2 Minutes With … Roxana Nita, ECD at DDB Romania

On being resilient to get the job done

With over a decade of experience, Roxana is currently executive creative director at DDB Romania. She entered advertising shortly after graduating from creative school ADC. After winning the local Cannes Young Lions competition in 2012, she was selected as one of two Romanian creatives to represent that nation at ADC Europe's Creative Express program in Finland. She's also a graduate of Eurobest's Young Digital Academy.

Roxana has worked with McDonald's PepsiCo, Samsung, KFC, Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola, Mastercard and Nescafe.

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

Roxana, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I was born and raised in Bucharest, and I still live here.

How you first realized you were creative.

I was hooked on TV commercials as a child. They were my favorite part of the program. I never saw them as annoying or disruptive. Rather, they were entertaining and fascinating. That was an early sign that I would end up in advertising.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

I liked Stephen King when I was younger. He's not afraid to dive deep into dark and unsettling themes. I like how his stories are often not linear. He always takes his stories into unpredictable places, adding crazy plot twists when least expected.

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

Those math classes I had in high school each Monday starting at 7 a.m. I realized then that I'm not a morning person and would most likely not end up having a 9-to-5 job.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

David Shrigley, a British artist who does absurdist drawings with an almost childlike simplicity. I admire his style—a mix of dark humor, satire and wit. I frequently drink my tea out of my "What does the future hold Arthritis" mug.

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

I recently finished reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. It depicts characters you would probably misjudge in real life: an autodidact concierge and a precocious 12 year-old. Both have beautiful little essays in the book, journaling about time and the meaning of life.

Your favorite fictional character.

I'm a big fan of Jack Bauer of 24. He's endlessly solving stuff while struggling to keep it all together. 

Someone or something worth following in social media.

If you're into surreal, dark humor and absurdist cartoons, I recommend Joan Cornellà.

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

"Unquiet Voices" is one of my favorites because of the level of emotional involvement attached to it. In 2019, when silent movies lost their copyright, we did a film where seven domestic violence victims gave their voices to abused characters in such films. We spent a lot of one-on-one time with the victims from ANAIS, listening to their painful stories. The response to the movie was overwhelming after we premiered it at a local indie cinema house. It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as you rarely get to screen your work in front of a cinema audience. Later on, the movie screened at the Cannes Film Festival. And most importantly, it was used as educational material in psychology classes at several high schools.

A recent project is #UnExaminable, a campaign that managed to officially remove virginity testing on request in Romania. I get triggered easily when it comes to any form of violence against women. So, as soon as I heard about virginity testing I knew we were going to do something about it. The campaign focused on an emotional video which draws a parallel between the baccalaureate exam and virginity exams. It was done in partnership with the Network for the Prevention and Combating of Violence Against Women. The director, Iulia Rugina, the actors, the production team and all the other people involved in this pro-bono project did an extraordinary job. 

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

"You're Not You When You're Hungry"—that phrase, which we all know and can relate to —has stood the test of time and remains synonymous with Snickers more than a decade later. That's a winner in my book. I still can't get enough of Betty White as a hangry soccer player. 

Another one would be Old Spice—"The Man Your Man Could Smell Like." I loved the snappy dialogue and the perfect delivery from Isaiah Mustafa. It's the perfect mix of smart strategy and crazy creative execution. 

Someone else's work you admired lately. 

I loved British Airways' "A British Original," which explores the multitude of reasons people travel.

There's also Apple's "Detectives" commercial, which is so simple it hurts. It's really hard to sell a technical feature in a way that's entertaining to watch, and they nailed it. Perfect casting, perfect direction, perfect everything.

Your main strength as a creative person.

I'm quite resilient and stubborn, so whenever I set my mind on something, I usually make it happen. 

Your biggest weakness.

I sometimes struggle with having patience.

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

Working in the design industry, focusing on typography. Or in a different multiverse, I'd be planting tomatoes in a garden as a farmer. 

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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