One of the long running jokes/feuds I have with one of the senior art directors at Tribal DDB is that he tells me he has no idea what I do for the company and I tell him to stick to pretty pictures. So finding this post on why creatives within ad agencies are always confused was an eye-opener for me.
They are pressured by their leaders to do “great” work. But when they do, they usually get reprimanded for not being “on strategy.”
They are encouraged to win awards. But when they do, they are dismissed as childish narcissists.
They are highly paid, but rarely listened to.
They are told that it’s “all about the work” but come to learn that it’s “all about the metrics” or “all about the relationship” or “all about the conversation” or “all about” whatever the cliche-of-the-month is.
When they say advertising is an art, their clients say it’s a business.
When they say it’s a business, their clients say it’s an art.
When they finally get something good produced, it fails.
When they produce mundane crap, it works.
When their friends like it, their clients hate it.
When their clients like it, their friends hate it.
They are encouraged to be collaborative. But the more people touch their work, the worse it gets.
They are counseled against becoming prima donnas. But they see that the people who get good jobs are often disagreeable monsters.
If they weren’t confused they’d be crazy.
The tension between account, planning and creative is well documented in the ad world but the truth is, when all three work in concert, it proves one of the underlying tenets of DDB across the world:
Creativity is the most powerful force in business.