Sitting down with talented folk from the agency to discuss their careers to date and what makes them tick.
Ruth, what’s your background?
I grew up in a town in South Wales and went to Cardiff Uni, where I studied English Language. I moved to London in 2016 and starting working for Neo, a digital agency that was part of Ogilvy at the time. I was always interested in design and so wanted to get closer to that world, and that’s when I moved to Coley Porter Bell as an Account Manager.
How do you describe what you do to friends and family?
Firstly, I try and explain it properly. If I’m met with blank faces I then talk about the episode in The Apprentice where they launch a product and they have to brand it and that’s kind of that, but way, WAY better.
What do you love about your role?
I really like working in client services because the role constantly evolves, and you get exposure to lots of different brands and problems to solve.
I’m also very much a people-person, and so much of the job is that. In client service you’re uniquely placed as you’re often the first or last person the team may speak to that day so how we’re feeling and how we say it can really rub-off on the team. So whether it’s relaying feedback, briefing info or just checking in, I try to channel my inner cheerleader and pep people up along the way.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
When I started at the agency, I’d say I was probably quite meek. As cheesy as it sounds I think I’d tell her to believe in herself, that her opinions matter and that things will always work themselves out.
Also, to stop carrying an umbrella. No word of a lie for about a year after moving up I had one in my work bag constantly because it used to rain so much back home – but seriously, not needed here!
You’ve been at the agency for 5 years. What’s been your favourite project, and why?
Ooh so hard to choose just one!
One would be You Be Chef. We rebranded a Michelin-star restaurant meal kit based out of Isle of Wight to find its foothold in the emerging and competitive dine-at-home category. It was agile, with an Ogilvy cross-agency team, all while working remotely. So lots to contend with, but a brilliant project and gave me the chance to work with some really amazing people.
Another has to be the redesign of Tesco Finest’s speciality cheeses. Not only because cheese is just great, but each pack (around 30 of them) was carefully considered and beautifully crafted to lean into each specific product’s semiotic codes and story. Just a really lovely project that looks brilliant on shelf.
What are you currently reading?
Atomic Habits by James Clear. I struggle a bit with non-fiction books but it’s the beginning of a new year so start as you mean to go on and all that… So far so good!
What excites you about the future of branding and design?
As the world becomes ever more digital and immersive, seeing how brands will respond and develop their sonic and motion identity to bolster their brand.
What are your hobbies?
Outside of work I’m pretty active and go to F45, and run a bit. I used to do ballet so I’d like to get back into dancing of some sort – maybe saying this now will make me more accountable!
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
A safari. Elephants are my favourite animals so to see them in the wild would just be incredible.