“The perception of creativity itself is slowly but surely transitioning into a mutated and adapted life form. In the traditional world, a ‘creative’ person usually meant someone with savant-like talents excelling in a specific creative discipline defined by fairly concrete parameters. Copywriters wrote copy. Art Directors directed art. There are still talented visual designers who can make anything look good. Brilliant copywriters who can come up with that magnificent tagline which stops you in your tracks. And don’t forget about smart, methodical Information Architects who devote their existence to usability and being an advocate for the end user.”
I love the term “savant” … I see this all the time: people who have insular talent, or who have wide-ranging abilities that are hamstrung by organizational barriers. These people will continue to exist and will continue to develop within the ‘traditional’ ad agency structure. The challenge is to develop the “T-Shaped” thinkers that might revolutionize the industry.
A while back, I spoke to an Account Director that I greatly respect, Gayle Novak of Slack Barshinger. We discussed at length the differences between good account people, account “waiters” and account planners. She was a bit skeptical of planning and disappointed by waiters, and I’m with her… People and organizations that isolate planning, management and creative will fail to push the industry forward. They might scrape by with decent work, but we have to do more than slide along.