Interview with Keli Mitchell
Keli is Deputy MD at Frame, an 80-strong award-winning creative agency based in Glasgow. Frame specialises in advertising, design, digital, PR and media, and is the only integrated agency of its kind in the country.
Keli's experience is impressive, with 20+ years in strategic development and account direction across a large portfolio of brands including Subway Sandwiches, Bulmers Cider, Irn-Bru, Orangina, Honda, RBS, intu and many more.
Keli was nominated as Scotland’s Agency Star of the Year in 2016 and most recently as a finalist in the UK-wide IPA / Campaign Women of Tomorrow Awards in 2018.
She lives in Glasgow with her husband and her two girls, her daughter Matilda and her kitten, Mabel.
We caught up with Keli prior to her appearance in our annual Badger Debate at Amplify on August 24.
You’ve worked for Frame for the past 16 years. Where does your love of marketing come from?
Yes, I’ve been here a long time! I’ve left twice to explore other agencies and new challenges, but always found my way back to Frame. I’m like a bad penny. I love marketing because I love humans, their flaws and idiosyncrasies. I like getting under the skin of what makes them tick and what turns them on… and off. I also fiercely believe bold and brave ideas have the ability to positively change our world, and to be part of that makes me feel very lucky indeed.
In your career, you’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the UKs best brands. Looking back, which campaign are you most proud of working on?
Working on Irn-Bru will always hold a special place in my heart; it was the first time I truly understood the power of ‘brand’. It also allowed me to work with some super talented folk who weren’t afraid of the word no. More recently at Frame, we’re very proud of our brand new Love/Hate campaign for National Trust for Scotland and the award-winning TV campaign for Scottish Action for Mental Health. It feels good when creativity can contribute to making a positive change for Scotland.
What happens when a demanding client walks into Frame HQ and offers you a lot of money? Do you still take the job?
In my opinion, and especially in the current climate, the client has every right to be demanding of their agency. The attitude of the client or the budget involved shouldn’t get in the way of us working together, some of our most successful campaigns have been produced on a shoe-string. Some of our most ‘challenging and demanding’ clients are now lifelong friends of Frame. There’s always a way! You just have to be a nice human and prepared to work as a partner, rather than a supplier.
Frame’s headcount has rocketed by an amazing 30% in the last year. Are there any specific departments that have had a particular boost?
Frame PR continues to grow apace and it’s hard to keep up with them at times, the team doubled last year and is on course to double again this year! This is largely down to how ambitious they are, but also testament to our long-term approach of departmental collaboration, as evidenced by our new Frame Media team. Our entire Framey family continues to grow with a new office in Edinburgh and a big bunch of fresh, ambitious and talented faces.
Frame has more than 100 clients on the go. Have you noticed any recent trends in client requirements?
It’s (still) the idea that counts. It’s the mantra at Frame and something we take very seriously, so it’s no surprise that we now find ourselves working with like-minded clients.These clients are now coming to us, not for an ‘ad campaign’, but for an integrated strategy to help them meet their objectives. With the recent addition of Frame Media, our structure means the work will be more cohesive and more powerful, which our clients are completely on board with. It also means we can work more effectively and more efficiently on their behalf.
What’s on the horizon for Frame this year?
More big ideas. More integration. More strings to our bow (watch this space). We still have that start-up mentally from 30 years ago, so once again, we’re just getting started…
We're excited to watch Keli take part in the Badger Debate at Amplify on August 24. Book your tickets here.