Yes& General

A Day In The Life: Agency Woman Coming Your Way

Claudia Barac-Roth

Every day is a chance to start fresh, to do our best work, learn something new, and create meaningful moments for ourselves and the people around us. My intent is to do this as much as possible. Life is short. I might as well make it worthwhile.  

Barac-Roth, Claudia Headshot (2)Hola! I’m Claudia, and I work at Yes& – a place that believes in the spirit of an open-minded attitude and looking at things from an unbiased, fresh perspective. For the last two-and-a-half years, I’ve been the acting creative director for some of the agency’s biggest accounts, including NFIP, Sentara Health Plans, and Carpenter’s Shelter – an amazing non-profit organization that advocates for the unhoused. Naturally, it's the support of an amazing team that makes this possible. We’re collaborators. We support one another and push each other to be better every day.  

I start my day early – depending on what new Netflix series I binged the night before – preferably awakening to the natural light that soothes my soul and attunes me to the gentle flow of Mother Earth. These days, I need all the harmony I can get.  

For most people, staring at a screen first thing in the morning is no way to start the day. For me, reviewing my calendar and the day’s agenda is peaceful.  

Depending on the day, I might take a brisk swim in the community pool or run with my Border Collie through wooded trails. Working out keeps my body sharp, gets my creative juices flowing, and provides mental clarity. Being active in the morning helps me stay focused throughout the day, even when I‘m stationary for eight or more hours.  

As a manager, I try to catch up with team members and resolve challenges that pop up.  

After a stream of morning meetings, I tackle various tasks, from setting one-on-one time with team members and following up on emails to creating a jig of to-do lists. I try to avoid getting sucked into a black hole of endless email loops and team chats. Coffee helps – dark, strong coffee.  

As late morning creeps in, I begin selecting voice-over talent for an upcoming TV/radio campaign. Typically, we get a pool of about 50 to 80 auditions. I listen to the demos half a dozen times, which drives my cat crazy, before culling the selections. I share my favorites with the larger team and, ultimately, the client. I’ve become adept at the waiting game — waiting for my team, waiting for the client, waiting for approval. This industry is not for the faint of heart or the impatient.  

As my recommendations are sent, a “ping!” signals that updates on an original illustration for another ad campaign have arrived in my inbox. I love reviewing sketches and helping illustrators build a vision for the final piece. I usually mark up a screenshot and write on it for immediate, clear communication.  

As lunchtime approaches, I grab food from my kitchen and attend a Zoom meeting for a presentation skills workshop. Multitasking is key.  

Next, I meet with my {most brilliant, best, and most awesome} writer partner to discuss campaign edits and needs. We’re working on a new campaign that should have been sent to the client, like yesterday. Unbeknownst to us, the launch date is less than a month away. Like any good creative team, we start on a serious note – discussing last night’s amazing new episode on HBO Max. Once that’s out of the way, we ease into crafting new ideas that push the envelope. Hilarity ensues – always a good sign.  

The afternoon is prime time for getting stuff done. I attempt to block my calendar with focus time. Sometimes, I succeed! Today, I need to join a pre-production meeting where the film crew and I discuss how best to capture real stories of people who have survived massive flooding. The shoot is coming up, so finalizing last-minute details, such as travel locations and interview schedules, is critical.  

Whew! My day is almost over. I schedule a regroup with a new art director on a smaller NFIP campaign. I help him navigate tone, style, and client expectations – and encourage fun, fresh thinking.  

Cruising through the afternoon, I set up more calls with my teammates to discuss current projects, like translating digital banner ads to Spanish. During the call, we’ll thoroughly check each size, review logo mandates, discuss the mission of the project, ensure typography spacing and character tracking are correct, and verify that color palettes are accurate.  

I jump from one task to another and scrawl in a notebook by my side. (I hope I’ll be able to decode my handwriting later.) I call this my daily creative hopscotch.  

As my long day comes to an end, I take a breather, have dinner, hang with family, or look for an excuse to talk to other humans about anything other than advertising.  

Later, I return to my laptop to tie up loose ends, complete timesheets, and plan for the next day.   

Before bed, I read through travel and foreign magazines that inspire me to keep a fresh eye on creative design and messaging. I love how other cultures solve things differently and embrace challenges on various levels.  

I wind down with some yoga on my favorite app, Asana Rebel. This helps me calm down and balance myself for the next day. In the quiet moments, creative ideas often spark.  

This is a glimpse into my typical day as a creative warrior. I believe in our craft. I’m passionate about it. Today, as I write this from a hotel in one of the cities for the aforementioned video, I realize that all the research, waiting, and meetings were worth it. I get to see communities in West Detroit rebuild together after a flood and connect the dots to what truly matters – creating meaningful moments and sharing stories with people around me. 

I am pacing the sidewalk, focused on the next scene we are filming, when I hear a young PA jabbering on her walkie-talkie, alerting the producer and director: “Heads up, agency woman coming.” Yes, yes, I am.


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Claudia Barac-Roth
Vice President & Associate Creative Director