During the last months, I`m asking CDs, Art-Directors and design managers the one question – what is the main headache in their job? This exciting experience became a good source for some blog series I`ll share with you later.
Nick Schon`s answer is great and I`d like to share it with you, guys, as it is.
Advertising agencies span the gap between a client (service, manufacturing etc) and the consumer. Many clients understand their consumers by doing constant research, and they use this to create what their customers want to buy. However much of the time these companies do not have the vocabulary to communicate effectively with their customers in ways which will be effective.
The creative director is at the lip of that very gap. The CD is where the two worlds come together, and often he or she is left trying to convince a skeptical client, bred on precedent and data, that some whacky, off-the-wall new idea is worth their precious media spend.
Many clients say they want new, original, even dangerous ideas, but retreat in horror when their ad agency presents them with something they have to ultimately make a judgment call on because researching it will only tell them so much. That’s one reason why advertising is pretty dull these days. Clients play safe, return to ideas that worked in the past or at least tread the path of a safe format.
There are some legendary CDs who cannot only convince their creative teams to be brave and different and to create great ideas in the first place but also generate belief and enthusiasm within the rest of the agency and with clients to give these ideas life.
The headaches for CDs are many but can include creatives who for whatever reason don’t create original, ground-breaking work, agencies that don’t support them for fear of losing a client, and clients who say they want great work but don’t really.
There’s more though. Within the industry, there is a lot of pressure for CDs to win awards. Their creatives want them, agencies do, and actually, some clients are surprisingly keen on them too. Very often CDs are judged by the rather elusive creative awards they may or may not help to win.
So the job of the CD is one of the juggler-of-hand-grenades. It’s extraordinarily tricky to get right and not for everyone. I know those who have been offered the opportunity but turned it, and the big salary that goes with it, down.
If you want to check more by Nick – follow him on Quora.