At a time of new beginnings for so many in the industry, Diana Sukopp began a new chapter in her creative career in March 2021 when she took up the role of chief creative officer at Lemon Group and DDB Germany. With around 70 employees in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich, Lemon Group is present in all the important German comms hubs.
Before that Diana had been CCO at GGH MullenLowe and she’s worked for various independent and network agencies, among them Y&R, McCann, Publicis and Grabarz&Partner.
At DDB she combines her international expertise from her time at networks in New York, London and Frankfurt with her experience working for top creative independent agencies. Diana has also worked as a concept artist in feature film animation and still fuels her creativity through this passion. As well as with lots of coffee. She is also an author and published her first book ‘Buchkommadas’ in 2014.
Basically, she never stops doing creative stuff. LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with her now she’s settled to her new role.
LBB> What kind of kid were you and was there any inkling that you would end up in your current career?
Diana> I was the kind of kid you'd better start looking when you didn't hear anything, because then I usually put an elaborate plan into action: like spray-painting the neighbour's sheep gold at Christmas to make it feel special. And my excuses at school were usually very creative. Yes, career guidance counsellors would probably have picked a creative environment for me...
LBB> How would you describe your cultural background and what impact does that have on your outlook?
Diana> I grew up as German as you can imagine in the stereotype: however, there was direct access to MTV and English bands through my siblings, then later school exchanges and international studies and stays abroad...and poof I liked lamb with mint sauce. Now my view of the world couldn't be more diverse. But when it comes to punctuality, I'm still German.
LBB> How did you get started in the industry and where did you hone your craft?
Diana> I started as an intern and then as a graphic trainee after graduating abroad. The early years were pretty tough. The British perspective of legends like Mark Waites and John Hegarty was helpful for concepts and ideas, later I was able to get to know creative leadership at Publicis through David Droga and in the field of animation and creative culture, the influence of Pixar is still noticeable today. In retrospect, I couldn't have picked better.
LBB> What was the most useful lesson you learned in the early days of your career?
Diana> Share ideas as early as possible and never underestimate the power of killed ideas. They will improve and develop much better in the end. Besides, swearing is quite healing.
LBB> What was your first professional project and what are your memories of that?
Diana> Horrible memory. I had to pick up prints for a client approval from the print shop and transport them across town at lightning speed. As a result, the templates stuck together and left imprints on each other. My creative director then sold this as a deliberate new execution and we even won creative awards for it later on. The fact that he was able to change his mind so quickly in that second and did not waste time with insults is something I have noted with admiration to this day.
LBB> And what was the project or piece of work that you felt really changed your career?
Diana> Actually, it wasn't a piece of work but the heartfelt comment: "You'd really be a terrific boss, you know"…
LBB> You moved to Lemon Group & DDB Germany from GGH MullenLowe in March. What have you been most strongly struck by at the agency?
Diana> The people. Agencies are, after all, just buildings full of extraordinary people.
LBB> What do you find most frustrating about some advertising today?
Diana> The silent acceptance of bad briefs and outputs.
LBB> And looking at the broader industry, what gets you really excited?
Diana> Creativity changes the world. And there are constantly astonishing examples that demonstrate this impressively. But what gets me most excited is the moment when someone storms through my office door or blasts my email account with the words "Imagine that...".
LBB> Outside of work, what do you do to decompress or stay fresh?
Diana> I love to travel – completely remote. Sometimes the challenge of getting from A to B is more complex than any client briefing. And every adventure brings new inspiration and growth.