Creative Sparks

Wunderman Thompson's 'Creative Warriors' On Advertising As A Career

Senior creatives Laura Saraiva and Charli Plant share the meaning of "becoming a creative"

By Avnie Bansal

Laura Saraiva and Charli Plant are a British/Portuguese advertising creative team at Wunderman Thompson UK with a "hunger for greatness." Appointed to the role in 2021, the creative team were behind the UK Government’s ‘Time is running out’ campaign having previously worked at M&C Saatchi, Fallon and Mullen Lowe.

In the last two years, the duo has won three major pitches as the creative lead for Wunderman Thompson, including first direct, AfterEight and £2 million pound beko account.

Striving to make work that sits at the junction of culture, emotion, entertainment, the duo has been involved with a wide variety of brands, including DuraCell and First Direct.

Earlier this year, their work for the national charity, The Eve Appeal, garnered over 100,000 views in the first 24 hours. Launched during Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, the duo's work had raised a social media storm called, 'Check Me Out' and was also featured on Creative Salon's Work Of The Week - all with spending £0 in paid media. Plant and Saraiva were also behind the branding of Magpie – an app that aims to connect women to female mentors based on various needs, ranging from maternity and motherhood to leadership.

The Art and Copy half of the Wunderman Thompson UK creative team - Saraiva and Plant, say that they're both obsessed with details in their ideas and consider craft to be king. They talk to us about their creative journey and the moment they realised that "being a creative" could be a job.

Charli and Laura are advertising warriors. They never give up until they come up with the perfect idea, a unique execution and end up with a happy client. The icing on the cake is that they are amazing to work with. This year, their work helped us win the global Beko pitch and they already have several other projects in production. I know 2024 will be their year.

Chermine Assadian, Global Creative Lead, Wunderman Thompson

Laura and Charli: Two 20-something women

From two different countries

Two different backgrounds

Full of ambition and energy, but not sure what to do with it and where to channel it.

A little lost…

The story of so many young people with a lack of effective career guidance from school (but that’s another story).

These two 20-something women had something in common though.

Luckily we both had guidance from our Dads, in steering us towards the world of advertising…

Charli: My Dad has enjoyed a long career in media sales so I was always aware of the advertising world. Through young eyes, it always seemed a bit strange and confusing (sometimes it still does!) but at the same time, exciting. But I'd never considered following in my Dad’s footsteps. He and I both knew I wasn't made for the maths and money side of things. But one day, we were sitting talking together – or more likely, I was talking to him about how I didn’t know what to do with my life. I told him I loved writing. Having done a degree in English Literature, I knew I could write well, having dabbled in journalism. But what else was there? “There’s this job called a Creative,” he said. A Creative? What does that even mean? You can be ‘a creative person', not ‘a creative’. Weird job title. See, strange and confusing. But he had a hunch it could be for me, and I was intrigued.

Laura: Being at school and having to think of a career path is something I struggled with, as my heart always told me I was a creative person, but that never felt like a real option for me. In Portugal, wanting to be in the arts wasn’t something that was really viable at the time. This is where my Dad comes in. He worked with a franchise company and would sometimes attend creative presentations. I remember it so vividly, him coming home from work one day and telling me he had a hunch that I would be a good Creative in advertising. I immediately brushed it off thinking ‘What on earth is that job?’. At a young age, my mind was set on having a career and that didn’t sound like one. Years later, after a failed attempt at a degree in Business (what was I thinking!?) I picked up the phone to him and said “I’m going to give advertising a go”.

Laura and Charli: Cut to 2012, an unused church hall in the backstreets of Vauxhall, London.

Two 20-something women

From two different countries

Two different backgrounds

Meet at the School of Communication Arts and come together as a creative team.

Leading to a decade-long – and still thriving – creative partnership.

And friendship.

We’re still trusting hunches. But now, they’re our own.

That’s what we do as Creatives, right?

Both our Dads instilled in us the importance of staying true to our creative visions, trusting our instincts, and never shying away from taking risks in our careers.

So thanks Martin and Anselmo, for having a hunch.

For pointing us toward this amazing, frustrating, rewarding, wild ride of a career.

Think we’ll look back one day and feel very lucky to have experienced it.

Call it a hunch.

Laura Saraiva and Charli Plant are senior creatives at Wunderman Thompson UK


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