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Going Viral: Meet Advertising’s Rising Stars of Social Media


Three up and coming social media specialists share how they got their break in the industry and what it takes to keep up with rapid online trends

Going Viral: Meet Advertising’s Rising Stars of Social Media

LBB’s Uprising channel is brought to you in partnership with Ridley Scott Creative Group in ongoing efforts to facilitate opportunities for the next generation of creative talent.

The Uprising channel amplifies the voices of emerging talent in the industry, and with the support of Ridley Scott Creative Group, the industry’s top talent will have an even louder voice on LBB’s global platform. The channel is an opportunity for up-and-coming talent to be celebrated for their artistry, personality, and inspirations, with each feature exploring their creative background, niche craft obsessions, the work they are most proud of, and views on the state of the industry. 

In this interview, LBB spoke to VMLY&R social content manager Brooke Bailey, VCCP junior social and influence creative Lucy Cooper, and We Are Social / Narrative copywriter Becca Slack about their creative influences growing up, the ever-changing face of social media, and some of their best work to date.

Brooke Bailey 
Social content manager

LBB> How and when did you realise you wanted to be a creative?
Brooke> I’ve always been creative, and into creative activities growing up. I just never realised you could do it as a job without being something like a full-time artist or a fashion designer. And while I would’ve enjoyed those careers, it didn’t feel like I knew the right people or had the right connections to really make a living from it.
It’s not until you start looking for jobs that you see how many options there are available – I didn’t know art directors and creative brand leads existed. And there’s nothing stopping me from taking some time out and doing a course in something like fashion design later down the line.

LBB> How did you get your start in the industry?
Brooke> I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I graduated, so I chose to do my degree in something broad – I studied International Business with Spanish. I did a marketing module as part of my studies and really enjoyed it, so when it came time to look for a job in my placement year, I looked for marketing roles.
Following graduation, I used my marketing experience and creative work in my free-time to get a marketing internship at MTV. I had already taught myself how to use Photoshop and some video editing basics which definitely helped me land the role.
I learned so much from that internship, and looking back it really was the perfect stepping stone for me to get to where I am now. I think sometimes internships are looked down upon a bit because they’re perceived as so junior, but for me it’s an ideal way to get your foot in the door when you’re lacking in professional experience.

LBB> What do you find particularly interesting about advertising in the social media category?
Brooke> Social media is ever-changing. What’s in today might be gone tomorrow. But what happens tomorrow might be impactful for years to come.
For example, a few years ago it was all about YouTube in the beauty space – a good review from a creator with millions of followers meant your product was guaranteed to sell out overnight. Now, people avoid adverts, and scroll away immediately, so you need to resonate with your customers on a more personal, authentic level.
To be effective in the online space, you need to think on your feet, be adaptable, and be willing to take risks. I enjoy the challenge of working on social – it feels like a very carefully considered combination of creative and strategy. I don’t think you can have lasting impact online without both of those things.
LBB> What are some of the most significant social media projects you’ve worked on?
Brooke> A funny one I’ll always be proud of is the Chloe Ferry clip of her saying she ‘might be beliefic’ – I started the Geordie Shore TikTok account at MTV completely on my own, from zero followers, and it grew to over 170k. The ‘beliefic’ clip went completely viral, was parodied by big creators, and even reposted onto other platforms. 
It was just a moment I thought was funny from one of the episodes of the show and I made a bespoke cut for TikTok. I feel like that one clip is probably the biggest impact I’ve had on the internet in my career (so far!).
A more serious answer though, the Boots X Indiyah partnership is the second thing I am most proud of. Following the summer series of Love Island, we pushed for Boots to do something bigger and more meaningful than a one-off makeup tutorial with some of the cast, which is what had taken place in the previous series.
We identified that Indiyah had a really strong, dedicated following on social, and that the community was really rooting for her success. Boots signed Indiyah as their first ever beauty ambassador, which was a huge moment. It meant a lot to people as this was the first time we’d really seen a Black contestant land such a big partnership from Love Island.
The announcement was wild. And we kept momentum up with my baby, Glossy Talks, a series where Indiyah got to show more of her authentic personality. We made social-first episodes on makeup, Black beauty, skincare and more. I’ve been lucky enough to lead on so many aspects of this project, from the graphics and logo design, to directing talent on set.  

Lucy Cooper
Junior Social and Influence Creative 

LBB> How and when did you realise you wanted to be a creative?

Lucy> I’ve always liked to do everything in a creative way - whenever I had homework projects I’d tie an old USB stick to my folder to show a rap video I’d made, or I’d make a picture book instead of an essay. As I got older, I was involved in school and university newspapers and naturally took the lead in designing and making things look cool whilst making sure the content was interesting. 

