2 Minutes With … Camilla Clerke, ECD of Ogilvy South Africa

On 'Bride Armour' and 'This Girl Can'

Camilla has over a decade of experience in the ad industry. After a number of years working on television spots, print and radio campaigns, she found her way into the more experimental and innovative side of advertising, focusing on behavior change with creative solutions at their core. Clients include Toyota RAV4, Carling Black Label and Castle Lager.

We spent two minutes with Camilla to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Camilla, tell us ... 

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I was born and raised in Cape Town. I still live here. Let's just say it's a pretty hard place to leave.

How you first realized you were creative. 

The realization hit a little later than most. But when I saw the light, it was obvious. I love to write. I love to tell stories (the weirder the better). I love to make people feel things. And I battle getting to work on time. I mean, all the signs were there. 

A person you idolized creatively early on. 

Colleen DeCourcy, because how can you not?

A moment from high school or college that changed your life. 

I was "asked to leave" university after about six unsuccessful years of trying to become an accountant. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire. 

Juliet Harding and her band, GoodLuck. This girl was in my class at school and from the age of 11, knew what she wanted, and went for it.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring. 

The Deepest Breath. I'm not crying, you're crying!

Your favorite fictional character. 

Fleabag—she's vulnerable, open and always working on herself. She's a work in progress. I get her.

Someone or something worth following in social media. 

Ahmed Tilly for advertising truths. And Rob Anderson. He's currently analyzing '90s TV shows and movies.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on. 

This was an incredibly meaningful and hugely emotional project to work on. Using hundreds of real stories of abuse in marriage, we created the dress we wish we never had to make. Our "Bride Armour" hijacked the runway in South Africa Fashion Week, sharing a story no one could ignore.

A recent project you're proud of. 

This piece took several years to make. A lot of experimentation, a lot of hard work, a lot of patience. But it was well worth it: A high-protein bread made from the byproducts of the beer brewing process, distributed across South Africa to those who need it. 

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

This piece still inspires me:

Someone else's work you admired lately. 

I'm going to call out another South African agency: Promise, for their piece "Finding the Forgotten Graduate." A beautiful campaign, great insight and wonderful craft. 

Your main strength as a creative person. 

To see an opportunity, a way in, to help those small green shoots quickly grow.

Your biggest weakness. 

Letting go. I can hold onto an idea or a theory way too long.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising. 

I would be writing an epic comedy series. And if I wasn't in advertising or writing, I'd have to marry rich. Nothing else would satisfy me.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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