Staff Reporters
Oct 20, 2022

Creative Minds: Why Sive Buckley is inspired by her two grandmothers

Get to know the chief experience officer at Essence who talks about her favourite campaign and her two nanas.

Sive Buckley
Sive Buckley
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Sive Buckley

Origin: Cork, Ireland

Places lived/worked: Cork, Dublin, London, Melbourne, Sydney

Pronouns: She/her


  • Chief experience officer, Essence 
  • Executive client & business director, AKQA
  • Group account director, CHE Proximity

1. How did you end up being a creative?

I always was creative growing up and loved art, painting and drawing however progressing this into the creative industry was by fluke. I actually wanted to be a nurse and left Ireland to travel the work at 19, found myself freelancing and then nannying for a family that owned a boutique creative agency, begged them for a job and the rest is history.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio? 

I would have to say Give a Flybuys campaign when I was at CHEP. It was fun, bold, brave and made people GAF for a brand that had an irrelevance issue. From writing the brief to then being in the room when the music video concept was created was something I knew I had to get approval on as there was no way we couldn’t make this come to life. It was a big regret for me that Covid hit and the campaign live date was so delayed.

3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else? 

This campaign is a creative masterpiece, taking Nike's brand essence, brand purpose but pushes storytelling in a fresh way. It not only spoke about the brand and what it stands for, it did it in a way that really highlights female empowerment in one of the best shot ads I ever have seen. I’ve shared this with my team many times, and it brings a smile to my face each time I watch it. And believe me, I’ve watched it hundreds of times already.

4. What kind of student were you?

‘High potential’ was a word that was used frequently. I was distracted easily and the structured format of school made it difficult for my free spirit. I was outgoing and spoke my mind so I was pretty naughty and bounced around a few different schools. It was great character-building.

5. What's on your bucket list?

Visit Morocco and Africa; start a not-for-profit; and become a mom.

6. Who do you most admire?

My nanas on both sides of the family. My paternal grandparents were the first blind couple ever to get married in Ireland and had two children. With limited support my maternal grandmother raised seven children, plus many grandchildren as a single working mother, went back to school to learn to read and write and taught me the value of being kind, determined but to have humility.

7. Do you work best under pressure, or when things are calm?

Under pressure—diamonds are made under pressure. When I’m not busy, I get worried. Someone once told me ‘If your list is empty, you are redundant’ and that stuck with me.

8. What advice would you give to 10-year-old you, if you could?

Dance, dance, dance! Wear what you want, have fun, don’t stress, tell the truth and be yourself cause you are wonderful.

9. What really motivates you?

Showing women that you can make a successful career in the creative industry without sacrificing what’s important to you and it's a non-linear journey. I went from more of a client-facing role into running a creative department. Sticking up for what’s right and being kind along the way is so important—you don’t need to be a dick to people to grow the corporate ladder.

10. What would you do on your perfect day?

Swim in the ocean, walking my dog with a coffee in hand, read a book in the sun followed by cooking dinner for all of my family and friends with a beautiful glass of red.

11. What’s your favourite music / film / TV show / book / other of the past year, and why?

It’s a Sin has been one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen and it moved me to tears.

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