Better Creative Is Yours for the Organizing

Better Creative

Most articles that we write about organization relate to becoming more profitable. But, after recently discussing better creative during a Second Wind member’s executive team meeting, I recalled a mentor who lectured me early in my advertising career about the principle of an orderly creative department.

There is a lot of talk today about creative being something that only a few souls can do. “Oh she’s creative, that’s why she came up with that idea,” you hear clients and business-oriented agency people say. I think that’s pretty far from the truth, although I will admit that there is something to be said for instant intuition, or “blink” as Malcolm Gladwell would call it.

Mostly, I believe quality agency creative is a matter of three things:

  • Good solid facts and understanding
  • Inspired teamwork between all agency members—creative, account planning and account service—enabling insight and implementation
  • An organized effort, so that the facts, the teamwork, the insight and the implementation can be maximized.

A Matter of Protocol

Here are some creative protocols to consider as you strive to improve your creative efforts:

  • The creative director is made aware of all new work coming into the creative department.
  • The creative director is informed of any new directions or changes that will influence creative time.
  • The creative director should approve all work before it leaves the creative department.
  • All creatives are responsible for delivering on their schedule commitments.

Creative on Parade

Agencies should establish some goals and guidelines for creative review after the work is completed. Many creatives feel this is the key to better creative. Think of it as a final inspection before the “brass” (your client) comes calling.

Creative Review Process Goals.

1. Identify the best work.

2. Improve all of the work.

3. Clarify final deliverables and timelines.

4. Identify any new creative needs.

5. Select the agency-recommended concept.

6. Prepare for the client presentation.

7. “Housekeep” for details and consistency issues.

8. Practice the presentation.

9. Everyone knows what to do next.

Creative Review Protocol

Here are some final thoughts on the format of a creative review:

  • Final say on all creative issues resides with the creative director.
  • Include in creative reviews all creative and account service staff needed to review the work and provide input.
  • Account service people display the work as they might in the client meeting.
  • Creative people present their work as they might in the client meeting.
  • Everyone with an informed opinion makes an effort to express their views at the review.
  • Points-of-view should be informed, constructive and couched to promote collaboration. Keep personal dislikes and focus-group-of-one editorializing to a minimum. No posturing!
  • Air and resolve all issues at the review table.
  • At the end of the review, the creative director sums up the discussion and recommendations, and outlines the next steps and new timeline. 


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