The 30 Most Creative Women In Advertising

How many amazing, world-class female creatives can you name? (Go ahead, post them in the comments section, I’m curious.) Not just good female creatives, but Cannes-jury-level female creatives. Off-hand, I can think of four or five. And a couple of them aren’t really in the business anymore. I know there are more. But unfortunately, they don’t come as easily to mind.

There are lots of women in advertising. But not on the creative side. At least not in my experience. If you’re a female writer or art director, I hope you can change that. I hope you can put your stamp on the industry. Here’s a list to get you inspired. It’s The 30 Most Creative Women In Advertising according to Business Insider.

Go through the list. See how many of these women you already know. You probably already know their work. See what they do, and how they do it. Then, go do it yourself.

Guys, you may want to pay attention, too.

Highlights from the Maker Generation

Last month, I was in Richmond, Virginia for the recruiting session at the VCU Brandcenter. I saw a ton of books Рcopywriters, art directors, and creative technologists. I continue to be amazed by the Maker Generation. When I graduated VCU forever ago, I left with a suitcase-shaped black portfolio full of double-page magazine spec ads that had been trimmed with an X-acto blade and spray mounted to black mounting boards. But today, if students have an idea, they go make it. Here are three examples from the VCU Brandcenter recruiting session that stuck with me (shown with permission).  

banethatcher.com

After Margaret Thatcher died, Maddison Bradley and Jon Robbins were listening to some of her quotes and thought, “These sound like the kind of things Bane would say.” So they created banethatcher.com. I don’t know British Conservative politics of the mid-1980’s well enough to comment, but I’m amazed that they pulled this together in a couple of days.

Harry Potter Ipsum

When Olivia Abtahi and Christina Chern needed some lorem ipsum, they thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if this weren’t just gibberish, but Harry Potter gibberish?” So they created Harry Potter Ipsum. Feel free to accio your own text on their joint Most Auspicious.

Dragon Grips

Sam Cantor, Nick Marx, and Hunter Pechin didn’t just go to portfolio school to make spec ads. They came up with Dragon Grips, an actual, functioning product. (That just happens to be surrounded with some well-thought-out marketing.)


“People’s Choice Award” Winner: DragonGrips from Nick on Vimeo.

GSP’s 30 for 30

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has put up a page of their best 30 pieces.

Here’s what Goodby does so well:

  • They don’t complicate their ideas. You can explain the premise of each piece in about 60 seconds.
  • They execute their work really, really well. You can tell people care about making these great.
  • Their ideas are unexpected. Who would have thought you could sell cars without showing cars, sell milk with obscure history, or make a new commercial for each day of your media buy?

Click here for a little inspiration.

The Kind of Creatives We Need to Be

Here’s a clip I stumbled upon over the weekend. It’s Chick Corea playing the drums.

If you’re a Chick Corea fan, you know he’s one of the most amazing jazz pianists ever. Who knew he played the drums? But it makes perfect sense. He’s not just a pianist. He’s a musician.

Look at how effortlessly he picks up the sticks and starts playing. Meanwhile, his bass player sits down at the piano and starts jamming just as easily.

That’s the kind of creatives we need to be. Art directors need to be able to write. Writers need to be able to art direct. UX guys need to be able to understand media. We all have our specialties. But need to be more than specialists.

Otherwise, we’re just the drummers who throw in a little extra cowbell.