Laura Kelly began account management life within the television industry at TV content producer Boomerang. Since her move to Draftfcb and the advertising world, she appreciates the huge reach through multiple channels that our industry has. LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with Kelly to find out what other differences she has noticed between the TV and adland.
LBB> Where did you grow up and what kind of child were you?
LK> I was born in New Zealand to British parents, who moved to New Zealand before my two younger sisters and I were born. We are very close, which is probably because we didn't grow up with extended family around us. I was the type of child that loved giving everything a go. I played a lot of sport. I've always been competitive and it is very much a part of the Kiwi psyche. In fact, as a child I was fiercely proud to be a Kiwi. My parents would continually wind me up saying that I was British and not really a New Zealander. I would get so angry at them protesting that I was a Kiwi and nothing they could say would change it. It's funny now that I have chosen to live in the UK and, more importantly, enjoy living here…but I'm still a Kiwi.
LBB> When and why did you finally decide that you wanted to get into advertising?
LK> I moved over to the UK after I finished a Masters in Anthropology and had originally wanted to work in documentary film. After an internship at the BBC, I worked in content production where I started to get more involved in producing content for corporate and charitable partnerships, which included TV adverts. I really enjoyed liaising with clients and taking them through the creative process. That was when I started to go down an account management route and realised advertising would be a good fit.
LBB> Before joining Draftfcb in 2012, you were an account manager at Boomerang. What were the key lessons that you learned there and how have they helped you journey over to advertising?
LK> As with any job, it is all about communication and ensuring that everyone around you knows what they are doing no matter the scale of the job. It's really important that you believe in the creative, whether the execution is content production, TV ads, press or whatever. A team is made up of various people who all have different strengths and an appreciation of these strengths is key to delivering good work. I think this is essential in all creative industries.
LBB> How has the transition from the television industry into advertising been so far? What interesting differences have you noticed between the two?
LK> Even though they are both creative industries, they have very different organisational structures. Television is production driven – it wasn't until I became more involved in the corporate sponsorship side of TV, while at Boomerang, did I even realise what an account manager did! There is also a fair bit of creative cross over in TV, whereas in advertising there are specific departments that are each specialists in their field. When I first switched over and was finding my feet, I enjoyed delivering TV ads because it felt like familiar territory. Now that I’ve been doing it a while, I appreciate the broad reach that advertising can have through lots of different channels.
LBB> You're in charge of the Nivea brand in the UK - what are the key challenges when working on a global healthcare brand like this?
LK> I'm part of a team that manages all the ATL advertising for NIVEA in UK and Northern Europe. A key challenge when working on a huge global brand is to understand the complexity of the business. We are responsible for protecting the global strategy whist being sensitive to the needs of the countries within our market. NIVEA has a strong heritage, but it is our job to make sure NIVEA is relevant and exciting for our consumers. It’s also great to work on a brand that is so fast paced. NIVEA is constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of the consumer – this means lots of innovation which we get to shout about.
LBB> What Nivea projects have you particularly enjoyed working on and why?
LK> We had a brilliant opportunity last year to have a strong presence at Trafalgar Square on New Years Eve. NIVEA is already one of the main sponsors in Times Square in New York. Trafalgar Square provided another opportunity for the brand because 15,000 people usually congregate in it on New Year’s Eve. The event coincided with the launch of NIVEA Lip Butter, so we wanted to own the New Year's Eve kiss in a real celebratory fashion. We produced a number of films of couples kissing in all sorts of fun ways. These were shown on massive screens, which alongside the traditional branding and lots of NIVEA Lip Butter giveaways (to give people kissable lips), had a huge impact.
LBB> Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
LK> I love travelling, visiting new places and experiencing different cultures. Growing up in New Zealand, Australia was our closest country but was still a three hour flight away. Even though I have been here five years, I still love the fact that you can get on a train and be in Paris in a couple of hours!
LBB> Where would you like to be in ten year’s time?
LK> Higher up the food chain and still loving what I do!