Ask Ahmed Anything

Ask Ahmed Anything Instagram Live
Design credit @asapmanje

Ahmed Tilly, the former Chief Creative Officer of FCB and currently a Creative Consultant recently started an Instagram live session for your creatives in the advertising industry.

The turn up was great and there were plenty of questions across a range of topics. Ahmed smashed these questions in the most honest and direct way possible.

Working with him a few years back at his previous agency, Black River FC, I gained the utmost respect for his leadership skills and the humility in which he conducts himself. One of two creative leadersI hold in the highest regard and will always aspire to be like.

While Ahmed did an excellent job responding to questions, there were a few topics I wanted to chime in on.


A lot of young creatives were asking about money. Specifically how they could get a raise. While I understand that we all want to earn more, I find it interesting that junior creatives believe they need to get an increase, yet most of the time have done nothing to warrant it. Ahmed told them how to have the conversations and encouraged them to show their employers why they deserve it. But given the lack of experience, young creatives really do need to pump the breaks a little, put in the work and the time before asking for more. I have no problem with people making bank, we all want to stack the cheddar, but earn it. Juniors who work for me know, they will get a descent starting salary, but to get an increase, they have to put in the graft.

Becoming a Creative Director

If you’re a junior in advertising, you have a long road ahead of you. So to start your career asking how to become a Creative Director, you need to maybe take a breathe. You have to put in many years before you’d even be considered for a CD position. While there are obviously young creatives who are great managers, the best CD’s are usually doers, and to be noticed, you have to practice your craft, do the work. Honestly, young creatives need to be focussed on where they are and how to be the best at it. I certainly never started my career saying I want to be a creative director, I wanted to be the best designer. I wanted to be a rockstar. Creative Directors are more like conductors.

Working with other Ad folk

A few questions came up about working with project managers, CD’s and strategists. There was friction with other people in every question. If there is something you should learn as a young creative, is to find the value in what each of the people do and how to find a way to work together. It’s a team effort. While a lot of the time in agencies individuals get lumped with projects on their own. The best agencies work in teams. Leverage relationships. Succeed together. Learn to play well with others.

Of course, Ahmed answered these questions as honestly as he could, which is a testament to his talent and experience as a creative leader. Make sure you join his live session on Instagram where you can Ask Ahmed Anything, Wednesdays 6 – 7pm