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Reflections from Creative Coaching: Liam Ratliff, Ogilvy Melbourne

14 September 2022

“See the best, learn from the best, talk with the best, become the best.”

Reflections from Creative Coaching:
Liam Ratliff, Ogilvy Melbourne Shares Insights He Received From His Coaches


Coaches: Paul Shearer, Chief Creative Officer Global Clients, Wunderman Thompson, Bianca Guimaraes, Partner/Executive Creative Director, Mischief @ No Fixed Address, Brooklyn, Jeff Cruz, Chief Creative Officer at MRM, Detroit.

Putting work to the pub test 
From working with Hegarty at BBH, to being on set with Hollywood directors and sporting royalty like Kobe Bryant, my first mentor, Paul Shearer, has done it all. 
Paul provided me with plenty of insight into working in New York and London, and gave me some sound advice on how to get there and thrive. For Paul, working in different markets across the globe has really helped shape his career, and it is something he would recommend to any young creative looking to develop themselves. But amongst all his wisdom, there was one story that really stuck with me…
“I’d be at the pub enjoying a Friday knock off when Nike’s Secret Tournament would come on TV, and everyone would stop what they were doing to watch it.”
I remember thinking f*ck that’s cool. I want to make work like that. 
Creating a safe space for dangerous ideas
Next up I was lucky enough to be paired with my first mentor preference - Ad Age’ Creative Director of the year, Bianca Guimaraes.
Whether it’s addressing America’s gun violence with Back to School Essentials or getting people to Send Noods to their loved ones for Kraft, I’ve always marvelled at Bianca’ breadth of ideas. Sometimes they’re heartbreaking and sometimes they are hilarious, the only constant seems to be pushing the envelope, or as she might now call it, makin’ mischief. 
Aside from her obvious talent, I soon discovered Bianca was also really down-to-earth. She was generous with her time and taught me so much about finding your way as a young creative in the industry. Her advice to those looking to share similar success?
“Ask the CD’s for more briefs, do proactives, enter comps, be resilient and don’t come from a place of fear.”
Cruzing around in Motor City 
Last, but certainly not least, I caught up with Jeff Cruz, Chief Creative Officer of MRM, Detroit.
Jeff has taught me about so many facets of the industry – presenting, pitching, progressing to creative director roles, the list goes on. He’s even got me thinking about the habits I can start developing now that will be beneficial down the road. Jeff’s advice to young copywriters finding their style?
“Instead of just being the funny guy or earnest manifesto guy, develop a range of copywriting – that will make you invaluable to any team.”
I can’t thank Jeff enough for the energy that he’s brought to each catch up, as well as his interest in getting to know me and guide my development.