Q&A With Stefanie DiGianvincenzo



Stefanie DiGianvincenzo - Creative Director

Award won: 2015 Mobile Lion – Silver Direct – 2 Shortlists Media – 1 Shortlist

Link to the work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSSmeIFWw-8

(I’ve also won a Bronze in PR for a different campaign five years ago.)

Choose three words to sum up what it feels like to win at Cannes

Elating.

Rewarding.

Ultimately unfulfilling. It’s a short-lived buzz that eventually leads you to want to win more, or win higher. I always thought once I won a lion, I’d feel completely satisfied in having achieved the ultimate accolade in my field. But it doesn’t work like that unfortunately – at least not for me.  

What do you put your success down to?

Fierce ambition bordering on ruthlessness

Has winning a Cannes Lion changed your career?

Yes, absolutely. I couldn’t have risen through the ranks as quickly as I have without the awards I’ve won.

Are there any past female winners that have inspired you?

Unfortunately, I’ve never had any female role models as they tend not to exist in Melbourne, Australia. I’m probably one of a handful of senior creative women across the country. But I’ve still found my male role models incredibly inspiring and supportive of my success.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

You may feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. But everybody feels that way. Trust your talent. Trust your gut.

How did you get to the position you are in now?

1.     Graduated from a RMIT Melbourne’s Bachelor in Communications (Advertising Creative)

2.     Landed as a job as a Junior Creative at BBDO

3.     Got bumped up to mid-weight after a couple of years

4.     Switched to DDB and teetered around mid to senior for a few years

5.     Quit advertising because it was destroying my confidence

6.     Baked cupcakes for a little while

7.     Started my own copywriting collective called Apostrophe

8.     Left Apostrophe to move to London

9.     Landed my first Associate Creative Director role at Wunderman

10.  Switched to AKQA and worked as Global Creative Lead on Nike Women 

11.  Moved back to Australia (Visas, ugh)

12.  Now contracting as a CD throughout Aus and Asia

Career low-point?

Losing confidence in my talent, my worth and my ability – which ultimately led me to quit 6 years ago. This industry feeds on creatives’ insecurities. We put our heart and soul into our ideas, and then hope they’ll win the approval of our bosses, our clients, and our peers. And most of the time, they don’t. Which can be crushing. The only reason I;m able to function in adland today is because I learned not to take the industry so personally – or so seriously.

Career high-light?

Being invited to judge at ADC and D&AD this year. And being chosen as one of 12 creative women from around the world to take part in Cannes Lions’ inaugural See It Be It program, back in 2014.

Why is it important to see women winning?

Because you can’t be what you can’t see

What’s your secret?

My incredibly supportive and talented network of friends – from inside and outside the industry. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, and you’ll never fail.

If you could give one bit of advice to female creatives out there, what would it be?

You’re absolutely not alone in the way you feel. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my experiences meeting and working with exceptionally talented creative women, it’s that we all battle with the same bullshit. Stick at it. And if you need support, reach out. Women are always happy to help.

You’re clearly ace at advertising but what else are you good at?

I’m a bloody good pastry chef. One day I hope to launch my own bakery in Melbourne. But first, I want to prove that this motherhood in adland thing is possible for Australian CDs and ECDs. Wish me luck.