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Ellie Anderson is an associate creative director and writer at Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis. Her roster of work includes brands such as Subaru of America, Harley-Davidson, National Geographic, Porsche, Gibson Guitars, Levolor and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Ellie isn’t the only one in her household working in the ad business. Her husband is a copywriter, and the family dog, Olive, has starred in seven commercials for Subaru’s ‘Dog Tested. Dog Approved.’ campaign.


Across the Universe

What’s the strangest request you've received from a client? One of my clients was selling their Fleetman Prowler motorhome and asked me to rewrite his Craigslist ad because he wasn’t getting any calls. 

Where do your best ideas come from? That moment when I’m just about to give up. I can work all day on something, and I swear, the minute I start to put the pencil down it clicks. I guess I should try giving up faster. 

What do you consider to be the greatest headline (or ad) of all time? “NASA launches David Bowie Concept Mission.” —The Onion

What was your riskiest professional decision? Leaving my cushy gig writing retirement home brochures for a real agency job.

Where do you seek inspiration? I work with a lot of really smart, really talented people. They inspire me every day. 

What would you be doing if you weren’t in advertising? I’d be an archeologist. Life’s more interesting when you’re wearing a pith helmet. 

If you could choose any product to create an ad for, what would it be? Why? I’d go back in time and work on Project Mercury. I’m a total space nerd, and there was no more exciting time in our history. 

What’s your favorite quote? “I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” E.B. White  

What is one challenge currently facing advertising agencies that they need to address in order to remain relevant? How to keep your favorite CMO in his or her job for more than eighteen months. 

How is the rise of technology helping or hurting the brands you work for? It helps in the sense that there’s more ways than ever to reach someone. It hurts that everything has to “go viral.” 

What trends in advertising are you most interested in and why? Product development. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an inventor. 

What skills do young creatives need to succeed in advertising today? Be familiar with all the different disciplines in the agency. It makes it a lot easier to bring great ideas to life. 

What's the best advice you’ve been given in your career? Learn how to present your work. If you can’t sell it internally, you’ll never sell it to a client.

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Nothing good comes easy.