Next Creative Leaders 2019

Hannah Smit

Creative Director

I am a Canadian born, Creative Director at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam. Over the past decade, I've worked around the globe for agencies in Europe, Canada, and Australia - on clients ranging from Nike to toilet paper. My work has been awarded Glass Lions, Grand Prixs, and Gold Pencils, but what I am most proud of are the ideas and initiatives that have created a real positive impact on people and culture - like helping NIKE permanently change the Netherlands Women's National football crest from a Lion to a Lioness. Or working with UNICEF to tell the story of child refugees - and then seeing that story on Kim Kardashian's twitter feed.

In my spare time, I've also developed personal work that tackles gender inequality. Like, Cover The Athlete, an initiative I co- created to shine a light on sexism in sport journalism, and Jane St, a satirical short-film I co-wrote, that challenged the ad industry's co-opting of the feminist movement. Both projects garnered millions of views and international press coverage.

I believe creativity can be a powerful force for good in this world, but that our industry has a lot of work to do to become an inclusive, respectful and positive space. I'm incredibly lucky to have started my creative career in Toronto, in a time when a lot of the city's best agencies had female ECDs at the helm, giving me many talented role models to look up to. And early on, I had the opportunity to work for brilliant women who nurtured my strong point of view and desire to create meaningful work. I know that working in such an encouraging and safe environment was a huge privilege and remains extremely rare for most women in our industry.

As a creative leader, I believe I now have the responsibility to help create the same sort of inclusive and supportive environment that I experienced. Outside of championing diverse voices, stories, and production partners in my work, I continue to mentor young female creatives, and speak at industry events such as HearSay and OneClub. I also regularly sit on juries - including in the last 12 months Eurobest, the Gerety Awards and Cannes Lions - to champion and advocate for work that is pushing our industry forward.

Read Interview
Just Do It: Caster Semenya Agency: Hannah Smit Client: Nike Category: Next Creative Leaders Year: 2019
The Lioness Crest Agency: Hannah Smit Client: Nike Category: Next Creative Leaders Year: 2019
The Story of Harry and Ahmed Agency: Hannah Smit Client: UNICEF Category: Next Creative Leaders Year: 2019
Cover The Athlete Agency: Hannah Smit Client: Pro bono campaign Category: Next Creative Leaders Year: 2019

 

 

 

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