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A day in the life of Juliana Paracencio

Juliana Paracencio is currently a Regional Creative Director at Memac Ogilvy in the Middle East and North Africa region. More than art direction craft, Juliana loves to come up with ideas.
Juliana Paracencio

Hi Juliana, thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us and the rest of the  industry in the MENA region. We wanted to know what a typical day looks like for you, as a creative director.

Let’s start. What time do you wake up?  What does your morning routine look like?

During the week, I wake up at 8 am. I live near the agency, on purpose, as I like to enjoy every minute of sleep in the morning. It also means that I can walk to work, which is great for inspiration. I always arrive at work with some new ideas. I usually drink a lot of coffee, check the news and I’m ready to start the day at the work.

What is a typical day for you? How do you balance your responsibilities and manage your time?

A typical day for me is like a day for any creative director, I think. Lots of meetings and working sessions, and somewhere in between snatching micro moments to sit peacefully and breathe. I like to make my day very productive. I try to focus as much as I can, so I get stuff done and have time to spend with my family and friends later on. 

Tell us something that not many people know about you.

My dad wanted me to be a lawyer, so I almost followed a different path. What else? I'm from Brazil, but I'm also a German citizen. I love pandas. Actually, I’m kind of obsessed! I created a group on Facebook years ago about pandas, which is called "P a n d a s   e v e r y w h e r e", where people share pictures of random pandas they spot during the day. I am not sure why I’m fascinated by them. The group has more than 1500 members now, so I guess I’m not the only one.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

It might sound weird, but my inspiration comes from silly things people around me say and do every day. I’m always paying attention, even if it’s stupid – those little observations are usually the ones that everyone will relate to, or laugh about, because they are so true and spot on. And ads inspired by true observations in life usually become great ads. People around us, even our parents, give us ideas all the time - it‘s a matter of opening our eyes and ears to them.

How do you get your team inspired?

I believe I inspire my team with my passion for advertising and great ideas. I consider myself a "proud ad nerd", and I try to make them ad nerds too. Also, I believe that every brief is an opportunity to do great work for clients who make a real impact.

Tell us the name of a person in the creative industry that you admire.

I admire everyone who is truly passionate about great ideas and never lost the passion even after so many years in the industry. The list is endless – I would never be able to name just one person.

What did you learn from Cannes Lions this year? Did you see any trends in the work?

I think the trend is the same as previous years: an idea has to be great and has to be based on a real insight. Full stop. Craft is always important, it’s cool to use new technologies, but if there is not a strong idea behind it, it rarely makes an impact and, it rarely gets recognised in Cannes.

What is the most fascinating thing about the MENA region?

Besides the fact that we have different problems, insights, cultural norms that are very unique to our region, I feel clients here are more brave and hungry than more mature markets like UK, Germany and Brazil.

What does Dubai Lynx mean to you?

Dubai Lynx is great because it celebrates the creative work in our region and shows the rest of the world that we have amazing creativity and energy here. It not only inspires us creatives but also our clients. It makes them hungry for great ideas, and when clients are as hungry as we are for great ideas, it makes for a great foundation to create something that is distinctive and awesome.

How are you preparing for 2019? What do you see as the creative challenges and opportunities that we’re facing?

I think we are facing a lot of changes in the ad industry, where traditional media is declining, and digital and social media are becoming the places where brands connect with their consumers. But the industry is always changing.  What stays the same though is the need for great ideas and creativity. Actually, in many ways they are needed now more than ever because we have to work doubly hard to get our consumer’s attention and time.

And finally, could you give us a piece of advice for ambitious people looking to thrive and become more creative? 

Be curious. Be an ad nerd: watch all the winners and figure out why the work is great. Work with people and clients you admire.

Don’t get too comfortable – if you do, change something: your agency, move to another country, do something different. Being open to new things make us better creatives. Open your ears to silly things people say around you. Our colleagues, family and friends usually give us true insights and ideas all the time.

Be persistent. Talent is nothing without persistence.

Never give up. Remember: every brief is an opportunity to do great work.