We continue our series of LEAP interviews by introducing Account Director, Lara Davison. Lara specialises in the luxury brand sector and works with all of our integrated advertising production service teams to ensure a smooth path from start to finish for our clients’ campaigns.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role?
I have worked for LEAP for nearly seven years and in that time, I have developed strong relationships with all of our teams in all of our service areas which is key to running successful cross-media campaigns. I love working on both TV and OOH campaigns and have trained with Clearcast, the advertising clearance organisation to enable me to offer a high level of support to my clients. The part I love most about my job is forming client relationships and growing those bonds.
How did you get into the advertising industry?
I studied sports management and marketing at university because I have a passion for sports and fitness. I had a keen interest in the advertising syllabus, so the ad industry was a good fit for me. I love working for the luxury sector brands, and my dream/goal is to add a luxury sportswear brand to our portfolio.
What led you to where you are now?
I am a classic example of how LEAP promotes from within the company. I got a foot in the door starting as front of house, and then I quickly joined the account management team.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love that feeing when you view a top-secret piece of advertising under an NDA, especially when it’s so great it gives you shivers. My favourite is the J’adore Cinema ad with the Kayne West track, Flashing Lights. It is also exciting to attend voiceover sessions and cinema sound mixes with the clients.
Overall, the best part of my job is working with people. I try to get out and see my clients on a regular basis, and I enjoy forming and strengthening client relationships.
What are the projects you’re most proud of?
I feel proud that I managed the production process at LEAP for one of Dior’s biggest fragrance launches in the UK. The Sauvage campaign in September 2015 covered TV, OOH and press projects. It was all done under the utmost secrecy with fantastic results. I’m pleased that we are still working with the brand on their ongoing multi-channel campaigns.
The Fenty Beauty launch in September 2017 was another exciting project for me to manage. Working very closely with the brand manager, I looked after creative allocation, press passes and site visits to ensure a smooth, successful launch including the huge Knightsbridge Tube Station take over.
What’s your favourite ad and why?
Do you have any hidden talents or creative passions?
I have a passion for skiing. I did a ski season straight after university, and it’s still one of my favourite things to do. There is nothing better than spending the day in the mountain air and sunshine, skiing as much as possible and finishing the day at a European après ski bar sipping on an Aperol Spritz.
A more recent creative interest for me is renovation projects. I have just finished renovating my home, and although it was tough at times, the result was well worth it. Once the shell was there, I loved the blank canvas to create my perfect home.
Who’s your inspiration?
Bethany Hamilton. She inspires me to never give up. She is a professional surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack. She never gave up. She changed her technique, trained even harder and still to this day surfs professionally.
What’s your biggest motivation/how do you stay motivated?
A successful client meeting, whether it’s a new campaign briefing, or just catching up over coffee is a really good motivator. I get a buzz from feeling that a meeting went well.
I also think a good work-life balance is crucial. I like to unwind most evenings by taking a gym class or going on a run.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in this field?
In account management, a key point in starting or growing a relationship is face-to-face contact.