Creative Insights: Dentsu's Gillian Dalla Pozza on the hunger for creating work that's truly unique

By AdNews | 8 May 2024

Creative Insights is an AdNews series investigating and uncovering the secrets of the creative side of advertising.

Dentsu Creative associate creative director Gillian Dalla Pozza:

How did you fall into the industry? Was it deliberate or a misstep?

The industry choice was 100% deliberate. I did an assignment back in high school on the psychology of advertising and I pretty much decided I was going to do that. I was an art-obsessed teen who was also very interested in business, so the idea of merging the two for a living was the dream. The only fortunate misstep was the job. I thought I would swap my real paintbrush for a digital one, but my favourite college lecturer saw something in my writing and inspired me to pursue it. Thinking about it now – I’m not sure if that says more about my art direction skills or my copywriting. 

What’s your secret sauce for commercial creativity?

My secret sauce is the same as it was back at the very beginning. I have a genuine passion for ideas and creativity. The thing that gives that sauce a kick is when everyone from the strategist to the client has the same hunger for creating something truly unique.

What’s the biggest hurdle now for creatives?

Jumping hurdles at world-record speeds. In my years, I’ve watched timings dwindle. The overnight test seems like a luxury these days. AI may be able to step in and save us time on some tasks – for example, to help with scamps. But (for now) the ‘never before’ can only come from a human brain and that kind of lateral thinking can take time.

Do you wear the black t-shirt uniform or are you a nonconformist?

I love a good staple as much as the next lazy efficient person. But they also invented dresses with pockets, so…

Can commercial creativity only take place in a room full of people in black T-shirts?

In 10 years of being with my creative partner, I have never seen her wear a black t-shirt and she’s pretty much always in the room with me when our commercial creativity happens.

What was the latest campaign that you worked on that you really enjoyed?

We recently created the new brand platform for THE ICONIC which was beyond fun. We built a 6-metre-tall tree, bathed a model in 35 kgs of sequins and created an upside-down Escher-esque basketball court. It was also one of those jobs where everyone on the team had the same goal. Everyone kept pushing each other to be the best creative version of themselves. And there wasn’t a black t-shirt in sight.

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