How to start a successful carrier of a copywriter? Ask a lot of questions, stupid ones don’t exist!!!

Sára Svobodová is working as a copywriter here, in Wunderman, where she writes texts for different ad campaigns and participates in competitions for creators. She has completed workshops about how to create comics in the past. Now you can see her paintings in the halls of Wunderman, which are inspired by the band Psí vojáci, with which she had great success in the Library of Václav Havel.

 Photo: Josef Jelínek/Wunderman. Sára Svobodo

ra, you are working as a copywriter in the biggest marketing agency in the Czech Republic. What would you recommend to people who want to go down the path of becoming a copywriter?
Nobody knows everything right from the start, so don’t be afraid to ask about things you are interested in and which you don’t understand. At the beginning of my career as a copywriter I had a bit of trouble with asking questions. I was afraid that I was going to say something stupid and people would think I’m totally out of it.

With time, I realized that nobody is going to bite my head off. On the contrary, they don’t mind helping me. And a well-known Czech psychiatrist also gave me confidence I needed by writing in one of his books: “Remember there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.” So, don’t be afraid to ask and write so that you aren’t’t ashamed of it.

Writing texts can be hard. What do you enjoy about it the most?
I love playing with our beautiful language. Thanks to working with it, I am constantly learning about its diversity and depth. Also, I enjoy diving under the surface of the advertising world and learning how to navigate it.

This year you participated in the Czech round of the international competition Young Lions for Wunderman.
Yes, it’s an amazing competition for creators under 30, and there were several of us from Wunderman. I was in the category for print with the amazing art designer Zuzka Wichová. We got along well and I enjoyed the collaboration. We prepared a creative proposal for the organization CARE, whose aim is to battle poverty. Even though we didn’t’t place in the top 3, I think we did a good job. I was also happy for my two colleagues who took home an honorable mention in the category Digital.

Our creative directors Filip Humpl and Richard Stiebitz won’t let us slack off and they make sure our work is seen in competitions. Just a few days ago Wunderman won 3 prestigious prices in the creative competition ADC Creative Awards – silver in Direct marketing/mailings with the project Wallet for Komerční banka, they also won a bronze with the same project in the category innovation. The project Paul Mitchell Ex No More got a bronze in the category Direct marketing/Digital. Talented and capable people work here.

Apart from writing you also paint. Right now, you have an exposition in our agency. What is your exposition about and how it came to be?
The name of the exposition is Psí vojáci (Dog Soldiers): Music on canvas. It’s a series of eight illustrations of the songs from Psí vojáci and Filip Topol. In Wunderman you can see only seven of them. Two years ago, in my first course for drawing comics, our lecturer, a very talented artist, Satine Zillah gave as a task to come up with a story that we could stretch into a comic.

Photo: Josef Jelínek/Wunderman

I decided to take the text of the song of Filip Topol Dívka odjezdu and translate it into paintings. After finishing the first one, which was supposed to be the title page for the comic book I created another one – Marilyn Monroe. And that’s how it all began. I abandoned the comic book project and drew illustrations to each song.

So, Dog Soldiers and Filip Topol have a special place in your heart.
Yes. The music and text have an amazing depth and meaning. Filip had an amazing sense for language, it’s lyrical, poetic, simply beautiful. Even the music is that way. You can’t compare it to anything. It goes hand in hand. When I listen to it I can already see the pictures. More with some songs less with others. For those it’s enough that they are “just” songs.

How did you find out about the Wunderman project YouTime and how did it help you to put the exposition together?
I learnt about the project from Iveta Matušková from our HR. It all came about by chance. I met Iveta in the hallway just before Christmas and we started chatting about what’s new and I mentioned that in November I had an exposition in the Václav Havel Library. Which was a big event.

Foto: Marieta Poliaková.

We organized the exposition with my friend Anna Řeháková for her absolvent project at the college of journalism. For the opening night, even Filip’s brother Jáchym Topol, who is a programme director of the library, Jan Hazuka, David Skála, band members of Psí vojáci, Roman Hanzlík, the band’s manager, came. Sadly, Filip died before he could see the exposition. The exposition was also a sort of memorial and a lot of people came.

Iveta seemed really excited about the whole thing and she offered me chance to display my work in the halls of Wunderman. Youtime presents what we do outside of work. It’s amazing when you find out about a colleague you meet in the hallway that he runs marathons or that he travels around the world and takes photos of nature.

Photo: Daniel Svoboda

Does your creative spirit help you when working for clients?
When we’re making a creative concept, I, naturally, have an idea how it should look, however when working I mostly keep my artistry to myself. That is only if you don’t give me the space on the walls. (laughs)

Do you have any inspirational pages that motivate you and are inspiring for you?
I think is really inspiring. It’s a web that supports creative writing. There’s a lot of exercises, articles and René Nekuda also offers creative writing courses. I have completed one and it certainly wasn`t my last. Last year he also published a book called The Creative notebook. You can find a lot of exercises that develop your creativity in there. It’s very smart and engagingly put together.

Photo: Lukáš Panoch. 

What creative campaign caught your eye recently and why?
What caught my eye? For example, a TV ad for sleeping pills – GS Dormian Rapid. The group of partying sheep always makes me laugh. Also, I find it fascinating that the creators managed to fit all of this into only a few seconds. Maybe that’s the reason why I find it so funny.

Also, I really liked the campaign for the non-profit Doctors without borders “Playlist of life”, which was created last year by Young & Rubicam. The whole idea was to connect the main message with music and make people listen to important events around the world. I think that’s amazing. Our colleagues from the same building really outdid themselves.

What do you like about Wunderman?
I have the chance to learn new things. What I really like about Wunderman is the friendly spirit. Really. I enjoy the company of people I meet every day. The best ones are from the North Crea – our creative team. No hesitations there… (laughter)

Sára Svobodová

  • works in Wunderman as a copywriter
  • came to us from JWT/Young
  • studied the literary college of Josef Škvorecký
  • likes music and animals, enjoys studying addictions, in her free time she paints and likes gardening. She has a tortoise and a Phasmatodea at home.

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