Brick & Wonder member, Clémence Poles has enjoyed a varied but highly creative career spanning the worlds of film, editorial, marketing and photography. With an exceptional eye for design and a gift for storytelling, she works with brands to build equity through compelling content, photography, writing and film.
We asked Poles how she arrived at the role of content strategist for her clients. “It goes back to the days of MySpace. I remember helping friends with their profiles, adding custom HTML and cool 'content' to make their page standout. It’s a form of curation that came pretty naturally to me. Later I studied Marketing & Business Management in college (King's College in London), had a brief stint in advertising, then moved to New York City.”
During her time in New York, Poles has worked on film projects, advertising and marketing, often for startups where limited resources force reliance on creativity to tell a brand’s story. As a side project, she launched Passerbuys, an online magazine and platform for and about creative women living in creative capitals around the world. “I started it 2 years ago after realizing how many incredible experiences there are at your fingertips in New York. I can't totally relate to sites like Yelp whose model is to reward majority-determined experiences. It's practical but it's not interesting for me. I wanted to create an authentic recommendation website, where I never tell you, 'oh you should read this Joan Didion book'. Instead, I can just show you that over 30 women interviewed on Passerbuys recommend the book.”
There's always been something to learn from all the women I've met. I feel like we'd be so much better off if we kept sharing experiences.
Passerbuys brings together editorial, interviews, experiences, stories and unique photography with curated shopping experiences for readers. “There's always been something to learn from all the women I've met. I feel like we'd be so much better off if we kept sharing experiences. The project has definitely led me to unexpected places - if you had told me a year ago I'd be working with Casper & Floyd or on a panel discussion with The New York Times, I really wouldn't believe you!”
Content strategy is a fairly new medium in the digital advertising mix, but it’s one of the more cost effective methods for brands to cut through the noise and connect with an audience when there’s no advertising budget available. We asked Poles for her take. “Content in itself is extremely broad, it can be anything from a post on Instagram, graphic design to photography. Creating an event could be content for a brand. But content creation without strategy often leads to contrasting material with no core themes or purpose - this can be confusing to the brand's audience and impact credibility, so it's important to have a strategy. What are your goals? What are your objectives? Your content should aim to reflect that.”
One of Poles’ key strengths in her work is bringing together many different creative tools to deliver a truly unique and compelling brand experience. “One of my favorite projects was the Passerbuys Lounge for West Elm. We created a beautifully-designed and furnished space where people could unwind, relax and read recommendations featured on Passerbuys. It was fun to see the content from the website come to life and to be able to watch people interact with the recommendations. The dinner party I put together with Sonos was another favorite - we promoted their Playlist Potluck and brought together more than 30 female industry leaders in the same room - it was a special night.”