Dec 1, 2010

Another brave Creative Director answers the WAS Challenge!

I'm stopping the bets since now another Creative Director decided to give us his input on our questions... plus the new ones that RestrictionsApply needs to be answered as well. So here we go! Enjoy!

1) Do you sometimes give changes on a campaign and/or ask for it to be redone... simply because you don't like it, even if it's on strategy and could be approved by your client?

Answer: No.

I might ask for another option that pushes things or looks at it differently, but if there is work done that is on strategy, than I am fine with it even if it isn't my favorite.

Me: Man... where were you when I was 26?

2) Do you stay with your team if they have to work overtime, even if they don't need you for hours or do you leave and go play Golf or some other thing? If you do leave... do you feel guilty or not?

Answer: First off, I don't play golf. It's stupid.

I am there as much as my team. We have a skeleton crew, so if there is work to be done I too have to do it. 

But I try to make sure my team leaves on time every day. Sometimes it can't happen, so when it does it's really not that bad.

Me: Another question... where were you when I was 34?

3) What things creatives do that REALLY annoy you beyond belief?

Answer: Play the expected part of being a creative.

You are a marketer at the end of the day. Use your talent to solve the problem at hand. Don't play into the flaky, unorganized label that account service trys to put on you. Prove them wrong.

Me: Sometimes we do find ourselves fighting between you and the Account Director... it's like a Mom and Dad situation but without the cool toys at Christmas.

4) Why do great creatives get fired instead of crappy ones? Is it all about money at the end?

Answer: Money and politics.

Me: Can I add kissing ass? It sure works. Oh and boobs. Sometimes people are let go because they are lacking in the boobage department. Seen it happen.

5) Tell the truth. Have you presented something that you know is a total crap of an idea but you had no other choice? How did that feel? Is it the creative's fault or do you think you might have asked for more time to do something better?

Answer: Yes.
Long story short, we were backstabbed by account service. They tossed our presentation and had one of their own. We had the choice of spending the next hour before we presented to the client yelling and screaming at them or be the bigger people and do the best we could with the crap we had in front of us.

Me: That's it. I'm closing up shop and going to work where you are. Are you hiring? I can do great copy and good coffee. I also have boobs.

6) Do you realize CD's, by nature, piss creatives off at least 65% of the time? You know. You change stuff, you make us do "wittier" lines... difficult things. Do you live with that fact ok or does it bother you?

Answer: And GCDs and ECDs and whatever other titles that are above us piss us off.

In the end my job is to help creatives get better so they can take my job. So sometimes that means pissing them off by making them push themselves.

Me: Interesting point! Do you get angry at them like we do, secretly putting pins on voodoo dolls? Oh... it's just me then. Shit.

7) What have you done to NOT be the Creative Director you had previously that you just can't stand?

Answer: Realize I have the job. That success doesn't mean it has to be my idea, design or whatever. That I succeed by having my team succeed in anyway possible.

Me: Yeah, that is one sad thing that we lived. A stupid CD once reported at the end of a great presentation on which we ALL worked for, for months without seeing anyone, that this was all his idea. I almost cried that day, but because I felt sorry because my teammates could not see how asshole he could be.

8) Why do you not buy other things that pizza when we are working late? Do you think that if a creative team is going to work overtime the agency SHOULD buy very decent food?

Answer: Make a suggestion. Pizza is easy. And you can eat it quick and hassle free and be that much closer to getting the hell out of the office.

Me: Yeah but... we need a break to relax for a while. Granted, it means we will arrive home later, but at least we took a break to eat like a normal person. You can't imagine how good it feels to have those minutes.

9) Do you agree that if we work after 11pm that we deserve beers as well?

Answer: Drink whenever you want. Just get the work done and done well.

Me: Hey, the man that says yes to beer... can actually say yes to Tequila? YEAH!

10) Have you ever boldly gone where no CD should go? And yes, we mean have you ever banged a creative. Or thought of it.

Answer: My wife is a creative at another agency. Does that count?

Me: Yeah. Totally banged a creative.

10) When is it ok to say NO to a client with an impossible deadline? Or do you just ignore the fact that sometimes you need time and deliver the best crap your team can do in that allowed time?

Answer: A flat out no won't fly. But a we can't do that, but we can do this in that timeframe, can work sometimes.

But sometimes all you can do is say yes and deliver the least stinky crap you can. Because in the end it's a service industry.

Me: Ok here's the deal. I'm willing to pay for you to go and give conferences to Creative Directors all around the globe. The fact that you are ok with us doing the best we can, even if it stinks and that you are willing to show it to a client means that there is hope somewhere. People sometimes forget how hard our job really is and how limited time makes us less creative and more crappy. Your team is very lucky to have you.

Please clarify the main role of the CD: come up with good ideas? Inspire his subordinates to do their best? Run a solid department, on budget?

Answer: This will change from agency to agency. 

To me it's keeping the team on task. Helping them come up with the best ideas and work possible, and shielding them from all the political BS so they can just do their jobs. It's also teaching people all you can. Sharing tricks of the trade, giving them chances to grow as well as fail. 

Me: Don't remember the raise. The raise is good. The raise is holy. Oh and beer after 11.

How important are awards? Do they bring more clients to the agency? Do clients care about the award their ad won or the business it generated?

Answer: I think awards are stupid. I think most clients don't even know that most of the awards exist. But an agency might get some calls if they win some huge award.

Me: I think creatives think that they are worthy when they have a weird little statue at their side as well. I prefer cool toys and pictures of my friends and family.
Where do you draw the line between working for an award or making the client happy?

Answer: I want to make the client and myself happy. Because in the end that is all that matters.

Me: That and getting home early. It totally rocks.
What happens to most Creatives after the age of 35? Where do they go?

Answer: At the agency I work at there are a lot of people over 35. I think the harder question is for those over 35 that never did or wanted to really move up past Sr. art director or writer. Those are the people that are great at their craft but often make too much money for the title they have, and are the first cuts that an agency makes.

Me: Food for another post. Thank you so much!


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