Young Gun: MercerBell senior copywriter Sophia East

25 April 2019

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the young talent across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Today we speak to MercerBell senior copywriter Sophia East.

How long have you been in the industry?
Six years.

Duration in current role/time at the company:
Five years.

How did you get here?
I originally wanted to be a vet. But then, at the tender age of 11, I did some work experience and witnessed a cat choking on its own tooth. So, I turned my attention to media instead (not as gross). I started my career at TV networks, scheduling ads into breaks. And now I’m writing the ads. Ironically, one of my current clients is Purina. But, thankfully, I’ve never had to write about cats’ dental hygiene.

Who is your right hand person/who guides you day-to-day?
My executive creative director, David Bell, is my guiding light in ad land. Kind of like Gandalf. He’s been on numerous advertising judging panels, so has great insights on what makes an effective campaign. Then, of course, there’s the wider team at MercerBell, who are the most supportive, kind and talented people I know. I’m very lucky to have them in my life five days a week.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
Being able to work on lots of brands (like Toyota, Qantas, and Afterpay), and across lots of channels. Every day is different – I can be writing an article on cars one day and attending a shoot for a brand campaign the next. Also, the snack cupboard is pretty good.

And the biggest challenge?
Trying to push clients to be brave, like they are in New Zealand (where I’m from).

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
Nick Law – chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe. He’s pretty awesome.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
I love for imagination, for design, Campaign Brief and Directory for competition and insights, and my trusty old ‘The Copy Book’ for storytelling.

My favourite advert is:
I may be biased, but I just love the advertising that comes out of New Zealand. One of my recent faves is a campaign for Tourism New Zealand called ‘Off the Map’. Rhys Darby, a well-known Kiwi comedian, makes for the perfect brand ambassador.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I spend a lot of my life upside down. I could go into detail but I’m going to leave that one up to your imagination.

In five years' time I'll be:
A creative director. Who does acrobatics. And is in a band. Oh, and lives in a beautiful home near the beach. I’d also like two dogs, please.

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