2 Minutes With … Melissa Ludwig, VP and CD at FCB Health N.Y.

On optimism and enthusiasm for what's possible

With nearly 20 years of industry experience, Melissa is currently vice president and creative director at FCB Health N.Y. Earlier, she helped develop campaigns for consumer audiences across haircare, skincare, cosmetics, fast food, packaged goods and more. For the last eight years, she's been on a mission to "Unpharma the pharma"—bringing refreshing perspectives to DTC and HCP brands, as well as OTC goods and new business.

She is also the founder of Beautiful Sorta Photography, in which she documents the human moments of everyday family life.

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

Melissa, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

Bayonne, N.J. Never left.

How you first got interested in health.

By chance. I ran into a friend who told me his agency, FCB Health, was hiring, and asked if he could make the connection. When I saw some of the impactful work, I signed on immediately. 

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

Making "Poop Should Never Feel Painful" for Colace stool softeners. We took a conversation no one wanted to have and turned it into a song people couldn't stop singing. It was inspired by metaphors we heard in market research when people described what it felt like to pass hard stools. Someone said, "It feels like pushing an elephant through a keyhole." My partner Erica Thwaites and I found that real talk inspiring.

A recent project you're proud of.

We launched a social campaign called "Have a Picky Kitty" for Flo, a U.K.-based menstrual care brand that's rolling out in the U.S. They make organic and sustainable pads and tampons that are good for your body and the planet. Your vagina deserves to be choosy about what goes in or around it— ah HA! An insight you can't argue with: You should Have a Picky Kitty!  

Someone else's work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.

Have you seen "Deck the Stalls" for the non-profit PERIOD? They're on a mission to eradicate period poverty and stigma. They put out a holiday video featuring a cheeky character called "Crampus"—their period-positive spin on the legend of Krampus.

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

I started watching these animated shorts with my son called "Miniscule," about the day-to-day existence of insects. I fell in love with their simplicity. The daddy long-legs spider is my favorite character. His face makes me giggle every time I see it and the pitter patter of his feet make me rethink my arachnophobia

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Bella McGoldrick. She makes amazing recreations of everyday objects. Chino Moreno, the lead singer/songwriter/founding member of Deftones, Team Sleep, Palms and ††† (Crosses). I love his voice and how he manages to transcend genres. And his iconic scream—"IYKYK!"

Your favorite fictional character.

MacGyver. Greatest problem solver of my generation. 

Someone worth following on social media.

@at.thebeep. This account features a phone number you can call to leave an anonymous voicemail. The messages are paired with videos and shared on social media. It gives people a safe space to "air things out" and listening to the vulnerability behind these stories helps validate your own emotions.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

I approach every challenge with a "What if?" or a "Why not?" Continued optimism and enthusiasm for what's possible go a long way in a business where 99 percent of your ideas never see the light of day.

Your biggest weakness.


Something people would find surprising about you.

I drive a Mustang.

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

I'd focus on my photography business, which has been a side hustle and passion project of mine. I enjoy documenting families and spending a few hours in their homes to capture the small and sometimes overlooked moments of everyday life. You can find me on insta @Beautifulsortaphotography.

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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