not an accurate representation

What do Creative Directors do?

When I was 18, I was such a dummy. So I’m breaking down everything I know to prepare my 13 year old to be smarter than I ever was. Sometimes he listens.

I’m a creative director. The job of the creative director is not to create. It’s to direct the creative energy of creative people: designers, copywriters, UX guys, and so on to solve a business problem.

These creative people are individual contributors. I am their manager. I need to be able to recognize good ideas, inspire them to make them better and sell it to the client.

Most ideas are shit. So I tell them. This is boring. Seen it. Boring. Ahhh… that’s good. Go work on it some more.

Let’s take an example.

After I told my kid what creative directors do, my kid shared a few ideas. I picked one that really stood out. It’s a device you would attach to a plant. It notifies you when the plant needs watering. Or soil is going bad.

Not bad but too much work. Who’s going to attach a device?

He refined it to “What if it was a pot?’

Ok much better. Now you can see it as a product sold at Home Depot. Hundreds of people buy these pots. They are connected to each other.

It’s like bringing Farmville into the real world.

Billion dollar opportunity.

The next step for the creative director would be to guide the naming process. Then the branding and so on.

I didn’t come up with the idea. All I did was refine it and create a business use case.

The creative directors I admire never take the credit. They will credit whoever came up with the idea. It’s hard. But it’s the right thing to do.

So that’s what creative directors do.


Next in this series, how to explain an idea.