2 Minutes With ... Deborah Lotterman, Chief Creative Officer at precisioneffect

Her creative inspirations, from Cher to Rubeus Hagrid

Photo illustration by Ashley Epping

Over 20 years in healthcare marketing, spanning virtually every specialty in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics, Deborah Lotterman has helped develop award-winning campaigns for companies including Abbott Nutrition, AbbVie, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, BioMarin, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Exact Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, MEDA, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, Shire, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and The Yoga Journal. 

Lotterman earned a bachelor of arts in English from Towson University, a master of art in professional writing from Emerson College, and also holds a degree in culinary arts. She is a fierce competitor, a bad-ass cook and mother of two teen girls who keep her current on music and memes.

We spent two minutes with Deborah—who is also a judge for this year's Clio Health Awards, to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Deborah, tell us... 

The town where you were born. 

Evanston, Illinois. Dad was doing a PhD at Northwestern. 

What you wanted to be when you grew up. 

A doctor who wrote novels on the weekend.

How you discovered you were creative. 

I turned everything into something else. Refrigerator box into airplane. Paper bags into fashion show. Layout paper into the family newsletter. 

A person you idolized creatively growing up. 

Cher. Seriously. She couldn't really sing, but she sang. She turned out to be an incredible actress. And damn, I wanted that hair. 

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

College fiction writing class, when I suddenly realized fiction writers actually tell stories in their heads all day long. My writing talent is a love of language, cadence and the crafting of an argument. And so, I was not going to write the Great American Novel. 

The first concert you saw, and your favorite band or musician today. 

The Beach Boys—but I was invited, I never liked them! Music is incredibly important; it's hard to pick a fave. Recently a little stuck on the Decemberists and the Cranberries. 

Your favorite artist. 

Jenny Holzer.

Your favorite hero or heroine in fiction. 

Rubeus Hagrid.

The best book you've read lately. 

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra.

Your favorite movie. 

Way too hard! Most recently loved The Shape of Water and Vice.

Your favorite Instagram follow. 


Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on, and why. 

Broadcast spots for Cologuard. They're super fun, super successful and they're having a huge impact in getting people to screen for colon cancer. Also, super hard to sell in to the client, who thought they should be portrayed as serious science company. All hugely satisfying!

Your favorite creative project from the past year, and why. 

A public awareness campaign our London office did with MSD this fall to encourage parents to vaccinate their sons for HPV. Great work by the team, plastered in Tube stations and on buses all over the U.K. The metrics are poppin' off the charts, and boys are getting vaccinated!

Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago. 

A French AIDS awareness campaign that depicted people making love with scorpions and spiders. You could not unsee it. 

Someone else's creative project that you've been envious of lately. 

A whole lot of work out of Area23, naturally. They are doing incredibly smart work. 

Your main strength as a creative person. 

I'm a firestarter. I'm able to get the team all fired up on an opportunity. I fan sparks. I feed flames. 

Your weakness or blind spot. 

I'm a sucker for a great line and will try to convince myself it's a bigger idea than it is. 

One thing that always makes you happy. 

My beautiful walk to work through the Boston Public Gardens.

One thing that always makes you sad.

What's happening to this country under the Trump presidency.

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

Cooking on small yachts in the Mediterranean.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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