Drama Queen’s creative force welcomes Lilli Loiri

Lilli Loiri has taken on the Creative Lead role at Drama Queen since the beginning of February. In this capacity, she is not alone; a new Creative Lead Team of five has begun steering collective creativity at Drama Queen.

The Creative Lead Team of Drama Queen brings together top planners from Helsinki, Turku, and Stockholm. In this team, John Lagerqvist continues in the role of Executive Creative Director and Liina Komi as a Creative Director. 

Annika Ohtonen, previously Senior Copywriter, and Kai Seppänen, formerly Senior Art Director, are set to join the team as Creative Leads. The fifth member of the team is the new Creative Lead Lilli Loiri.

Loiri brings vast advertising experience and is a songwriter, author, and mother of three daughters. Her book "Selviämistarinoita" (Otava) has been adapted into a play at the Finnish National Theatre. Previously, Loiri has worked as a Creative at Folk and as a Creative Lead at hasan & partners.

"After two completely different agencies, I continue with zeal as a drama queen at Drama Queen. I'm definitely not dead; there are a few of us famous Loiris. For example, my father Pekka Loiri has received much global recognition for his creative design work," says Loiri.

Loiri's first statement at Drama Queen is that people don't want to watch ads. Instead, people want to see what interests them – and sometimes, that interesting thing is an ad.

Many ads that people have wanted to watch and listen to, are Loiri’s brainchildren. One example is the song "Supersankari" produced for LähiTapiola, which has surpassed 20 million listens. Loiri wrote this evergreen, which also happens to be an interesting ad.

Lilli Loiri started as a Creative Lead at Drama Queen in February

Drama Queen's new strategy centres on collective creativity

Loiri's appointment and the new composition of Creative Lead Team, reinforce creative thinking as part of Drama Queen's renewed strategy. In 2023, Drama Queen made a big shift to a flat organisation structure to promote innovation, agility, and effective decision-making.

Responsibility at Drama Queen is now divided into various cross-functional teams or "pods." Pods operate semi-autonomously, each focusing on specific tasks or interests. The starting point for both the strategy and the new Creative Lead Team is collaboration.

"The background of the new team is the idea of collective creativity, which fits into Drama Queen's new non-hierarchical organisational model. In other words, the Creative Lead Team brings together different creative expertise. Right from the start, we redefine the term creativity and then the word leadership," says Drama Queen's Creative Director Liina Komi.

The five-member team strives to enhance Drama Queen's overall creative culture, seeking ingenious solutions for clients and fostering mutual learning throughout the process. John Lagerqvist describes the new team as a tool for distilling the “drama” of Drama Queen.

"We are constructively honest, meaning creative"

Collective creativity aims for better solutions and results. Loiri describes finding a good idea as hitting the "sweet spot," which is a primitive moment. For Loiri, finding this sweet spot manifests as shouting.

“In our field, it’s a well-known fact that Loiri shouts when she gets excited. The sweet spot is the essence of play, lovemaking, and especially our industry. It's like a pit that fills itself," describes Loiri.

For Annika Ohtonen, the sweet spot stands for the dynamics when the work environment becomes similar to a warm conversation with old friends: mouthing off, roasting and riffing on each other's jokes, with punchlines improving every round. For Kai Seppänen, in turn, a good idea is the moment when something completely new is done. He adds that creativity seems to be part of human DNA and it arises from doing things differently and being honest.

Loiri agrees and defines creativity as a perfect synonym for “not stealing”.

"Ads are often made by taking someone else's ideas and foolishly changing a chicken to a duck. I wouldn't be able to sleep if I were stealing. In Drama Queen's Creative Lead Team, we are constructively honest, meaning creative," says Loiri.

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