Young Guns: Marcel associate creative director Leslie Sharpe

By AdNews | 31 August 2017
Leslie Sharpe

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. Last week spoke to Domain national brand marketing manager, Emily Murren.

Today we head to Sydney to speak to Marcel associate creative director, Leslie Sharpe.

How long have you been in the industry?

About eight years.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

18 months.

What were you doing before this job and how did you get this gig?

I was an art director at Droga5. When the agency closed, Nobby brought me and a few others over to establish Marcel.

What were your real and cliché expectations of working in the industry?

Real – that it was filled with smart people and I had a lot to learn. Cliché – my father was a creative director, so I didn’t really have any.

How does the reality match up?


How would you describe what the company does and what does your role involve?

We try and seek the best ideas we can and make them as well as we can. My role is to work hard, help others work hard and be kind.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The diversity of work. One day you could be writing a 30-second script, the next you could be discussing the logistical merits of constructing a store in New York.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?

The moments you think you know it all, are the moments you fall back to earth and learn you know nothing at all.

If you had to switch over to another department, which would it be and why? 

Accounting. Money is power.

What's exciting you about the industry right now?

I have no idea what will happen next, so I wake up to new challenges every day. That keeps me excited.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?

That the most talented people will be seeking other industries and that I won’t get to work with them.

Who's your right hand person/who guides you day to day?

My creative partner Gavin Chimes. We not only work together, we also maintain a great friendship, keep each other in check and encourage each other to stay positive.

And your almighty mentor that you hope to dethrone?

My dad, he’s still my toughest critic.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in 2020 and how do you plan on getting there?

Somewhere that I love walking into every day. Surrounded by the best people possible, in an environment where they’re making the best possible work.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

Mental health. I think we can be more open to the stresses, pressures and negative influences that surround our industry. We need to form strategies to counter this and make the discussion more open.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

When you have to be so logical all the time, I like to turn off and consume art and music and films and nature. Not literally nature, I don’t eat leaves and shit.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

Once upon a time I was a Huggies baby.

Favourite advert is:

Tomorrow it might be different, but for today its Nike - Come Out Of Nowhere

What’s your personal motto?

Everybody says they want to be different, but they all end up being the same.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

I wanted to make a living making things. 

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

African bush ranger/wildlife photographer.

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