Now the executive creative director at CP+B in Los Angeles, Anderson started her career as a copywriter in Jo’burg. Along with a fellow Saffa in the States, Mariota Essery
, she was recently included in Business Insider
. We caught up with her to chat about the ad industry, her advice on living abroad and her favourite city.
Was your move away from SA personal or professional?
Professional. I was offered a job in Amsterdam and it seemed like a great adventure.
What are the starkest differences between the SA and US ad industries?
Advertising is amazingly similar the world over. The market needs differ, the culture references differ, but everyone still engages with a good idea that speaks to them.
What were the best and worst aspects of working in Amsterdam?
I was lucky enough to work at Wieden+Kennedy with a bunch of crazy talented people. It was an amazingly stimulating environment to be in, and those people will be friends of mine forever. Nothing bad to say really. It’s a cliche but grey weather does get dull.
SA’s creatives box way above their weight in terms of awards and creative work, often completely outranking much larger or sophisticated countries. South African Adtalent is highly regarded and is snapped up in New York, London, Singapore etc. Why is that, do you think?
I think SA creatives still value great ideas over everything. I think not always having huge budgets, or fancy production to rely on the idea has to be king. At Hunt Lascaris that’s all the ever mattered — and it’s still the thing I stop and ask myself all the time: Is this the best idea to solve this problem?
Do you have any advice for SA creatives looking to make a move abroad?
Think about where you want to live and experience new things. It’s important that when you come home from work (where you spend a lot of time) you like where you are. Moving is hard, so you must like where you are. And when you are there — be open minded. Seeing how other people work is great learning experience.
What do you miss most about SA, personally and professionally?
Personally I miss my family and friends hugely. Followed by Woolies and biltong. Is that weird? Professionally I miss the “Let’s get it done” attitude South Africans have. We are a tenacious bunch, and it’s great.
What’s the best thing about living in LA?
The LA/California lifestyle is amazing. The sun shines all the time. I love that people are making films in this town all the time. I find that very inspiring.
Do you prefer Joburg or Cape Town?
Joburg is where most of my favorite people are so I always go there, but the more I travel the more beautiful I think Cape Town is. I don’t want to have to choose!
LA or New York?
New York is the best city is the world. Hands down