Interviews

Caroline Paris, Creative Director, Brave

"Scare everyone. Be the fresh, fearless, new talent that makes everyone envious of what you bring to the party."

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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Like many starting out their careers, Caroline Paris’s route into advertising was inspired by a brilliant tutor at her university in Loughborough where she was studying graphic design. It was on his recommendation that she found herself a creative partner, Rob Butcher and embarked on, by her own admission, “quite a linear path to CD, compared to many.”

This path saw her and Butcher absorbed into the D&AD New Blood programme before being offered a job “quite quickly” at integrated agency Billington Cartmell. “This was 10 years ago when digital, social and content were emerging as new creative avenues to explore.” However, the team decided they wanted to work on more above the line campaigns, so they moved to Brave almost seven years ago.

I think the ability we possess as an industry could be used for greater things.

Caroline Paris

To date, the incredible feat of becoming Creative Director at the age of 30 is her proudest moment. She says it was difficult to take that leap because “people potentially can still see you as you were rather than as you are” when you’ve stayed in the same place for a number of years. When she was offered the role, she initially wasn’t sure about taking it. But then, after a little bit of a push, she thought “you know what, yes I can do this.”

Up until 18 months ago, Brave was an independent agency which had grown from 20 people to 60 since Paris started. When it was bought out by Lagardère, a French publishing house, Paris says the most vital thing for the agency was that they “wanted to protect who Brave are, our identity, what we stand for.”

I would love the industry to continue to celebrate and award the passion creative individuals have to do good and change the world.

Caroline Paris

In the last year, she says, she has started to do more judging, having been voted as one of Campaign’s Top 30 Future Leaders, something she calls a “pivotal point in my career in terms of being on the map.” She believes that it is through getting involved in more external events off the back of that award that has allowed her to be “recognised as a leader alongside other industry names”.

With a documentary filmmaker fiancée, Paris admits to watching her fair share of “strange documentaries” including brilliant things like ‘Tina Goes Shopping’ one of the very first examples of scripted reality TV. For her it’s the parallels and crossover between advertising and TV and film that she finds consistently “helpful and inspiring.”

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Creativebrief: As Creative Director at Brave, what is your primary focus?
Caroline Paris: Ensuring the work is great, creative team are happy and in turn, the culture solid.
Creativebrief: What has been your agency's best work in the last year?
Caroline Paris: I think we have had an excellent 12 months at Brave. A few favourite pieces of work are the beautifully moving film created for Age UK; the stunning craft and category game changer of Sofology; the second phase of Superdrug with its fabulous new cast; and the pitch-winning campaign we did for Chambord.
Creativebrief: Industry-wide, what work has excited you most this year?
Caroline Paris: I really enjoyed the Crystal Barn from Barclaycard. I loved the bravery of the execution, particularly for the financial sector, and I actually think the irony of the aesthetic is a really difficult thing to achieve, i.e. being good at making something look ‘bad’. I also felt really inspired by the passion I saw in 100 Years and Counting from 4Creative, celebrating 100 years of women of the past, but also the future.

Scare everyone. Be the fresh, fearless, new talent that makes everyone envious of what you bring to the party.

Caroline Paris
Creativebrief: How do you see the advertising industry evolving over the next few years?
Caroline Paris: I would love the industry to continue to celebrate and award the passion creative individuals have to do good and change the world. I think the ability we possess as an industry could be used for greater things.
Creativebrief: What are your ambitions for Brave over the next few years?
Caroline Paris: Brave is right in the middle of a really exciting time. I think the ambition for international growth along with creating work that people actually want to watch; long form and entertainment gives us a really exciting direction and focus.
Creativebrief: What piece of advice do you give to the junior members of your team?
Caroline Paris: Scare everyone. Be the fresh, fearless, new talent that makes everyone envious of what you bring to the party.

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