Sticky staff spotlight: Rhian Harries

We caught up with our Creative and Strategy Director, Rhian Harries, to talk about the significance of being a woman in a senior creative role, her proudest career moments and much more. 

What do you do at Sticky in one sentence?

My role is to inspire, motivate and lead a content team of creative people by giving them permission to play and explore their curiosity to produce outstanding ideas and creative content for our clients’ audiences all through our unique lens of Curiosity. 

Only 12% of creative directors in 2023 were women, which is astonishing and shameful.

What is it like being one of the few female creative directors in the industry?

Only 12% of creative directors in 2023 were women, which is astonishing and shameful. I’m proud to be one of the few but would love to be one of the many. So, for me, my role is as much about the sheer passion I have for storytelling and creating amazing content as about being a role model for the creatives in our business and supporting them to fulfil their potential.  

I firmly believe creativity needs to be explored and uninhibited, but most importantly, nurtured and allowed to grow alongside career development.  

It’s also my job to challenge perceptions and push for inclusivity in everything we do. This extends to the work I lead in redefining the way we target audiences which traditionally put people into boxes that are defined by age, gender, socio economic targeting etc.  

At Sticky we do this through Curiosity cohorts, a unique set of five curiosity types that allows us to make connections with audience groups no longer defined by their demographics but by their passions, behaviour, and innate curiosity.  

The approach is inclusive and rewarding. When you know what makes someone curious, you know that a connection is already formed, all you have to do is reward them with something that satisfies or rewards their interest.     

truly being able to harness curiosity is unchartered territory and one that offers a new level of audience understanding. Our work shows brands that there’s a more inclusive way to connect with people.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Knowing that I can spend the day exploring things that pique my curiosity and finding things to feed my creativity. My curiosity type is an Expressive Individual, so I need to gather information like a mental scrap book to feed this into my work and inspire my team.  

I’m fascinated by human behaviour and the weird and wonderful things we do, so finding a human truth and then connecting that to a client’s challenges to find a space to play and create amazing work is a thrill. It’s what makes our Curiosity Cohorts so rewarding, knowing you’re challenging the industry’s perceptions of audience targeting and paving the way for meaningful change.  

What’s your background and experience?

I’ve always worked in brand storytelling whether that’s through film, design, PR or events. I started my career in design, creating visuals for Honda Racing, Harley Davidson and BMW bikes.  

I then moved into PR where I was filming weird and wonderful things like Guinness World Record attempts and running tapes to satellite trucks to put out a live feed. People from all over the world attempted to break records and then we’d pore over newspapers and global news broadcasts to see if our coverage landed.  

In more recent years, I’ve produced and directed content for some amazing brands including Jaguar Land Rover, Virgin Holidays, Magnum, Virgin Atlantic, Samsung and many more. Now I tell those stories by exploring human truths and I’m passionate about purposeful content that speaks to the right audiences in the right way. There’s nothing more frustrating for me than making content for content’s sake. 

My curiosity type is an Expressive Individual, so I need to gather information like a mental scrap book to feed this into my work and inspire my team. 

What is a typical week for you at Sticky?

No week looks the same as the last. Currently, I’m heads down exploring what it means to be curious and leading a team of incredible content creators to do the same. Everybody is curious that’s nothing new, but truly being able to harness curiosity is unchartered territory and one that offers a new level of audience understanding. Our work shows brands that there’s a more inclusive way to connect with people. 

I love working with those clients who really want to work with their agency, to be challenged and to let us help them achieve something a bit different to what they might have started with.  

It’s my job to question briefs and really get under the skin of what will appeal to the audience. So often brands think they know their audience but there is still room to challenge perceptions and find a new way of targeting them with Curiosity, astute insights and our award-winning creative. We have a talented team at Sticky, and I’m privileged to work with a group of people who make this process fun and challenging too. 

Do you have a career highlight – a favourite campaign or moment?

I’ve done some incredible things, but I think the best is yet to come with our work on ‘The Power of Curiosity’. I know we can make a difference to audiences and make connections for brands that will resonate on a whole new level. We’ll be on those stages winning awards for our approach and making a difference, you mark my words! 

If you’re going to push me though I’d say winning a sweep of awards at the Brand Film Festival for our beautiful film Dear Dorothy for Jaguar Land Rover was an incredibly special moment! If you haven’t seen you really need to watch it. Dorothy’s story had the perfect elements for film making and she was such a character. 

I’m passionate about purposeful content that speaks to the right audiences in the right way. There’s nothing more frustrating for me than making content for content’s sake. 

What role do you see your department playing in the future of Sticky?

Like any team we want to work on award-winning, creatively rewarding briefs and that starts with our approach to being restlessly curious.  

We find the human truths, we make the connections, we feed the insights into the content teams, and we are integral to fuelling a collective curiosity that brings out the best of our creativity and gives people permission to play with the right briefs to do it.  

It’s important that our understanding of a brand’s audience carries right through from the data and strategy to the final output. We take the intelligence and bring it life in a way that people will engage with, in the right place, on the right platform, at the right time and in the right way. I see us producing thoughtful, intelligent content that effects a change in audiences and serves a genuine purpose for the brand and audience all through the lens of curiosity.  

How can someone come to you with a project?

Pique my curiosity! There’s nothing better than having the chance to talk about a brief in more detail and get to the bottom of what you really want to do. Let me know your budget too because that helps manage expectations and we can develop ideas to suit the scope of the project right from the start. If that appeals to you then get in touch

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