Celeste Dalairac — Regional Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi London

Celeste talks to TheNextGag about how women can encourage each other, why she enjoys working at Saatchi and what defines great creative directors from others.

Celeste Dalairac is a Regional Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi London in the UK.

Celeste’s first job as a copywriter was in 2002, in a really small agency in Argentina, called Magna. Then, she moved to Savaglio and later to Kepel & Mata, where she became an art director.

In 2006, she was offered a job at Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the most creative agencies in Argentina, where she had the chance to work for great brands, like Ariel, Tide, Pampers.

In 2009, she moved to Don Buenos Aires, a brand new agency eager to do amazing work, where she ended up winning silver at the Cannes Lions.

In 2010, she moved to Ogilvy, where she teamed up with a female copywriter to work for female brands, such as Dove, Huggies, Ibu Evanol and Kotex.

In 2012, she came back to Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi to work as a creative director fir Ariel and Cepita (Coca-Cola).

In 2015, she was transferred to the London office, where she currently works as a Regional Creative Director for Head & Shoulders.

THENEXTGAG: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SAATCHI & SAATCHI NETWORK ?

CELESTE DALAIRAC: I have been part of the Saatchi family for quite a long time, it was the first big agency that I worked at when I first started in advertising, the first one to hire me back as a creative director (after a few years working in other agencies) and the one that gave me the opportunity to work abroad. What can I say? I’m grateful and I love having worked and working still with some of the best people in the advertising world.

TNG: WOULD YOU LIKE TO OPEN UP YOUR OWN AD AGENCY SOMEDAY ?

CD: Definitely. I joke about it with my husband (also a creative), with my friends that work in other agencies and with anyone I love working with, account directors, producers and planners. But I’m not very organized or particularly good with numbers so whenever I imagine myself dealing with budgets or pay slips, I immediately regret having an imaginary agency.

TNG: CAN YOU TALK TO US ABOUT THE “SEE IT, BE IT” INITIATIVE AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU ?

CD: Senta Singerland, who worked as Director of Brand Strategy at the Cannes Lions Festival, realized that only a few women attended the festival every year (compared to men) which then became a bigger issue: it wasn’t that women weren’t attending the festival, it was that there weren’t enough women working as creatives and even less at a creative director level; so she started a programme to encourage women, help them grow in their careers and also to get them to know each other.

I was part of the very first “See It, Be It” group in 2014, I went to the festival for the first time and I met the most amazing people but more importantly I came back reloaded.

‘See It, Be It’ basically means that if you see other women making it in advertising then it’s easier for you to think you can also do it. It’s definitely helped me and has been a huge part of the reason why I moved and am now living and working in London.

TNG: WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES FOR A GREAT CREATIVE DIRECTOR ?

CD: When I think of the best Creative Directors I’ve worked with they all have strong personalities, they are decisions makers (and able to stick with the decisions they make), they always take the blame when there’s a problem, share the merit when there’s something to be proud of and fight for the good ideas. Oh and also, they are teachers: they teach you about criteria, responsibility, understanding the client and how to be a Creative Director in the future. I’m trying to be all of that (it’s not easy).

I’d make it easier to start working in advertising, in most agencies you work for free (or almost nothing) for a long time, which not everyone can afford.

TNG: IF YOU COULD CHANGE SOMETHING IN THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE ?

CD: I’d make it easier to start working in advertising, in most agencies you work for free (or almost nothing) for a long time, which not everyone can afford. Luckily Saatchi is already launching a few initiatives to address this issue.

TNG: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE THING THAT JUNIOR CREATIVES LACK THE MOST ?

CD: Nothing in particular, all they lack is experience and that’s because they are learning.

TNG: DO YOU HAVE A YAS QUEEN ?

CD: My Yas queens are all my close girlfriends, married, single, with or without kids, they are all amazing, hard-workers, smart, beautiful, ambitious women and I wouldn’t be the same person if I’ve had a different kind of friends.

TNG: HOW WERE YOU INVOLVED WITH THE WOMEN CARD PROJECT ?

CD: Maddy Kramer, an Argentinian living in USA (and another “See It, Be It” participant) started this project as a way to protest Trump’s comments about Hillary Clinton playing the “woman card”. I loved the idea, offered to help and I’m very proud of everything she has achieved since then. The deck is amazing and all the donations are going to a gender equality fund.

TNG: WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR NICKNAME “THE SNAKE” ?

CD: Nothing I can say will make it sound better, but I guess I’m very opinionated and my friends thought it was a funny nickname.

TNG: WHAT IS THE WORK THAT YOU CREATED THAT YOU ARE THE MOST PROUD OF ?

CD: Everything in my portfolio is work that I’m proud to show but there’s also a bunch of things I’d love to include but aren’t in there because they were never approved by a client. That happens a lot!

Celeste Dalairac

Saatchi & Saatchi London

Regional Creative Director

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