Creative Lives Podcast — From forensic science to advertising: Amie Snow’s unconventional route to Ogilvy
Alongside a great many other impressive pursuits, Amie Snow is a creative at Ogilvy UK. Armed with an incredible amount of energy and an almost infinite number of strings to her bow, her skills range from achieving a degree in forensic investigation to being a semi-professional roller-skater. On this week’s podcast, we catch up with her about everything from getting her start on Ogilvy’s The Pipe programme, to the importance of looking after your mental health as a creative.
Creative, Ogilvy UK (2016–present)
BA Forensic Investigation, Canterbury Christchurch University (2009–2012)
Entering advertising in 2016, a few years after graduating with a degree in science, Amie’s path has been anything but traditional. It was through The Pipe – Ogilvy’s alternative internship scheme – that she got her start, which is open to anyone with a creative bone in their body, with no requirement for a creative degree or portfolio.
Having been with the company for nearly three years, Amie has gone from intern to working on major campaigns in partnership with fellow creative, Yolanta Boti. Six months after starting at Ogilvy, Amie also co-founded Ogilvy Roots, a platform encouraging greater diversity, representation and inclusivity in the creative world, run together with colleagues from different departments within the agency.
“As someone of Afro-Caribbean descent I’ve never seen (natural afro hair) in advertising – that’s something that I was incredibly proud of.”
When we asked Amie if she has any favourite projects from the past year, she described the campaign she worked on with World Afro Day entitled ‘Change the Facts, Not the Fro’. Setting out to challenge perceptions and bias, the project featured a striking set of portraits that celebrate women’s Afro hair, while highlighting the impact of societal pressures, using statistics taken from The Good Hair study.
“As someone of Afro-Caribbean descent I’ve never seen that in commercial advertising,” she shares. “It was a long time coming and that’s something that I was incredibly proud of.” Amie goes on to explain how the campaign has shaped policy and law, with new guidelines being passed in New York City which ban discrimination based on a person’s hairstyle, showcasing the power of advertising.
“No one likes bland chicken, you like a bit of piri-piri, or if you like a bit of spice – I think we provide some sauce and scotch bonnet to Ogilvy!”
When quizzed on what makes a good creative partnership, Amie cites the importance of difference. “Don’t go with anyone that’s too similar to you,” she says, “because you’re going to end up with the same creative work all the time.” The reason she works so well with Yolanta is because they lead very different lives, therefore always have a huge amount to learn from each other.
Amie declares that being “creatively seasoned” through nurturing relationships with people from outside of advertising (whether that be through music or a love of spoken word) is integral to being able to tackle briefs with a flexible, open mind. “No one likes bland chicken, you like a bit of piri-piri, or if you like a bit of spice you like that scotch bonnet on your food – I think we provide some sauce and some scotch bonnet to Ogilvy!”
Inside Ogilvy UK
Inside Ogilvy UK
Outside of work, alongside working on a music project entitled RCRD Shop UK, Amie tells us how she almost became Miss Barbados. Together with her cousin in America, they co founded Ishmael Aaron Charities, an organisation that helps underprivileged schools access educational resources in the US and Barbados. In order to spread the word and connect with influential figures, she entered the competition – seeing great success in the ‘Miss Creativity’ round, which turned out to be instrumental to her start in the advertising industry. When applying for Ogilvy’s The Pipe in absence of a portfolio, Amie showcased an outfit she’d created from scratch for the contest, resulting in her being chosen as one of 14 interns out of 1,000 other applicants.
When advising on how to get into the advertising industry from a non-traditional background, Amie suggests asking yourself, “What was your favourite advert of the year? Type it in [to Google], see who the creative director is, who the agency is and start sending hella emails and hella DMs!"
Find out more about The Pipe here, and how to apply here. Ogilvy is a Lecture in Progress agency partner. Every year, Lecture in Progress partners with like-minded brands and agencies to support our initiative and keep Lecture in Progress a free resource for students. To find out more about how you can work with us, email [email protected]