Job title: “Maker”

My last post mentioned how I’m using June to experience what it might have been like to move over permanently. So, now I’ve dived into some of the work and I’m finding my feet, so what are the things I’ve noticed as a creative?

For an agency of such size (compared to London) there is a sense of order and calm. Client meetings and lead times are ample and well defined. Teams group as necessary, and it seems this is done without the organizational skills of project managers. A role disposed of some time ago according to Mike Sullivan and Zack Holiday, the Group CD’s I’ve been working and lunched with this week.

I also mentioned in my previous post, the clearly defined roles of copywriter/art director in the NY creative department. Different creative teams, like in any agency, have different competencies and skill sets. Some are more digitally minded, some are more skilled at craft — but chatting to the guys over lunch they mention a concerted effort to broaden the department and be future fit…

N8tive is a recent initiative that acts as a Havas creative incubator. Its aim is to harness the diverse ‘maker’ skills of emerging creative talent leaving colleges and universities. Currently there are 6 members, with the 7th starting the first week of July. The total team will be 8, but their last member is TBD. Some are filmmakers & editors. Some are designers & photographers. Some are strategically minded editorial journalists or writers.

Toygar Bazarkaya, CCO of the Americas conceived this initiative. Paul Vinod, a Group CD, leads the programme, and says “Kids come out of college today with a fiery creative spirit and a desire to create all the time. They are hybrids. Defining them would be putting them in a straitjacket.”

Rather than immediately giving them copywriter/art director job titles that have been determined by staffing plans and budgeted for in client scopes of work, they’re encouraged to attack briefs from broader angles and report into an individual creative mentor within the department. They don’t want to be siloed or labelled and so are free to work unrestricted of hierarchies and obstacles. It’s Havas’ way of appealing to future generations of Creative Directors who are currently getting offers from the likes of Google, Facebook and talent hungry start-ups.

The intention is great and the sense of creative freedom of this initiative extends far beyond the creative department.

3 floors up is the Havas R&D lab. With its open door policy and 2 floor high glass walls, it invites everyone and anyone to ‘make’ with the expertise of a full time Creative Technologist. Got a pitch coming up? Here’s a hacked Amazon Echo for the room you’re presenting in. Need a proof of concept? Here’s a bespoke VR programme. What’s that? You want a 3D printed name tag? Really? Get out.

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