Wieden & Kennedy — Ane Santiago, Copywriter
Updated: Feb 16, 2022
#copywriting #writing #creativewriting #storytelling #creativedirection #communication #author #poet
Welcome Ane Santiago!
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a copywriter for a world renowned creative agency? ✋Yes? Me too !!!
I'm SO excited to present Ane Santiago, a copywriter from Amsterdam who is super talented in writing poems, ads — and dancing! Ane is a wonderful person who works on being a good human, and has also worked with amazing clients such as Nike, Uber, KLABU, Samsung, and Duolingo. She also recently worked on Nike's campaign for the Euros! 🔥🔥🔥 You can follow along with Ane's inspiring creative work here, and be sure to read this article featuring Ane — Uprising: Take Inspiration from this Brutally Honest Creative Team, a powerful interview about creativity, work and vulnerability.
Thank you Ane for taking the time to answer these questions to help shed light on your creative career path! This is an amazing resource for younger creatives who may be interested in copywriting, creative writing and becoming an author or poet in the future! Read on to learn more about her career path growing from a copywriting intern to mid level copywriter, to her love of honesty, music and friendship.
Part 1: Career Details
Let's start from the beginning, what industry do you work in?
What is your job title?
What does this career’s ladder look like?
mid level creative
associate creative director
group creative director
executive creative director
chief creative officer
Where should I be looking for job postings for this type of work? LinkedIn, but you should also be considering which agencies you would like to be working with/ for and reach out to their recruiter directly and/or the people you would like to work with so you can meet them and show them your work.
What do you look for in a portfolio when you are hiring?
Fresh thinking, a point of view on things and the world and creative passion.
If I have no work experience, what's the best way to get my foot in the door?
Have a portfolio and put the things you like making inside (and by things I mean literally whatever you want, if you like making memes that's one project to show that showcases amazing skills like graphic design and sense of humor). An internship is a really good one too.
Advice on choosing a business (or industry) where my creative powers are being used for good and not evil? I always like to think about what I can bring to the table first and whether that company has all the tools in place to help me to do it, so I can better myself professionally and change my workplace for the better. I think one should never take trying to change a company as a job on top of the job, but once a company is aligned with your values and needs, I like to think of mutual enrichment.
What skills or programs will I need to know? What hardware or art supplies will I need?
I think the more you know the better. I am a Mac user, and I'm a writer but I am proficient in Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, and Premiere as well as Final Cut. I think being able to craft stuff yourself and working on your taste while making is always good.
What type of work will I be doing in an entry level job or internship?
It depends on where you are, but they would probably give you smaller briefs that you need to finalize from start to finish, and also a chance to concept and come up with ideas for the bigger ones. This is the ideal combination in my opinion because you get to see the process throughout, you get feedback and also see the feedback given to others.
What does an average day look like for a professional like yourself now?
I work out, walk my dog, shower and sit on my chair by 10 am ish. I usually take a few meetings (gotta love and hate Zoom) and depending on where we are in the production stage I focus more on concepting, writing and presenting or just executing.
Do you work for a company, own your own company, or work as a contract employee or freelancer? Are you repped by an agent?
I think everyone is different and has different needs, but for me having financial security and a place where I can learn from different folks I admire dearly (and make work I'm proud of) is super important. Some people value freedom over projects that excite them because they have other passions outside of work and in that case freelancing would be an amazing option. To answer this question, I'd recommend students to really set their priorities straight and go from there. You can always change your work setting if it doesn't work for you – plus life doesn't always give you the privilege of choosing between 2 years of unpaid internships at a place that will look bomb in your curriculum and freelance gigs that pay rent and let you live a happy life. So! Whatever makes you sleep at night and makes sense with your life. Passion doesn't always have to be channeled through your day job 😊
What client or company or project are you most proud of and why?
I think the two books I published are my most cherished project. It still feels surreal that I organically built an audience for myself without using hashtags back when IG didn't even let you share posts on stories, and ended up publishing with Penguin Random House. My younger self was badass and I love her for it.
Where do you work? Do you work in an office, your own studio, can you freelance from anywhere in your line of work?
I work for a company that has a physical office in the city I live in but I don't always go into the office which I love! I use the office as another working tool.
Part 2: About The Artist
What are your pronouns?
What were you like when you were in elementary school?
I've always been very creative, curious and chatty. I loved to read and write ever since I was little. Also dancing was (and still is a big passion of mine). Thought I wanted to be a massage therapist for a bit but here I am – reading and writing and dancing and chatting and creating so many years later 😊
What were you like when you were in high school?
I didn't necessarily identify as creative but I think people always saw me as such. I grew up dancing so there was that, but also writing and drawing. I remember decorating my diary every year like it was a work of art! I also think creativity is innate to teenagers because you're trying to figure out your identity and put yourself out there. Regarding my career – I had no idea. I chose advertising because it felt somewhat creative but still within culture and the business world, but it wasn't a choice I always knew I wanted to make. It was a lucky mistake!
Is college necessary for this role? Did you go to college?
I went to college AND ad school but I think neither of them are necessary to work in advertising. Not even to have studied something within the field of expertise. If you're a designer you need some technical knowledge of course, but you can learn that online easily these days. I think understanding culture and the world is the most important tool for this job.
How did you land your first job?
I found my job through W+K's "Back door" which is a creative incubator program called The Kennedys. I came from a background of internships in creative agencies through Miami Ad School, but my first proper job I found independently.
When you were just starting out (think first job), how did you handle life and finances?
I was lucky enough to have no student debt (college is actually affordable in Spain) and my first job paid well, so it was fairly smooth. I'm aware this is an exception though – some companies with sexy names really take advantage of the students and make them intern FOREVER (which is unpaid labor) because "it will open doors for them" and they know it will look good on the CV. But that's absolute BS. An internship is understandable but at some point you need to say FU pay me.
Part 3: Musings Of A Creative Superhero
Has your career evolved from one industry to another?
I've only worked in advertising.
Do you have any shoutouts to special people that helped you land your first gig, or find your creative superpower?
Oh my God so many! My father for always believing in me, blindly! My friend Raquel who read my writing and took me to Andreu, the philosophy teacher so he could see it too. He encouraged me to open my blog. My private teacher Raquel who would give me writing exercises to do after I had finished my homework. My first boss, Santy who told me I should go do my masters and be super ambitious with my career when that meant saying no to a job offer. Marta and Laura, my friends and also my first creative partners. Emma Mällinen, my first partner and WK and one of the most wonderful humans in the world. Hannah Smit and Ed Olhagaray who took me under their wing when I was a scared puppy starting in the advertising industry. So many. I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for all these people.
Do you have a creative outlet outside of client work?
Yes! I write poetry.
Where would the world be without creative thinkers / creative problem solvers / designers / artists?
You can thank Madeline for his story, learn more, and follow Madeline at:
Thank you Ane !!! 🎉