She worked at Publicis Graphics, but now – as a cheerful lady from Beirut, Fidele Hage directs a team of youngsters and works with people from multinational backgrounds, who come from agencies like FP7, Impact BBDO, TWBA, Publicis and Leo Burnett. She does this at a boutique agency called PEOPLE.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I had a passion for TV commercials since I was 7, and now at 30, I’m a creative director in a boutique agency called PEOPLE, which gathers a selection of the top notch people in the industry in Lebanon.
I enjoy chasing concerts around the globe, such as Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Coldplay and the Scorpions. I’m also a good actress; you can tell when you see me present my TVC boards to clients! And if I’m not enjoying a royal feast for breakfast over the weekend, you can find me playing tennis, shopping or camping in one of the most adventurous places in Lebanon.
How did you get your very first break in the industry?
It was pretty interesting: After graduating, I was interviewed for five minutes by a very angry GM. He said: ‘I won’t see your CV or your portfolio. I need to see you work for a week.’ I won a pitch during that week that led the agency to signing a contract with one of their major accounts. At the time I was granted twice the salary that I asked for.
What do you enjoy most about working in advertising?
The fact that you can dream about any crazy idea and make it come to life.
Can you describe advertising in Lebanon?
Advertising in Lebanon is a big industry with a big potential. Clients are getting more and more educated, they are aware of the importance of being present and exposed where consumers are; and the ad people are getting more and more creative and competitive.
What are important skills for a creative director?
I would sum it up with five things: a creative mind, experience, culture, self-confidence and managing ability. These are the qualities it takes to gain respect from the rebellious creative team and the key to paving the way up the ladder of management.
What do you look for in a student book and what impresses you?
I look for character, for boldness, for difference. School is the only place where you can “not make the logo bigger”… I’m interested to see how they see and execute their creative ideas and designs without having constraints.
And last, what’s the best advice you can give to students around the world, who are pursuing a career in advertising?
I would say to students: Your passion for advertising starts now, you don’t get a second chance to live and create the things you get to do now.
If this field doesn’t seduce you, switch now or forever hold your peace.