Harriet Wiltshire, Advertising

I'm Harriet, and I'm a creative in an advertising agency

Describe your job

To put it simply, the job of a creative is mostly coming up with ideas for advertising campaigns. I work in a creative team with my partner Zach, who I met at uni. The first step for us is getting a brief from a strategist, who will have done some initial thinking to turn a client’s brief into something inspiring for Zach and I.

We will then come up with 9876543289 ideas and after one is signed off we work alongside a wider team to bring our ideas to life. This could be working with designers on print advertising, directors on TV ads, sound designers on radio ads.

What are the most important skills you need to do your job?

Resilience, creativity and determination

Advertising is a hard industry to break into, it’s competitive and there are so many talented people who want to get involved. Even once you’re in, as I mentioned before, coming up with ideas every day can take some time and you’ll have a lot of ‘wrong’ ideas before you find the right one. You have to be creative and keep pushing yourself and your ideas, or you’ll be left behind!

I left school and...

I ended up on an advertising course at uni half by accident. I basically needed something to do that sounded semi employable and wasn’t a typical “office job”.

I didn’t see myself actually becoming an ad creative til towards the end of my degree. I started working with my creative partner, Zach, and we moved to London jobless and homeless, intentionally leaving ourselves with not much choice but to make it work.

We did a fair few placements at agencies in London before landing our first permanent role, and 6 years later we’re somehow still at it and going strong.

I’m most proud of...

It’s not the one that won the most awards, it’s the one that felt like it connected with and touched people the most. Because that’s actually what this job is about.

Guide Dogs – ‘We Need Each Other’

*credits at bottom of page

Before I started my career, I wish I knew…

The more junior you are, the less pressure there is – so enjoy it! If we’d realised that in the first year or two, I think our work would have been different – that we would have taken more risks on ideas, presented more of the brave ones, and been bolder in seeking out new opportunities.

A mistake I made which you can avoid repeating is...

...not speaking up more. It can be intimidating being the only woman in a room full of men, or being the most junior person in the room, but the worst that can happen is you’ll be wrong (and get over it) or you’ll be right and be glad you said it.

So, what’s next?

I want to keep on making work I’m proud of. When my creative partner and I started, we made a pact to never chase money and trust that the money will come if we chase the work instead. Obviously that doesn’t mean we’d be happy to be underpaid (we all have bills!), but so far it’s paid off and we haven’t made any moves we’ve regretted yet. So we’ll keep doing what we’re doing and try not to lose momentum.

Here's my:

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Client: Guide Dogs Title: We Need Each Other Agency: Karmarama Executive Creative Director: Nik Studzinski Creatives: Zach Speight & Harriet Wiltshire TV Producer: Sam Topley Production Company: Outsider Director: Max Fisher Producer: Joseph Taussig DOP: Luke Jacobs Edit: Rebecca Luff @ TenThree Colourist: James Bamford @ The Mill Sound: Parv Thind @ Wave