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Caprice Yu is an executive creative director at international creative agency Sid Lee. Although a native New Yorker, Yu started her career at 180 Amsterdam. Working with an eclectic mix of talent from all over the globe, Yu found that what transcends geographic and cultural lines is what speaks to the gut or the heart, and this has shaped her thinking ever since. After five years in Amsterdam, Yu returned to the United States to work at BBH New York, and then moved to the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, to join CP+B before returning to New York and BBH. She has received national and international recognition for her work with adidas, Google, Cole Haan, Microsoft, Ally Bank, the Guardian, Dr. Pepper Europe and Axe.

12.24.13

Always Listen

Where do your best ideas come from? Watching people. My favorite work targets human insight or emotion. Watching the way people act and react, whether consciously or not, always sparks new ideas.

What’s the strangest request you've received from a client? A client once asked if we could get the head of the United States military on the phone. I believe that would have been President Obama, since he’s the commander in chief, right? I do appreciate the enthusiasm though.

What challenges do today’s advertising agencies need to address in order to remain relevant? The most interesting projects I’ve seen or worked on come from a truly integrated environment, where there was no separation between “traditional,” “digital” or “experiential” creatives. They were just creatives. They came up with brilliant ideas and great insights in any medium and found the best way to execute them. I love work in which you can’t see the seams between the mediums, you just see (or feel) an idea.

What skills do young creatives need to succeed in advertising today? Learn everything. If you’re a coder, learn to draw. If you’re a writer, learn how to develop film. You don’t have to be an expert, but trying new things gives you a different perspective.

What was your riskiest professional decision? After five great years at 180 Amsterdam, I quit to travel around Asia. I hadn’t lined up my next job, and I thought no one would ever hire me again. The agency was creating incredible work and the culture felt like family. Leaving it was the scariest day of my career.

How is the rise of technology helping or hurting the brands you work for? Brands today have more personal ways to connect with consumers than ever before. When done responsibly and with kindness, insight and authenticity, that becomes part of our culture.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in advertising? I’d be in school. If I won the lottery I would get degrees in any and every random skill.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? Always listen.