Making Her Mark: Paula Hochberg

To highlight the contributions of women who innovate every day and dare to break the rules, this article is part of our portrait series on some of our inspiring creative leaders.

You could say Paula Hochberg is a bit of a renaissance woman. She’s a world-class creative copywriter, a musician, publicist, screenwriter, and she boasts a dizzying list of accolades that includes a Golden Lion. But these impressive accomplishments do little to convey exactly how warm and intriguing Paula is; she’s someone who speaks of the world and her work with great humility, and has a distinctly bright energy. Here’s the story of how Paula Hochberg is making her mark.

Paula grew up dividing her time between Argentina and Spain. When asked if she had creative qualities as a child, she laughs, saying: “Well, I had zero physical or sports-like talent. So, when everyone else was going to play football, or whatever, I had to choose something else. I chose music. I chose theatre. I chose literature classes. I was always making up stories and characters in my head, creating my own little universes.” Eventually she left the theatre behind, but music is still a significant part of her life, and it’s clear that the literature classes informed her copywriting.

In her youth, Paula studied at an Irish school in Spain, and then in Belgium in her early twenties. From there, she worked in Buenos Aires, London and Paris. This confluence of verbal influences results in a striking accent—sort of an Irish-Spanish hybrid—that adds melody to her descriptions of her passions and projects.

Paula likes to wander. “I don’t like standing still. I’ve travelled a lot and moved around a lot, and I feel like that’s something that naturally creates opportunities.” Eventually, however, she settled in London. “When I first moved [here], I thought, ‘How is it possible I haven’t been living here for my entire life?’ But I guess I needed to see everywhere else to realize this is where I want to be.”

Her creative ritual is in alignment with this wanderlust. When in need of inspiration, Paula switches locations, wandering off to cafes, art museums—anywhere that gives her brain a shake. When the lockdowns arrived, she resorted to walking around the cramped and misty streets of London for hours, like an ad agency flâneur.

While she’s loved many campaigns, her recent work with SKYN is particularly close to her heart. Over the past two years, the women-led team has been shifting the brand’s tone of voice; infusing it with cheekiness, boldness, and a bit of humour. 

Slowly but surely, they gained the client’s trust and launched the boundary-pushing Stay and f*** at home campaign. The feature spot sing-songs an erotic version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and brings LGBTQI+ representation to mainstream audiences. The team subsequently released a SKYN Twitch stream that educated younger audiences on how to achieve orgasm with a partner.

“Sex doesn’t have to be this mysterious and obscure thing,” she notes, “but rather an open, exciting and liberating experience.”

When asked if she had any advice for women in the industry, Paula lit up. “Don’t try to imitate men. Don’t be intimidated by their voices or think that you need to adopt a similar one. Find your own voice, and once you do, be really loud. And the other important thing is to be conscious of building communities of women. Seek out female directors, illustrators, colourists. Lastly, if you see no women above you, don’t be intimidated by that. That’s your spot.”

Read more articles from this same series: Franziska ErlebachMarie-Elaine BenoitIsabelle Allard