Thursday, April 7, 2011

The distinctive difference between Creative Direction and Creative Solution.

This article was shared by a fellow creative thinker who asked 'Who would go to the end of the rainbow, with me?' only to be echoed by crickets chirping. I am not in creative, and definitely far far far far farrrrr from being a Creative Director (the horizon isn't even remotely visible) but one thing I do know, is the importance of thought leadership.

Ironically, I was discussing with a team mate this morning about a recent pitch. No doubt, all ideas are worthy. A campaign is a bunch of ideas strung tightly by a meaningful singular proposition, visibly coherent, leading towards the same vision. A campaign is NOT a laundry list of to-do items and wishful thinking. Perhaps the direction wasn't clear, maybe it will be clearer if we practice harder. I still believe there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and have faith we will get there. Till then, enjoy this inspiring piece:

Creative Direction vs. Creative Selection
1st April 11

Posted by Saneel Radia Posted in creativity

Author: Pelle Sjoenell (@pellesjoenell), Executive Creative Director, BBH LA

I believe Creative Direction isn’t just Creative Selection. I’ve noticed the two are often confused and I think it’s the result of agency process. Creative Direction is about having a vision and making sure the vision is clear to everyone involved. Having a vision doesn’t mean coming up with or choosing the ideas. Having a vision is about leadership, constantly inspiring and instigating. That’s why Creative Direction has to start early in collaboration with planners, even before a brief is written, and follow through to the end of the rainbow. In other words, if Creative Direction is done right, you should never have to select. You never need to resort to the role of a bouncer. Or simply giving things thumbs up or thumbs down.

The process can only be fixed if the Creative Director doesn’t sit above others. Creative Director is just another kind of job. No one works for a Creative Director. Everyone works for the idea. The idea hires us and we go to work. The Creative Director’s relationship with the idea is unique. It’s a combination of three professions – a politician, a farmer and an assassin. The politician handles the multiple stakeholders of the idea, traditionally pursuing different agendas. The farmer’s part is to nurture the idea so it can grow from interesting to awesome. This means identifying which add-ons, or fertilizers, will make the work better and which will hurt the crops. Lastly, the Creative Director needs to be able to shape shift into an assassin. This means isolating any threat against the beautiful, fragile idea, and putting it to sleep forever.

Playing these three roles requires the Creative Director to be involved early and broadly. It’s when Creative Directors are involved late, or are too far removed, that their job becomes that of Creative Selection. Ultimately, that’s but a minor part of the job.

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