Next Creative Leaders 2019: Sali Horsey & Zoe Nash

on Nov 07, 2019

Preferred pronouns:

She / Her / Hers


Hometown and country:

Edinburgh, Scotland, a field in the South of England


Current employer, city and role:

adamandeveDDB, London, Creative Team


How did your upbringing, family or hometown shape you as a creative?

Zoe: I was never allowed to watch much TV (which my mum tells me increased my imagination). I ended up doing a lot of art projects for my own entertainment.

Sali: I’m the opposite. I watched films all the time growing up and was obsessed with everything from old Hollywood movies to Star Wars. So now getting to write scripts and see them come to life is pretty great.


What’s your “breaking into advertising” story?

We met at college and realized we had similar ambitions to get into a really good agency. We had no clients of our own, so we came up with loads of spec ideas, which got us into the news, and into a job.


What does meaning this award mean to you?

It means a huge amount. We’ve met lots of amazing women (and men!) who’ve encouraged us in the industry and we’re very excited to do the same for female creatives who are just starting out. Advertising could do with a lot more diversity — and not just gender diversity.


What is your secret (or not-so-secret) creative super power and how to you flex it?

Working hard. Maybe there are some people who are just naturally incredibly creative and don’t need to put in the hours, but for us there’s no super power, just energy.


What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing women right now (work or non work related) and how would you solve it?

Men not taking (or being encouraged to take) paternity leave. It’s all very well that women are being empowered to stay at work, but until men feel empowered to stay at home, we’ll never have real equality.


The theme of this year’s 3% Conference is “29%” in an effort to help men experience what their female colleagues experience every day as the minority. What’s one thing you wish your male colleagues could see through your eyes?

How hilarious women are. We’ve often spoken to female creatives who find that people assume their comedy scripts are written by their male partner. In our experience female creatives have some of the silliest and dirtiest senses of humor out there!


What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the past year?

To take the time to appreciate when something’s gone well. It’s easy in this job to constantly be worrying about what’s coming next and never take the time to enjoy the successes.


How do you “fill up your cup” creatively?

Watching amazing shows now counts as ‘research’ which is fantastic. We’ve also (very occasionally, please don’t fire us) gone to the cinema or an exhibition if we’re not busy at work, because that so often sparks something.


What’s currently inspiring you?

A lot of podcasts. There are so many brilliant stories, facts and insights into what people are thinking and feeling. Also exhibitions e.g. the V&A gallery in London is brilliant at curating exhibitions which combine art or design with really great facts and ideas.


Who would be your dream collaborators and why?

The writers of Smack The Pony. They write brilliantly simple, weird jokes.


Who’s your (current) woman crush every day?

Olivia Coleman. Emma Thompson always. Aisling Bea. Sharon Horgan. Phoebe Waller-Bridge. (a cliche but a cliche for a reason). Kathryn Ryan. There are just so many amazing women in comedy and it’s brilliant that everyone is now starting to appreciate it.


How are you leaving the work, the workplace or the world a better place than you found it?

We try and apply the same thinking we use for our clients, to problems in the world we’d like to help fix. Whether that’s an ‘anti-pollution plant’ brand, or more diverse children’s book covers. Our personal projects are just as important as our work.


What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to women embarking on a creative career?

You can be nice and successful. It’s definitely a stereotype that the people who shout the loudest are the most successful, but we’ve met loads of amazing leaders in the industry who prove that’s not the case at all. Also to keep pushing your own work. Everyone else is far too busy to!

Click here to view their award winning work 

Next Creative Leaders 2019

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