What I've Learnt: Tanya Brookfield, CEO at ELVIS

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Tanya Brookfield is the Chief Executive of creative agency ELVIS, where she has worked since 2008.

The agency works with FMCG clients including Cadbury, Orea, Birds Eye, Kenco, and Budweiser, creating unforgettable campaigns including the recent launch of a fashion range for Oreo.

As CEO, Tanya is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency, as well as managing pitching and new business generation - and handling the portfolio for AB InBev, the global drinks conglomerate and one of the world's largest FMCG brands.

We heard from Tanya about the lessons her career has taught her.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

A blazing hot shower first thing, with KISSTORY playing full blast

What's been your luckiest break?

In my final year at uni, I randomly bumped into an old friend in the pub who had just found out he hadn’t got the job as an “Account Exec working on Kellogg’s and LEGO”. The next day, I found out what an Account Exec was and applied immediately. The rest is history…

What's your best failure?

Becoming a Man City fan initially looked like a terrible emotional investment but - ignoring this season - has turned out to be one of the most rewarding relationships I’ve ever had. COYB.

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

Parking sensors on my car. Saved me thousands.

How would you describe your work/life balance?


Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

With anxiety level's so high right now, I would recommend reading for escapism and relaxation. My favourite book has always been 'Great Expectations' (funny, macabre, romantic), but any Penguin Classic will always get my vote. That said, every once in while I do think about reuniting with Jean-Claude and the rest of the Tricolore textbook crew to brush up on my Français.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Put self-doubt to one side, because you’ve absolutely got this, our kid.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

Strangely it’s been the ‘bad apples’ that have probably had the most profound effect on me. Their lack of care, their inappropriate words, their laziness or entitlement all made me want to be the complete opposite. I might not always get it right, but I certainly try to be considerate, available and driven.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

Despite all the similarities, I’m not related to Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

What does success look like to you?

Right now, it’s all about survival and learning some very hard lessons. Tomorrow, it’s about digging deep and creating a stronger, better business.