Monday, June 25, 2012

Creativity is More Than Just Creatives

I heard a story the other week about an agency a colleague used to work at. Having been only at one agency I don't know if this happens elsewhere, but if it does, I think it is ludicrous.

Apparently the agency my colleague used to work at put a ban on account people and planners from talking to creatives between 11am and 4pm. Only in an emergency and with express permission could you talk to them.

That is batshit INSANE.

It pushes apart creatives from everyone else in the agency, driving egos and making it harder for everyone to work together and get along. Clearly the agency has made the decision to try and 'protect the creatives'... but for fucks sake people, everyone is responsible for creativity. Protect the creativity at all costs, but that does not mean treating the rest of the agency like they don't matter.

Of course the creatives are the lead people in the creative element of projects, but if we don't work together then how the hell are we supposed to make good work. Wrapping the creatives in cotton wool and hiding them away from the realities of the industry will kill creativity and effectiveness far quicker than letting an account handler do their goddamn job. If you want the account handlers to understand creativity, spend time with them talking about it. If you want planners to make good briefs, spend time talking about what will help you get the best work from them.

When it's time for the account handler to sell the work, you want to know that they understand it, that they believe in what the creatives have done and will back it up. If you have no time whatsoever to chat with the creatives how do you expect to be able to do that?

I once spent several hours having a fierce creative debate with a creative in the pub. After that point they understood my point of view and I understood theirs, and every bit of work we did was easier from that point on.

I hate the divides between jobs that you hear about in some agencies. Creatives should not hate planners should not hate account handlers should not hate creatives. We are all working towards the same goal here, we all want to do creative and effective work, otherwise why on earth would we be here?

We have to trust each other. If we don't have trust between ourselves how can we be expected to produce work that the clients can trust?

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