10 questions with... Wieden+Kennedy CCO Colleen DeCourcy

Colleen DeCourcy

The Drum speaks to people across the global media and marketing sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what little insights they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions With... features Wieden + Kennedy's chief creative officer Colleen DeCourcy.

What was your first ever job?

Scooping at Baskin-Robbins in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. I used to have to go home and soak my right hand in warm water after my shift to uncurl my fingers. The people contact was great though. I'd pull stuff from the news and rename flavors in the ice cream case to see if they'd sell more. My biggest hit was Lady Di's Favorite the day of the royal wedding. It was the cake icing we kept in the back, just edible oil product and sugar. It was a nice ivory color. People couldn't get enough of it.

Why did you get into this industry?

At the time it was a way to make a living as a writer. I stayed in it because advertising challenges you. It's the voice that draws you into the dark forest. A curiosity kicks in that's greater than your fear of certain demise.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Most people won't understand your long-term plan. They need to know what you want them to do a year at a time.

What is the coolest thing you have seen in the last year in advertising?

I was a fan of McCann's 'Fearless Girl'. It touched a lot of regular people.

What do you hate most about the industry?

Solipsism.

What is your favorite piece of creative work ever from the industry?

'Double Life' for PlayStation.

Who is the person you most want to meet and why?

Elon Musk. Because his ventures say, "I don't give a fuck what you think," but his actions show a deep caring for people and the state of the world.

If you could go to one marketing event this year which would you choose?

Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit. I went last year and it did more to push my thinking around communication and media than any other single thing I did.

What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram because it's mostly original content.

If you could ban one buzzword or piece of jargon what would it be?

Echo chamber. It's just a term that attributes blame for your cultural insularity to someone else. As in: 'This Facebook echo chamber is a real problem'. Seriously, go out and talk to some people you don't know face to face about thoughts that originated in your own head. The real problem is our collective laziness and avoidance. In-real-life people are hard. The disappointment or anger on their face when you don't agree is pretty direct and it means you need to support it with thoughtful discussion. You can't just repost a link and go brush your teeth.

10 Questions With... will return next Monday.

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