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Unexpected Intros: Shannon Rothschild


DDB chats to DDB Toronto's group account director about how she winded up in advertising and what inspires her

Unexpected Intros: Shannon Rothschild

At DDB, they have a simple belief. That Unexpected Works. It means that the best idea is the one you never saw coming. The thing that catches you so off guard that you can‘t look away. And the only path to genuinely unexpected works is through creativity.

And in order to create awesome works, you need awesome people. Because you can’t make the unexpected if you only work with the usual suspects. In this Unexpected Intros series, DDB takes a peek behind the curtain at some of the diverse thinkers that make up its network, and validate Bill Bernbach’s notion that an idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.

Q> Name, Title, Office

Shannon> Shannon Rothschild, DDB Toronto, Group Account Director


Q> Introduce yourself in three emojis.

Shannon> 🤷‍♀️✌🏼😂


Q> What was your very first job?

Shannon> My very first paying job was working in a candy store. I was 14 years old and the owner took a liking to me and started taking me to the giant candy warehouses to help her choose product. She spent extra time with me teaching me how to close the till at the end of the night. It was a great first job and really positive retail/customer service experience. 


Q> How did you wind up in advertising?

Shannon> I come from a family of singers and performers and always gravitated towards the arts – dance, writing, drama. After university, I did a post-grad in marketing and felt drawn to the creative side. Before landing in a full-scale ad agency, I did a few different internships (experiential, brand management). I was immediately drawn to the people, the energy, and how humour and imagination were prized and encouraged. I was hooked.


Q> Piece of creative that inspires you?

Shannon> I'm most inspired by creative driven by strong consumer insights mixed with cultural importance. Typically these ideas are so simple and make you go, "why didn't we think of that?!" The best work is a sign of the times. I absolutely love the 'Charlie' perfume ad from the '70s. Fun fact: this spot is the first in history to portray a woman wearing pants. You see this woman hanging out on a construction site with all the workers, something unheard of in previous eras. 'Charlie' was marketed as the perfume women should be buying for themselves and was a great symbol of women's cultural revolution. Even the product name, 'Charlie,' is a unisex name. This spot was an emblem of the pendulum swinging in the other direction for women's equality. The characteristic 'Charlie girl' was sexy, brave, independent and defied society's traditional gender roles. The product became synonymous with women's empowerment was hugely successful and –  even though the original ads are 50 years old –  they still follow the same building blocks for making great work. For this reason, DDB's philosophy of Unexpected Works was so inspiring to me. I love the idea of mining for insights that truly surprise and go counter to the category. 


Q> What are you currently reading, watching, and listening to?

Shannon> With reading, I try to alternate between fiction and non-fiction. I am currently reading: 'Seven Days in June' and 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.' If you can get past the bravado and slightly misogynistic language, the book's message is pretty valuable in terms of choosing your priorities in life. I also keep 'The Daily Stoic' on my bedside table and read one passage every night – highly recommend.

Currently watching: I just finished the newest seasons of 'Yellowstone' and 'Succession.' Excited to dive into the newest season of 'Too Hot to Handle.' Reading about stoicism and watching trash TV is a great analogy for who I am. It's all about balance, right?

Currently listening to: I'm not sure if this counts, but I love the Headspace meditations.


Q> What's a goal/hope/dream of yours?

Shannon> My focus will always be on continual growth and finding ways to prioritise my family. I have two young daughters and I'm determined to make the most of my time with them while they want to be with me, which I know isn't going to last forever. I don't want to compare myself to others, I just want to be better than I was yesterday and I want the same for my girls.

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DDB Canada - Toronto, Tue, 01 Mar 2022 14:39:00 GMT