Young Gun: Colenso BBDO senior copywriter Ellen Fromm

14 March 2019
Ellen Fromm

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 Colenso BBDO senior copywriter Ellen Fromm.

How long have you been in the industry?
Five years in ads. Just over a year at Colenso BBDO.

How did you get here? 
The winning combination of luck, timing and hard work.

Advertising was actually a happy accident. I applied to do the Bachelor of Photography at RMIT. The admissions form required a second preference. I thought ads were pretty similar to photography… You can probably guess what happened.

Who is your right hand person?
Well, my right hand is my writing hand… My left hands are the supportive, inspiring women with whom I’m lucky enough to work with every day. They guide my ideas to better places, they guide me to be a better person and they’ve given me a guide for how to juggle way too many things and still be effortlessly cool.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
I used to get a little deflated when I told people I work in advertising. The industry is laden with negative connotations. But I’ve come to realise, we have the power to influence change on a mass scale with the decisions we make every day. This platform allows us to influence castings and ensure more diverse stories are being told. We can break retouching norms and empower people in 30 seconds. We can influence our client’s decisions and direct them towards a more sustainable future.

And the biggest challenge?
Time. There’s never enough of it. I’m impressed you’ve made the time to read this. Thank you.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
Goodness. Who knows what our industry, or world, will look like in 10 years. Maybe I’ll be an ECD, maybe I’ll be Queen of Puns or maybe I’ll be teaching pilates on a post-apocalyptic beach somewhere.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
This is a lame, cliched answer but actual humans.

I’m a good listener. Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard...

I love taking a backseat and listening to what other people have to say. I love people-watching and eavesdropping. You learn a lot from listening a little more.

My favourite ad is:
I picked a funny one and a profound one.

Funny first, always: “Old Table” by Translation.
So simple. But it makes me laugh every time. Goes to show the power of good writing and great casting.


Profound: “Nazis against Nazis” by GGH Lowe/Grabarz & Partner.
This work was referenced in a meeting recently, so I was reminded of how simply brilliant it is. A twist on a well-trodden construct. An involuntary charity walk, where Nazis protested against themselves. Hilarious with a social cause, love.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I have a horse back home in Queensland. His name is Prancer. I got him when I was 9. For Christmas. Yes, he’s named after the reindeer. I promise my ideas are better now…

In five years' time I'll be:
A stand-up comedian with my own Netflix special.
Actually, probably not. There’s already a famous Ellen…

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