Next Creative Leaders 2018: Maddy Kramer
Posted on Nov 06, 2018
Hometown and country:
Current employer, city and role:
Saatchi NY, Sr. Art Director
How did your upbringing, family or hometown shape you as a creative?
I grew in Argentina. My dad used to work for JWT (on the Ford account), so for 25 years that meant that I got to try every single new car that was about to be in the market. During the summers my dad worked in the “summer stand” for Ford, so I spent hours watching the Ford commercials in a loop. My oldest brother ended up going into the creative business too. He works as an editor for commercials so when he had a new cut he would ask me for my opinion. He ended up marrying a colorist, so we always joke that we could start our own family agency.
What’s the piece of work you’re most proud of and why?
The piece of work I’m the proudest of is “It’s a Tide Ad.” My first full time job was at Conill (Saatchi & Saatchi Hispanic agency). At the time I was working on Tide, in Spanish—and I felt the Hispanic market wasn’t “cool.” Now, after being a part of Tide’s Super Bowl commercial brief, I can appreciate the importance of that experience, seven years later.
What does meaning this award mean to you?
I feel grateful and humbled that I got picked to be one of The Next Creative Leaders. Advertising is a career that requires a lot, and being recognized for doing doing what I love makes me feel like my efforts are valued. Also, I feel a lot of responsibility to pave the road for the next generation of female creatives.
Who has most influenced you in your career thus far?
I’m lucky to have a lot of people in my life that influenced me. My parents are big part of that—they supported me in each and every move (5 moves in 7 years— every time I believed in the next opportunity). Javier Campopiano who took a gamble and hired me because he saw something “special” in the way I thought. The first team I ever worked for at Conill who taught me to be hungry for great ideas without losing sight of having a great team dynamic. And finally my fiancé, who helps me be a better creative and person every day.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing women right now (work or non work related) and how would you solve it?
What concerns me the most and feel like the biggest challenge is our current government here in the US. I think the way to solve it is by showing up, helping candidates we believe in, and giving them our biggest asset—our creativity—and using it to make a change.
If you were CCO of your company, what would be the one thing you’d change (if you could just wave your magic wand?)
If I were a CCO, I would make sure people knew that my staff was my priority and that money wasn’t the most important thing. I’d make sure that creativity wasn’t defined by old structures. I’d promote ideas that generate change and I’d pick clients that have similar values and who want to have healthy discussions.
The theme of this year’s 3% Conference is “Bring It.” What do you think you bring to the table as a creative and a leader?
As a creative leader, I bring my determination to make ideas that generate change. I bring my diversity, my worldview and my experience. But the most important thing I bring to the table is my transparency.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the past year?
Success can be scary.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career so far and how did it pan out?
I quit my job after my first year because I wanted to learn more about technology and move to New York. It took me almost two years to find a full time job, I interviewed in more that 50 agencies in that time and took a lot of “NO’s”, but I was fearless and I kept trying. Back then I met my former boss that brought me to Saatchi NY, if I didn’t quit back then I wouldn’t know if today I would be winning this award.
How do you “fill up your cup” creatively?
I love to discover new things. I spend a lot of time researching on the internet, and I attend workshops and take classes for things I would never get the chance to learn in an agency (My last class was Intro to Arduino).
What’s currently inspiring you?
I’m inspired by people who believe they can make change (and then actually do)—like the Parkland kids. I also find inspiration in the human insights behind a great idea.
What would be your dream project and why?
My dream project would be to open an agency that helps nonprofits and brands who are looking to make social change.
How are you leaving the work, the workplace or the world a better place than you found it?
I’m trying to leave our industry a better place through launching inVisible Creatives, a database that puts the work of female creatives front and center.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to women embarking on a creative career?
Trust your gut. Work for someone you respect and admire. And never stop believing in your own talent—even if your ego says not to.