Young Gun: Optimo Design account director Claire Wood

11 March 2021

Our Young Gun profile takes a look at some of the young talent across the advertising, adtech, 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 Optimo Design account director Claire Wood.

Time in current role/time at the company: 
Six years.

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

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?
I have a degree in Visual Communication & Design from Monash. I always knew I wanted to work in the creative space but after university I decided that being on the tools was not for me. After travelling for a while I started working for a mortgage broker for a year as a relationship manager whilst I worked out what I wanted to do. It was here I realised that I loved working with people and solving problems – I just wanted to do that in a creative space. One of our clients turned out to be the creative director of quite a large agency so I took the plunge and brought up the topic one day in a meeting to discuss what type of role I should look for. I ended up in account service, which turns out, was the perfect mix for me.

Who is your right hand person/who guides you day to day?
My boss and MD Chelsea Parkinson. She is always there to answer any questions and bounce ideas off. It’s so important to have someone you can brainstorm ideas with and help you look at things from all different perspectives.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
The variety of work you get to dip your toes into. There are so many different aspects to this job and it differs with every client. Every day and every project is different, big or small. I’m lucky enough to work across multiple different brands, which really keeps things interesting.

And the biggest challenge?
The fact that design is so subjective can be a challenge, as sometimes you don’t get to see the end results of a great idea!

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
The one my boss currently holds – watch out!

Where do you turn for inspiration?
It might be corny but inspiration is everywhere. It is often the smallest thing (sometimes from something completely irrelevant) that can spark your attention and get the ideas ball rolling.

My favourite advert is:
I really appreciate all forms of creative and what it can do for a product or brand. Some of the simplest ones are often the most memorable. If I do have to pick a campaign that I think was really great and really clever it would be the ‘Share a Coke with…’ One basic change on the fizzy drink label suddenly became something that you had to have. Even if you didn’t drink the stuff you still felt the need to have one with your name on it.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I was once quite the musician. I can play the flute, I was a soloist and I even went to band camp.

In five years' time I'll be:
A working mum, hopefully balancing my career and parenthood seamlessly! We’ll have to wait to see!

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