Polina Zabrodskaya, Creative Director at AMV BBDO

We are happy to share with you some key takeaways from our chat with Polina Zabrodskaya, Creative Director for AMV BBDO.

What was the biggest adjustment for you working outside your home country for the first time?

Every market has its own set of “it has to be this way” mantras. In Russia, those things mostly have to do with censorship. But when it comes to production — anything is possible. If you wanted to make an app to analyse dog farts, rate them on their artistic merits and sell them as NFTs— there would be someone somewhere in Tver willing to make it happen for 10K — for the love of a good fart joke.

So as a Russian creative, bizarrely, you almost never hear “it can’t be done”. My biggest adjustment was learning to accept some common sense limitations that exist in established markets. The phrase “this microsite is out of budget” still gives me a rash, though.

Are there any misperceptions of Russia or Russian advertising you’d want people to know about? 

People in Russian advertising drink far less than the world thinks. Our drinking culture requires a meal with every drink – so people go for dinners with their coworkers and have heart to heart conversations over a glass of wine or two. It can make any work problem go away.

In the global search for talent, how can international companies go about finding great Russian talent? 

I would suggest looking beyond a polished portfolio. Not just when it comes to Russian talent – any talent from anywhere. There are hundreds of amazing creative minds out there who don’t know the rules of the game yet and have no idea what a proper portfolio looks like. And it’s great that they don’t. If we want diversity – we’d better stop hiring people based on their ability to copy the most common squarespace layout.

By Sasha The Mensch