Spotlight On: Sophie Lewis

Hi! Thanks for taking a look at Creativity Talks and welcome to our column: Spotlight On. Our blog is based around the stance ‘Creativity Changes Everything’. Consider this a bit of a get-to-know-M&C Saatchi, from some of our thoughts on the world of ads, marketing and beyond, or just finding out a little bit about the people in the building.

This week we spoke to our brand new Chief Strategy Officer, Sophie Lewis (who, apart from being awesome at all things strategy, also wears amazing denim boiler suits.)

Sophie’s Fact File:

  • Morning alarm: 6AM; “I live in Brighton – it’s the time I can bear in the morning, as anytime before 6AM is a bit grim…I’m an avid follower of what time it gets light in the morning.”
  • Song of the week: Got Til’ It’s Gone by Janet Jackson
  • Ad of the week: “Weirdly it’s radio – the amount of shit radio is incredible – [but] Tesco Mobile has a brilliant, brilliant campaign highlighting injustice in the mobile phone market. They use word play on food to describe it (‘It’s a load of shallots’), it’s very clever.”

We work in advertising. What’s your viewpoint on the strength of advertising in the world we currently live in?

  • “A weighty question, I hope that advertising can increasingly become a force for good – I genuinely think it can. We do a lot of work [at M&C] where advertising is a force for good, understanding illnesses, eating healthier etc. They are good reasons to advertise. That being said, in the modern world, business and advertising is incredibly powerful. I’d go as far to say that, if you want to make change, it has to be in business, not politics. We can have – and it’s our responsibility [to have] – a positive role in society. We have to be quite honest with ourselves, but I do hope we work in an industry that makes a difference.”

Which ad captures creativity within advertising to you?  

  • “There are two: (1) One of the reasons I got into advertising was because of an ad for Blackcurrant Tango. It was about a foreign student writing to an imaginary CEO – Ray Gardner of Blackcurrant Tango – who goes off on a rant, rips off his suit and reveals purple-silk boxing shorts on the White Cliffs of Dover. There are fighter pilots overhead and crowds of people cheering him on. If it existed now, it would’ve been huge. Incredible, fun, brilliantly executed – I don’t know if it’s been bettered. (2) Not quite as old, but a Levis ad shows a boy and a girl wearing ‘Levi’s Engineered’ jeans – which were European, although no one could say that word (‘engineered’). They run through walls into nothingness in the sky – it was an observation on youth and it has a classical soundtrack. An incredible bit of film.”

If you could teach yourself any skill to help you in your role – what would it be? And why?

  • “There are so many to choose from. I would very much like to be a beautiful PowerPoint/Keynote artist – which I’m not. I would describe myself as one of the ugliest chart-makers known to man, and I’m overly-reliant on someone else making it beautiful. I’d also, probably, want someone to teach me fairly rudimentary film editing…but there are endless others!”

What date is most important to you and/or what has been your biggest moment?

  • “I would definitely say that the 31st July 2014 is my significant date. The exact time is 10:52 and 10:53 as that’s when my children were born by C-section. I don’t think it’s an achievement on my part, but definitely the most significant. Things don’t go back to the way they were when you bring kids into the world.”

And finally, we know inspiration can come from anywhere – you don’t need to work in an agency to see it in action. What book/podcast/shows have had you thinking recently? Guilty pleasures welcome!

  • “The one that has had me thinking recently by a million, million miles is Euphoria; it garners a very odd response from people my age. I’ve been appalled by it and shocked by it, but I’ve completely loved it. It made me think more about what it’s like to be a young person and the pressures it puts on one, more than anything that I’ve seen or read recently. At the same time I was also watching This is Going to Hurt, which is both funny and over-egged, but a brilliant insight into the sort of chaos that is the NHS.”

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