5 Minutes with… Carol Lambert
Carol Lambert is a creative director and board director at Publicis Dublin. An art director at heart, she has an affinity for typography, illustration, photography and design.
Having served as president of the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design, a board director at the Kinsale Shark Awards and a board director of the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland, Carol’s become a pillar of Dublin’s creative community, supporting and promoting the talent it has to offer. She’s won national and international awards for her work on brands including Levi's, Heinz, Guinness, Vhi Healthcare, TG4 (Irish National Language Broadcaster), Anti-Smoking and more.
LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with her to learn more about her approach to creativity.
LBB> Where did you grow up and what was it like as a kid?
CL> I grew up in Raheny, Dublin. My best friend and I lived next door to each other and we’re still best friends. Our house was across the road from Kilbarrack flats so there were a few dodgy people knocking about while I was growing up. School up until the age of 12 was mixed with boys and girls, but some of the kids came from very difficult backgrounds. I have memories of sprinting around the school yard most lunch times, trying to get away from boys who wanted to lift up our uniform skirts. All the girls were good sprinters! From 12 onwards I went to an all-girls school run by nuns and it was a big relief.
LBB> The wider Publicis Groupe has been on a journey over the past year or two to become more integrated. How has your agency in Dublin changed as part of that? Has it changed the way you work much?
CL> Integrating multiple disciplines has been really positive and makes our clients’ lives much easier. Our teams work together closely on projects so our response to business problems is very robust.
LBB> There's been a lot of change in the Dublin agency landscape in the past few years. What would you say is the most important shift you're seeing?
CL> Agencies and clients are working closer together than ever before.
LBB> How and why did you get into advertising in the first place?
CL> I always loved art and creative thinking. Our industry offered me the chance to work creatively on a daily basis and make a living out of it.
LBB> And how did you end up at Publicis?
CL> I worked in a few different agencies and got experience working on some great brands. I was ambitious and wanted more responsibility. I got approached to become CD and restructure the department to make it a leading creative award-winning agency. It was a massive challenge, but one that really doesn’t come around very often. I jumped at the chance.
LBB> Do you ever look at other jobs with envy? What would you be doing if you weren't a creative?
CL> I’d still be doing something creative. Interior design, architecture, fashion, landscaping. I’d have found a way.
LBB> How would you describe the culture at Publicis Dublin and what are your feelings about how it compares to other agencies in Ireland?
CL> Our people make the culture and we’re all very passionate about our industry. We’ve an equal gender split on our board which makes us a very balanced company. Creativity is very important to us, but so is creative thinking and really getting under the skin of our client’s business.
LBB> What's the best piece of advice you've received? Or maybe something you wish you'd learnt earlier?
CL> Draw what you see. Not what you think you see. My art teacher said that to me years ago, but I think it applies to most things in life.
LBB> What part of the job do you find most satisfying?
CL> Getting to spend my day working with lovely people. Colleagues and clients. I feel very lucky.
LBB> What work are you most proud of recently?
CL> Work we created for TG4 – Tá Gaeilge Agam.
LBB> What are your biggest creative ambitions at the moment, personally and for the agency?
CL> To create ground-breaking work for a client that gets international recognition.
LBB> You work on a combination of Irish brands and more internationally familiar ones. What advice would you give to clients looking to advertise in the country?
CL> Work with your agency and help them as much as you can. If you really work together you can unlock solutions that your business can benefit from. There are some great people working in our industry, but you get out what you put in. For any international clients looking to work with Irish agencies – be brave. Irish agencies can be very nimble and quick to respond with great ideas. Trust the talent here and enjoy working with great people.
LBB> Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of work? How do you recharge your creative batteries?
CL> I love horse riding and lately sea swimming!