“SCA isn’t for the faint hearted, you have to really f**king want it. But if you do, there’s no better way to break into the industry.”
Cat & Louise graduated in July 2022 after winning the TTB Cream award for their stellar portfolio. Now at SCA Partner agency VCCP Blue, We chat to the 360 creatives about their early careers and how it feels to have made a shift into the world of advertising.
Did you always know you were creative?
Louise: I always knew words were my thing. So was finding solutions to all kinds of problems and coming up with big ideas, but it was only later in life I realised that that is being creative too.
Cat: Ever since I got into trouble when I was 5 years old because I used up all the class paper. I was made to stand up in front of the class and explain why I felt the need to draw on every sheet. Little did they know I was getting into the scamping game early…
Tell us a bit about your path in life so far…
Louise: I grew up in Denmark and didn’t have the easiest of childhoods, which made me both very independent and roothless. When I was 14, I came across the term ‘copywriter’ and I told myself that’s what I wanted to be. You’d think that’s the end of the story, but I somehow ended up majoring in science and maths. Not to mention I wasn’t done being rootless, so I spent several years travelling the world and living in lots of amazing countries. In the middle of all that, I also got a degree in marketing because I thought it would open the doors to being a copywriter. Spoiler: it didn’t.
Cat: I started my working life teaching. I moved to Spain after university and taught English and then kind of fell into it when I got home. I enjoyed it, but I knew deep down it wasn’t what I wanted to do. So I made a big decision to change paths and found my way to SCA.
Why now? What encouraged you to explore your creative side and what were you doing before you took the plunge to apply to SCA?
Louise: Before SCA, I was working as a senior account manager at a big media agency, which was great because it allowed me to use both my creative and analytical skills. But that old dream of being a copywriter had never died. I had looked at SCA many years earlier, but it wasn’t until the online programme launched that I was in a position to apply.
Cat: Why not? There’s never a bad time to choose to be the person you want to be. I didn’t want to look back on my life in 10 years and regret not even trying to do what I’d always wanted to do. Applying to SCA was one of the best decisions I ever made.
What is it that you love about your role as a creative?
Louise: I love coming up with words and solutions. To find those solutions, we often have to do a lot of research, so we’re essentially paid to get more knowledgeable about all sorts of random things, which is such a privilege. And, of course, just being around other creatives is super inspiring.
Cat: I love the creative process. It’s so satisfying for me to take a brief all the way from start to finish. It gives me such a rush when an insight pops into my head and the journey you then go on to develop that into an idea.
How did SCA help you achieve your goals?
Louise: SCA gave me all the background information I needed – not just in terms of coming up with ideas and polishing my craft, but also about how the industry works. It also gave me lots of invaluable opportunities to network, and it was where I met my brilliant creative partner.
Cat: I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for SCA. It’s as simple as that. SCA isn’t for the faint hearted, you have to really f**king want it. But if you do, there’s no better way to break into the industry.
Are there any standout projects or moments that you loved at SCA?
Louise: What I loved about SCA wasn’t any specific project or moment, but generally just the knowledge I got to soak up and the amazing people I got to know.
Cat: To be honest, there’s no one moment that stands out for me. SCA has two speeds: fast and faster, so it all becomes a bit of a blur. However, the one thing that has stayed with me is the feeling that I’ve done the right thing and SCA has put me on the path I’m supposed to be on.
Where have you spent time on placement since graduating? What brands have you worked on and is it what you expected it to be?
Louise: We went to VMLY&R straight after SCA. We’re currently at VCCP Blue and they’ve been great at letting us work on all their big brands such as Compare the Market, Müller, Chilly’s etc.
Cat: I did my first placement at VMLY&R and I’m currently on my second at VCCP Blue. I’m really happy to say that so far, it’s been everything I hoped it would be and more.
How do you think creative agencies and organisations can inspire creativity? Could they be doing more?
Louise: Diversity is extremely important as there’s so much to learn from people who are different from us. I also think time is something a lot of agencies struggle with in order to be as profitable as possible. Of course, working under pressure sometimes produces amazing work, but I’m a strong believer that a great work/life balance and good mental health will produce even better work.
Cat: A key part of being creative is for agencies to be able to foster a creative environment. A big part of that is done through culture and by treating people with empathy, respect and kindness. Comfy sofas and GOOD coffee also go a long way!
What excites you about the industry?
Louise: I think more and more brands are getting braver with their advertising. This combined with all the tech that’s available to use in a creative way is extremely exciting and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.
Cat: There’s no limit to creativity.
What would your advice be to someone thinking about getting into the world of creative advertising?
Louise: If you’re in a position to go to portfolio school, great. If not, more and more agencies are starting (paid) in-house training programmes. LinkedIn is also a very helpful tool. Use it to discover new work, find influential people in the industry and look through the books that got junior creatives hired – that’s what you have to match (or beat).
Lastly, what tips and advice would you give to anyone trying to navigate their year at SCA? Or considering it?!
Louise: It’s easy to get swallowed up in expectations, deadlines, stress, imposter syndrome and so much more. Remembering why you joined SCA will help you get through all of that. You’re doing this for you, not anyone else.
Cat and Louise graduated from SCA in July 2022 and are currently on placement at SCA partner agency VCCP.
Check out their award-winning portfolio here: 360creatives.co.uk