Creative Insights: Emotive's Kat Topp on lateral thinking, utter ridiculousness and a love for the work

By AdNews | 18 April 2024

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

Emotive creative director Katt Top:

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

It was a zig-zaggy, accidental journey that began in the hellish Canberra public service, then jumped to London where I was a florist, financial website manager, then agency producer. I got my break as a creative from a glorious female ECD who offered me a shot at copywriting when I quit my job to write a book. And I lived happily ever after. 

What’s your secret sauce for commercial creativity?

Squeezing as much joy out of the job as possible and bringing contagious positivity to even the dullest briefs. Lateral thinking, utter ridiculousness and bringing genuine love to the work and the people I work with. 

What’s the biggest hurdle now for creatives?

For me the biggest hurdle in my career is getting over imposter syndrome - still working on that. And creating healthy boundaries so that work doesn’t completely consume your life and you still have creative fuel in your jet-pack.

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

Rainbow is my favourite colour and I describe my style as ‘clown chic’. I’ve never owned a black t-shirt. 

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

See above.

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

I love, loved, LOVED working on this year’s Mardi Gras float for Optus. Tying into this year’s theme of ‘Our Future’, we created a spaceship that looked like Ziggy Stardust and Flash Gordon had made love and given birth to a space-disco dream come true. I love working on briefs where you create something tangible and meaningful in the world - especially when it’s trailed by 80 people dancing in sparkly hot-pants.

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