J Barbush is vp and creative director for social media at RPA Advertising.
Hey, Gen-Y’ers, congratulate your future selves. Because all that hard work in college (kidding), the money spent in ad school (thanks, mom and dad!) and those long nights in the office (not drunk) have finally paid off. You’re a creative director (CD).
It may be a few years down the road, but to be a great CD, you should start learning now. They don’t teach that stuff in ad school or at your agency. So, here are a few tips to file away for when you’re in charge.
It’s easy to get caught up in the world of meetings and emails that you lose track of what you love about this business. Being a working creative director keeps you honest, humble and closer to your team. Even if you are doing spec work, or writing an article like this, don’t turn your back on the skills that brought you here. Keep the creative mind fresh. Rust sets in fast.
Lead teams to the well
When I first started reviewing copy as an associate creative director (ACD), it was much easier to make the changes myself. It saved time and energy, but ultimately was a shortcut (that was bad for the long run). So I corrected and built in time so my writers could arrive at their own pace. If you do the work for them, no one learns.
Know the brief
When there are multiple projects going on, it may be hard to keep track of them all. At the minimum, know the brief, and be accountable to the objectives when the team presents to you. Young teams sometimes focus on shine, so it’s your job to solidify the connection from the brief to the work.
Don’t solve their problems
If you are a CD, chances are you are a good problem solver. But give your teams a chance to figure things out on their own. Chances are, they will get there and develop a valuable skill along the way. It’s time well spent.
There are so many touchpoints and nuances to an idea, it’s important that your team connects with the specialists around them. You need to reward those who collaborate and encourage those who don’t. The sooner they learn the give-and-take of the business, the sooner they will thrive.
Establish a mutual trust with your team, and always respect their ideas. There are some creative directors who have clawed their way to the top. From their perch, they make life difficult for their teams, because that’s how they were treated. That’s not a good way to earn respect. Be vulnerable. Be willing to fail in front of them. Admitting you were wrong about something will earn you more respect than always presuming you are right.
Help it sell
Teams will work tirelessly on an idea, meticulously crafting it into the wee hours. But when the critical time comes to sell that idea, no time has been put toward it. Presenting an idea should never be downplayed. Have your team present it to you, and give feedback on the presentation. It’s a skill that is often overlooked, and the more it is developed, the better everyone will be.
Never stop learning
Technology is a bastard. It makes us do things that we don’t want to do. Like embrace Snapchat. But if you don’t play in the digital world, you will never understand it. Participate in the new or be rendered obsolete. And always, stay curious. No matter how many gray hairs you have.
Image courtesy Igor Bulgarin / Shutterstock.com
How gamers’ engagement with short-form video is changing
To better understand how modern gamers are engaging with short-form video, Digiday teamed up with Gamesight to pull key points from an exclusive report on gamers’ shifting video consumption preferences.
Inside SAG-AFTRA’s new deal with video platform Cameo
SAG-AFTRA and Cameo, the celebrity platform that connects talent and fans, have announced a new agreement that allows members to cover brand deals through Cameo for Business (C4B). Brands will be able to access more fan-favorite professional talent through SAG-AFTRA's health and pension plans.
Digiday+ Research: Extreme pessimism about the end of the cookie levels off among agencies
Agencies are still feeling out who they think the winners and losers will be as the end of the third-party cookie draws near, but they're doing so with notably less pessimism than they have in the past.
SponsoredHow agencies’ relationships with RMNs are continuing to evolve in 2023
This article is also available in Spanish. Please use the toggle above the headline to switch languages. Visit digiday.com/es to read more content in Spanish. Sponsored by Best Buy Ads As retail media networks proliferate, agencies are increasingly identifying RMNs as valuable opportunities for their brand clients as they seek quality audience data, meaningful reporting […]
Jose Cuervo Tequila celebrates UFC’s 30th anniversary with Kevin Holland, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson ads
Mexico-based Jose Cuervo, is the first tequila brand to be a direct advertiser of the UFC with spots featuring UFC fighters Kevin Holland, a Cuervo ambassador, and Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson.
Benjamin Moore is using OOH near big-box retailers to say their paint isn’t there, encouraging people shop local
The 140-year-old paint brand wants to make sure people know that it is only available at local retailers.