Creatives Now: Sheena Brady

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Sheena Brady stumbled into advertising by accident while attending the University of Oregon, when a friend showed her an assignment from his copywriting class. "I was writing papers, and his homework was to come up with magazine ads for Häagen-Dazs," she recalls. "That looked far more interesting than what I was doing." A decade later, Brady is a creative director at Wieden + Kennedy's flagship office—a job she landed last September, just a few months shy of her thirtieth birthday—where she runs the Coke and Diet Coke account alongside agency veteran Hal Curtis. "I was always worried about working at a big agency and Wieden just doesn't feel big," she says. "Whether there are a hundred people there or three hundred people there, it always feels kind of small."

After college, Brady worked at Big Bang Idea Engineering and Vitrorobertson in San Diego—then took a break from the business, working at her brother's brewery and doing other odd jobs in her home state of Alaska—before landing in Portland. Since then, she's developed a reel that includes work for Starbucks, Nike, Careerbuilder.com, and—of course—Coke and Diet Coke. She created the head-turning Coke spot "Videogame"—a feel-good homage to Grand Theft Auto-style shooters directed by animators Smith & Foulkes—and the Super Bowl standout "It's Mine," in which parade balloons—Underdog, Family Guy's Stewie, and Charlie Brown—vie for a giant bottle of Coke.

"I'm a very honest person and, to me at least, the best advertising is really honest," she says. "I think that's also the type of work that Wieden does. It's not gimmicky. There's always a kind of truth to it." As for making it to the top in the male-dominated world of advertising creative, Brady says, "I'm pretty fiery and I'm very blunt. I'm a bit of tomboy. Anyone that has an opinion and can fight for it does well in this business. I sometimes get reprimanded for my strong opinions—but they're always honest."
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