I began dreaming of a world where I could do things like this as a job instead of a time-consuming side passion as a student. It wasn’t until I neared the end of uni that I really realised that I’d like a creative job in the advertising industry… and that they even existed. It seemed like the perfect way to use my creative muscles, be at the forefront of digital and social media, and to be in an inherently fun industry. Seriously, all my friends in corporate grad schemes are jealous. 

LBB> How did you get your start in the industry?

Lucy> I’d been involved in social media throughout university as social secretary for a few societies (and even before uni, with a slightly embarrassing debut as a wannabe YouTube star in 2014. It’s all private now, don’t even try). 

During lockdown I was working long hours on the cheese counter at Waitrose, where I started filming myself ducking under the counter in between customers, offering TikTok viewers “fun cheese facts”. They started to rack up views and people became hooked on the cheese content. This platform gave me the chance to finesse my social content, and I joined Waitrose’s ambassador scheme. The exposure to big social media brands made me realise there’s potential out there for the “big advertising ideas”, and I started to look into ways I could do this for a job. 

As I was looking at social media jobs I realised I could combine this with my dream to be a creative, which I’d ruled out due to my lack of conventional portfolio - a BA in History and Politics left me lacking next to the art school grads that I was competing with. Now, with a successful social media record, I began to have more confidence in myself. The world of creative agencies stood waiting, and I stumbled upon VCCP London’s entry level scheme, 'The Table'. 

The scheme is open to anyone, whether they have a degree or not, and doesn’t require a portfolio - instead it asks for a love of advertising. I’ve realised I’m truly an advertising fan girl, regularly winding my housemates up with thorough commentary during the Love Island ad breaks, and through this passion I managed to nab a spot as the first Social and Influence Tabler. 

LBB> What do you find particularly interesting about advertising in the social media category?

Lucy> There is no place more random than the internet. It’s unpredictable and often the weirdest ideas are the most successful. If they don’t smash it out the park the first time, you can refine and try and try again. It’s a platform where brands can really push their comfort levels, to huge rewards and limited repercussions. Where else could huge brands confidently put out videos of animated Barbie dogs dancing to Ice Spice for commercial gain? If you’re quick and tapped into internet culture, you can unlock a huge audience full of people who are there to be entertained. 

LBB> What are some of the most significant social media projects you’ve worked on?

Lucy> I’ve been working with our client, O2, to further develop their social media persona through an organic ‘always on’ newsroom. We’ve been focusing on new social platforms such as TikTok to reach and engage with younger audiences in a language they understand. It’s a brilliant opportunity to jump on reactive moments and trends in a way that makes sense for a market-leading telco that gives their customers cool benefits for concerts and free sausage rolls (amongst other great Priority deals). 

It’s been awesome to work closely with the team to develop a quick and agile system and to have the freedom to test out different ways in for platforms like TikTok and Twitter, with millions of organic impressions to prove its success. When I first joined VCCP, a senior strategist reminded me that me just being me – with my own experiences and bringing my own insights – gives me an edge that helps with social media work. Speedy and up-and-coming projects like Newsroom is a great way of showing that in action.

Becca Slack
We Are Social / Narrative

LBB> How and when did you realise you wanted to be a creative?

Becca> I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t pursuing something creative. I was one of those annoying kids that made my entire extended family sit down and watch me do a one-man unlicensed version of Annie in the living room. I moved to Chicago after college to do improv (I know, I know. I am cringe, but I am free!) and when I finally realised there’s no money in improv, I started writing and fell into copywriting. My dad also really values creativity and the arts. He’s a great writer and I hate to give the old man credit, but I guess I must. 

LBB> How did you get your start in the industry?

Becca> I was living in Chicago performing improv and sketch shows at night and working as the front desk person/office manager at The Onion during the day. The creative director for the branded content team happened to see me in a friend’s comedy video and asked if I was a writer. He sent me a couple RFPs to pitch on and I was invited to start writing full time for the branded comedy team a few weeks later. It was beneficial for the whole office as I was truly the worst office manager in recorded human history. 

LBB> What do you find particularly interesting about advertising in the social media category?

Becca> I like the quick and reactive nature of social media advertising. I like being able to hop on a trend and see if it hits. And if not, no big deal, there’s a new trend every week. I also spend an unhealthy amount of time online, so, write what you know! 

LBB> What are some of the most significant social media projects you’ve worked on?

Becca> When I was at The Onion, I wrote a satirical spot thanking the tobacco company Philip Morris. I enjoyed making something funny that had a positive environmental message. I also wrote a spot for the Biden/Harris campaign starring the hilarious Sam Richardson. He was in the first Second City show I saw in Chicago (have I mentioned Chicago enough??) as a dorky little improv student, so it was a fun full circle moment for me. And now that I’m at We Are Social / The Narrative Group, I work on the Minions social team and nothing is more fun than coming up with fun stuff for those guys because I love mischief and chaos.

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RSA Films, Wed, 03 May 2023 14:16:00 GMT