2 Minutes With … Rachel Brandt, Head of Creative at Code3
Rachel Brandt leads the creative team at Code3, an agency operating at the intersection of creative, media and commerce. She specializes in digital creative development and leading client relationships with deep knowledge across verticals. Some of her favorite accomplishments at Code3 include helping Chipotle grow its digital business, spreading important information about Covid-19 with Meta campaigns for state health departments, rebranding Duff & Phelps as Kroll, and guiding newer brands like Tractor Beverage to market.
We spent two minutes with Rachel to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations, and recent work she's admired.
Rachel, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York. I currently live in Los Angeles.
How you first realized you were creative.
I realized I was creative when I stopped thinking of "creative" as a concrete identity and started to see it as a mindset—a way of approaching little moments throughout the day.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
Shel Silverstein made language fun for me at a young age. Writing is not a strength of mine, so I've always really admired creative writers.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
Interning at Saatchi & Saatchi in college and falling in love with both advertising and California simultaneously.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
I've only listened to two episodes so far, but 70 Over 70 has me pretty inspired. I love the idea that when you spend your life working on things you love, you never need to retire. We're in a "young" industry, but we only get more capable with age. How can we lean into that instead of fear it?
Your favorite fictional character.
Hermione Granger. Obviously.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
Harvard Business Review is a great follow with helpful tips and reminders on how to manage a team and set up an environment for creativity to thrive.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has been an incredibly challenging time, and I'm reminded how important it is, both personally and professionally, to surround yourself with people who energize you.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
Working on the Treatment Box, as part of "The Truth About Opioids" campaign. This was an enormous effort and involved a lot of incredibly talented people. While I played a very small role, it is one of the highlights of my career, for the impact and importance in our world today.
A recent project you're proud of.
I can't decide! Which is an awesome feeling. I'm most proud of the way we work—our team has changed how advertising is done—every person on our team is a "maker" and it helps us meet the insane content needs that brands have today. Here's just a little snippet of what we've accomplished in the past six months.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
Jim Krantz is an incredible photographer whom I had the privilege of working with a few years back. His work has such a cool vibe, and I love his perspective.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
My sister-in-law actually recently released a video game for kids exploring the inside of a cell. She's a scientist and did all the art herself. I'm totally inspired by it.
Your main strength as a creative person.
I'm not sure it's specific to being a creative person, but I think positivity is my biggest strength. I am definitely a "How can we fill the glass?" kind of person, which usually is where new ideas come from.
Your biggest weakness.
I eat dessert for breakfast.
One thing that always makes you happy.
I wrap up many of my days chatting with our creative director, Aislinn Shevlin. It's never scheduled but we instinctively know to call each other. It's a great moment, out of the day-to-day of the work, that fills me up with possibilities for what's ahead.
One thing that always makes you sad.
When brands don't see or take their social responsibility seriously.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
I think spaces have such a huge impact on our lives. If I weren't in advertising, I'd be an interior designer—focused on designing spaces that maximize creativity.
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.