Alex Collares – Creative Art Director @ DDB Group Australia


1. Before we dive into your role at DDB Group, what has your career journey as an advertising creative looked like so far?

I’ve been working in advertising for more than 10 years in big and medium-sized agencies. I’m from Brazil where I had the chance to work in both local and global.

Since moving to Australia in 2016 I’ve spent a few years in a small local agency before finally getting the chance to work at DDB, one of the biggest agencies in the world. I’ve always worked in the creative department for different clients like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Fox Sports, Volkswagen, SC Johnson, Westpac and many more.

2. Transitioning into work, what the heck does a Creative Art Director @ DDB Group do?

What is DDB Group Australia?

DDB Group is a full-service advertising agency specialising in integrated communications. It’s one of Australia’s largest agencies and made up of TRACK, Tribal, Interbrand, DDB Remedy and Mango Communications. DDB Australia is part of DDB Worldwide, an Omnicom company (one of the world’s largest advertising holding companies) and has offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

What does your role entail?

My job is creating conceptual ideas, award-winning campaigns, and projects from concept to execution that help clients solve their problems.

So, this includes everything from social posts to TV ads, conceptualising and presenting ideas, talking to directors, photo-shoots, etc. It’s a long process from the time we get the brief to the day we see our work in the real world. Hard work, but also fun.

3. What’s an example of a campaign that you’ve worked on and what was your role in bringing it to life?

Campaign Name: “Appetising Ads”

Client: McDonald’s Australia

Year: 2021

Target Audience: McDonald’s Customers

Purpose: Driving customers to the MyMacca’s app reminding them to order through their phone.

What was my role? 

Working with a Copywriter (my creative partner) we started by thinking about the problem. Then once we had the idea, it was time to start finding the correct icons and menu items that could work together for the best results. After a little back and forth, we finally got the work approved.

4. For students who are curious about a career as an advertising creative, what do the entry level pathways look like?

It can be a bit of a paradox, as there’s no creative without a portfolio, but you need experience to create a portfolio. Luckily, nowadays there are courses that help students with this process and help them to find a way into the market.

Path 1 – AWARD School

The main course in Australia is ‘Award School’, which is a tutoring program hosted by working creatives from some of the biggest agencies in Australia. The students are briefed on a problem and then helped with the creative process, eventually building their first piece of work.

Path 2 – Miami Ad School

Another well-known course is the Miami Ad School, also working with experts. However, on this course, students get the chance to work on real world projects for top brands and improving their skills and experience.

I’d highly recommend one of those courses for anyone wanting to start in the creative industry.

5. What one thing you recommend an aspiring advertising creative do right now?

Start studying the field. Which agencies are doing well? Which campaigns are winning awards? Who are the people behind the work you like?

Also, try and talk to as many people as you can, to help give yourself an understanding of how the industry works.

It’s a rewarding profession but can be frustrating sometimes so you must be resilient. Working with people you admire helps.

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