#GettingToKnow adam&eveDDB’s Nikki Cramphorn and Sally Pritchett

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adam&eveDDB recently named Nikki Cramphorn and Sally Pritchett as Joint Heads of Integrated Production. The pair are responsible for leading the agency’s production department across all creative mediums.

Both Cramphorn and Pritchett have held senior roles in adam&eveDDB’s production department for over five years, boasting multiple award-winning campaigns between them.

We caught up with the pair this week to discuss their creative journey thus far.

Tell us a bit about your role! Is there a “typical” day?

SP: Aside from the back-to-back meetings, every day is different.

NC: A typical day involves anything from working on client business, inputting on a script and managing work flow to advising teams and sitting on juries.

SP: Basically, it’s lots of firefighting, laughing, complaining and menopausal moments.

What was the biggest challenge in getting to your current position?

NC: Rick (Brim) and Mike (Sutherland) asked us to do the job, and the fact that we were asked rather than having to push for it ourselves is what made us step up. I kept coming up with reasons not to do the job because I felt like, at my age, I should be winding down, not winding up. So it required a mentality shift.

SP: Definitely the biggest hurdle was making the decision to do it. We loved being producers and the creative side of the job and we knew it would mean taking a step back from that into more of a management role, but we just couldn’t turn it down.

What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?

SP: I was a child actress and starred in TV commercials, so my first experience of the ad industry was in front of the camera. I did a Fairy soap ad when I was about nine and I remember being on the shoot, sitting in an empty bath wearing a bikini surrounded by the camera crew.

When I look back, it was an odd position to find yourself as a kid. I loved TV and media but I quickly realised I preferred being behind the scenes. So while my peers were auditioning for Grange Hill, I ditched acting, studied media at university and got a job as a TV production runner.

NC: I originally wanted to go into journalism but my Dad told me I wasn’t thick skinned enough. After university, I got a job as a temp in an ad agency and I just loved the buzz in the office. Through a friend, I got a job in an ad agency HR department. I kept asking to be put in production and eventually they took pity on me and said yes.

What is your biggest career-related win? What is your biggest loss?

SP: My first John Lewis TV ad was a very special moment. I felt like I’d reached the pinnacle for my career. My biggest loss was leaving behind a British Arrows Gold award in the back of a cab.

NC: Winning a British Arrows Gold for the first ad I ever worked on as a producer was a big moment. It was a pro bono ad with zero budget and somehow we’d managed to get Brian Cox (of Succession fame) to star it. He’d flown from Scotland to do it and on shoot day he found out a close friend had died.

I knew we’d be totally screwed if he left the shoot but I told him he should get back on the plane because that was much more important. He very kindly said he’d stay if were able to wrap as quickly as possible. I was so grateful and glad that, in spite of the pressure I was under, I’d said the right thing at that moment, so that was a big win for me.

As for biggest loss, it’s a toss-up between my memory and my youth.

Which individuals and/or agencies do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

SP: Nikki

NC: Sally

If you could go back to your teenage years, would you have done things differently? Do you have any regrets?

SP: I’ve no regrets.

NC: I’m sure we both made hundreds of mistakes but I think those mistakes make you who you are.

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

SP: A paramedic, a midwife – or a private investigator.

NC: I’d be an investigative journalist. Maybe Sally and I could team up as a pair of super sleuths?

What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?

NC: I know it’s the drum everyone bangs, but I’d love to see more diversity and inclusivity.

SP: Diversity is top of our agenda behind and in front of the camera (even if you’re in a bath in a bikini).

What are your top tips for aspiring creative professionals?

SP: Never pretend you know something when you don’t - and listen.

NC: Keep believing it will happen for you. I know that sounds corny, but I remember as a teenager walking every morning from my parents’ house in Dollis Hill to catch the bus for school thinking: “One day, I’ll be commuting to my job in advertising”.

What are your top tips for other creative leaders?

SP: Be kind and supportive.

NC: Put your team first.

When you think about your team, what is the thing that matters to you the most?

SP & NC: That they feel happy and supported.

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

NC: There’s a great piece of advice Sheryl Sandberg gives in her book Lean In, which is: “Don’t leave till you leave”. Lots of women encounter obstacles or find reasons to leave their job, like having a family, and then when they come back they’re in the same old job and it’s not inspiring anymore so they quit. Initially, we were resistant to stepping up as heads of integrated production, but that resistance is partly why there are so few women at the top.

SP: Just to be clear, we don’t just read cerebral business books. We love a beach read. If it’s pearls of wisdom you’re after, look no further than Kerry Katona’s autobiography.


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