Cecely Meller on Advertising Copywriting

Untitled_Artwork 3

This week my guest was Cecely Meller, a copywriter who recently moved back to Minneapolis. Cecely and I have chatted over coffee a couple times about what it’s like to work in the frenetic world of advertising copywriting. I thought it would be fun to have her on to chat about her journey from working in media to writing ads. We had lots of fun chatting about TV, building a portfolio and writing for clients. Plus my dog loved her. Thanks for coming on Cecely!

1. What first made you want to write? Which writers in pop culture did you want to be like?
When I was a wee one, I wanted to be a mystery writer and amateur detective like Jessica Fletcher (played by the one and only Angela Lansbury) on Murder, She Wrote. Be a badass AND write? Sign me up. When middle school hit, I fell in love with Saturday Night Live. It became an obsession. Instead of playing tetherball, my best friend and I would sit in her room, write our own The Delicious Dish scripts (you know, the one with Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon), and record ourselves on her boombox. Ahh, those were the days. So, to answer your question, I idolized any writer and actor on SNL – and still do.

2. How did you make the leap to copywriting? 
Even though I’m Asian, I hate math. Can I add, subtract, and multiply? You betcha. Do I like it? Hell no. Where am I going with this? Hold your horses. After college, I got my foot in the door at a Minneapolis agency working in Media. It was great. I was wined and dined by vendors, worked with amazing people, and learned oodles of information about the ins and outs of advertising. However, as time went on, I realized my true calling was to be a writer instead of a number cruncher. I took a leap of faith, quit my cushy, full-time job, went to Miami Ad School, and got into a lot of debt. #WorthIt (I think that’s what the kids are saying.) At the time I was scared shitless, but I haven’t looked back since – except when I check my bank account.

3. What are your biggest goals with writing? If you had unlimited time, what would you try to make?
My goal is to just become a better writer, every day. (Is that a cop-out answer?) Not only for the brands I work on, but personally, too. I’d love to actually sit down and write my own sitcom. Or, take more improv classes. Even try my hand at stand-up. And if I had unlimited time, I’d do all the aforementioned goals and also try to make fetch happen.

Thanks Cecely. Josie definitely thought you made fetch happen.

More Stories
Checking in on The American Girl Catalog, 18 Years Later