VW rose to fame because of the Think Small and Lemon ads. In a way I feel like I contributed to the final chapter of a very important part of advertising, which come to think about it, is pretty damn cool.

The 2019 Volkswagen campaign by DDB

How have you seen the industry develop in your time?

In the short amount of time I’ve been here I’ve seen a shift in the background of people we hire, they’re not always strictly from an ad background which is refreshing. I can see this helping us produce a variety of different visions in the future.

What is the most challenging thing you’ve had to deal with in your role?

The ideation process is still (and always will be) a daunting process. At least three times a day I wonder what the hell am I doing here, there’s been some terrible mistake and they’ve hired the wrong person… But then you get a nod or a pat on the back and it’s all worth it.

Presenting your ideas to clients is always an awkward time for me too, I tend to shrivel up, forget how to read and noisily swivel on my chair. But again, that’s something that will hopefully get better and easier in the future.

What is the best piece of advice you could give others coming into the industry?

Come up with heaps of proactive ideas whenever you have spare time. It helps to show your agency you’re constantly thinking of ideas and that you can show your initiative.

It helps to make friends in the industry too, (not only because they’re cool) but because it’s such a small industry you’re bound to bump into people at events, and it’s also a good way to hear about jobs going around if you’re trying to find one.

It’s also super important to still have a life outside of work, even though working your butt off and making good work is a priority. You still need to be immersed in what’s going on, so your messaging stays relevant.

I’d also say don’t dismiss a brief because it’s small, sometimes these are the best opportunities to show what you’re made of and stand out.

How do you see your job changing in the next ten years as technology plays a role?

We can see advertising has adapted digitally with the times, and it’s a constantly evolving medium. When advertising started out, we used more traditional mediums, and now with the introduction of technology, we have an even wider range of platforms to reach our audiences. I’m excited to see what the world throws at us next.

What is a change that you hope to see in your industry?

I guess it’s always good to see more diversity, it is seemingly improving year by year but it’s something we’ll need to keep an eye on, and consciously work on.

Another big thing I hope to see is more clients trusting creativity over data. Because that’s basically at the heart of what we do, it’s important to keep that at the centre of everything we produce.

What would be your dream project?

Something filmed in the Bahamas?

But really, as lame as it sounds, I just want to work on projects that make me proud to have my name under. Especially projects that are ground-breaking, thought-provoking and behaviour-changing (for the better).

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