Days numbered for people with Art Director or Copywriter on their business card

It’s time for the creative strategists to rule.

This isn’t really a rant about the art directors and copy writers actually it’s more a rant about attitude and learned behaviour. Creativity in my opinion is actually a mentality more than a skill set. The skill set and agency background approach to talent is so far beyond out-dated it’s damaging the future of our industry.

The death nail of conventional advertising is discussed more than any other topic in the communication world. Whether it is dead or dying is irrelevant, it’s changing, FACT and at a rate that nobody could predict. All driven by normal people, doing things differently, adopting technology and switching off to the messages and media that we all lauded so highly up to a few years ago.

As somebody who runs a creative organisation in the ‘always-on’ space, based on a foundation of ZERO media, finding creative talent is super hard. Our business is based on being able to develop ideas that evolve with audience interaction, feedback and adoption. Ideas need to be totally fluid, that means we need people who are flexible and can think in a non-traditional way, in non-traditional channels.

The ad industry has had it good, really good for a long time. We have been the masters of the message and the medium, which has created a certain approach and mentality amongst the creative talent. Agencies are set up to do things in a linear way; take brief, develop idea, execute, move on.

The brief goes in to a ‘creative team’ who go away and do what they do, present back ideas, which are then taken and sold to the client. This process can take weeks, then the execution takes months, finally it gets out to market in the pre-determined channels that either the media agency have defined or the creatives have defined through their skill set.

This model is not only out-dated, more often than not, it doesn’t work. It is also extremely expensive and in most cases, in most categories delivers ideas that all come from the same mindset and attitude.

I met a creative team a while back, two 25 year olds, super ambitious. I asked them who was copy and who was art. They looked at me strangely and said, ‘well sometimes he does copy, and I do some art, then the next day we swap. We don’t care about the output, for us it is all about trying, failing, trying again’. This is a mindset, not a skill set.

So whats the answer for a business owner who doesn’t drink the Kool Aid of advertising? I need people who have ideas, lots of ideas, ideas that are completely agnostic of channel. I need people who understand consumer behaviour, who will dig the data, who can operate in minutes rather than days. I need people who aren’t scared to fail, aren’t scared to trial and will just get back up and get on with it.

More than all of that I need people who get ‘next practice’ not ‘best practice’, who understand the path to purchase is now the bounce to purchase. People who challenge convention and know that a strategic approach is as important as crazy creative.

We are living in a new world, a world where the dinosaurs are becoming extinct again, a time when the true creative strategist will rule the world.

If you have this mindset and attitude and don’t care about titles or skill set, if you are a true ideas person who is a creative strategist at heart. Get in touch. @JonTheDots

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