2 Minutes With ... Erica Thwaites, VP and Creative Director at FCB Health
Erica's keen eye for design, imaginative spirit and fearless approach to challenging briefs has made her 15+ years in advertising an immense success. In that time, Erica has amassed over 35 prestigious industry awards. She spent the first 10 years of her career launching beauty campaigns for L'Oréal and Unilever brands. Eventually, Erica pivoted to healthcare, where she brings a fresh and bold approach to tackling life-saving campaigns.
When Erica isn't spending time with her husband and two daughters, or mentoring in a minority youth arts programs, you'll find her performing on her steel drum from Trinidad and Tobago. She enjoys playing selections from Beethoven to Beyoncé.
We spent two minutes with Erica to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.
Erica, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Silver Spring, Md.,, a few miles from Washington, D.C. But after spending 20 years in New York, I decided to return to suburban life in Northern Virginia.
How you first got interested in health.
Health advertising fell into my lap after I worked in consumer beauty and cosmetics for most of my career. At first, I was apprehensive about making the switch, but I was exposed to really powerful work, and I was immediately intrigued.
One of your favorite projects you’ve ever worked on, and why.
"Still Not Out of the Water" was an eye-opening campaign that raised awareness and educated parents about nonfatal drownings. We partnered with Ale Burset to shoot the ads and I had the best time designing the sets down to the tiniest details. The campaign was a huge success, winning several awards, including a Silver at Clio Health in 2019.
A recent project you're proud of, and why.
"Poop Should Never Feel Painful" for Colace Stool Softeners rises to the top for me. It was the kind of idea you knew the clients would never go for, but you did it anyway. And it worked. Using hilarious metaphors, we set out to show the relatable side of dealing with painful poops. We paired it with a catchy song people couldn't stop singing, written by my copy partner Melissa Ludwig. The campaign allowed me to get real and celebrate the fun side of pharma.
One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about.
I'm excited to see where A.I. takes health. I'm always blown away by how A.I. continues to evolve and sharpen its capabilities. There are so many challenges we're yet to solve in healthcare, and I believe A.I. will help get us to solutions we've never seen before.
Someone else's work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.
I LOVE Apple's "The Waiting Room." From the film technique and color grading, to the sound design and the execution of the idea—just everything.
A book, movie, TV show, or podcast you recently found inspiring.
Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Your favorite fictional character.
I absolutely love Meilin Lee from Pixar’s Turning Red. She's this cute, nerdy, sassy, boy band-loving kid growing up during the Y2K era who asserts her independence every chance she gets.
Someone worth following on social media.
Your main strength as a marketer/creative.
I've been told that I have something called "Erica Sauce," and I put that sh*t on everything.
Your biggest weakness
Keeping way too many tabs open in my head.
One thing that always makes you happy.
It's so rewarding to hear my daughters say, "Best. Day. Everrrrr!!!" after spending a ridiculous amount of time planning family outings.
One thing that always makes you sad.
The unpredictability of grief.
Something people would find surprising about you.
I play the steel drum, the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago, and my very first performance was for the passing of the Olympic torch ceremony.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in health.
Anything that involves working with my hands and away from the screen.