Tuesday 9 December 2014

I want my creative done by a suit. Said no client ever

Would you let an accountant come near you with a scapel? How about a bus driver fly a plane? What about letting anyone but a creative come up with your advertising?

To those super modern agencies that think advertising ideas can come from anyone: they can't. Because, while everyone can be creative, not everyone is an advertising creative. 

In business, creativity is the only legal advantage remaining. Marketing plans, business strategy, corporate restructures; these can all be emulated. But creativity is unique. 

And because brands can do all the other stuff themselves, creativity is the exact reason why they come to agencies. And is why: I want my creative done by a suit. Said no client ever.

Or a producer, or a planner, or an MD or an office manager. In fact, if a client learned that anyone but a creative was doing their work, I'm sure they wouldn't be happy. 

It's the equivalent of going to the dentist, reclining in the chair, and just after the gas mask covers your face, noticing it's the cleaner coming at your mouth with a drill.

You're just not getting what you pay for. 

So, while it makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy to say anyone can come up with an advertising idea, how about a little bit of respect for the creatives (♫ just a little bit ♫), who - from juniors to ECDs - work hard to master their roles. 

A football team where everyone plays their position is far stronger than a team where everyone's trying to score a goal. 

So maybe, instead of telling everyone they can do a creative's job, we should be encouraging everyone to be the best at their own position and, as a team, win the game.

Christopher Ott


  1. Similarly, account planning is - in fact - the job of account planners. This is remarkably hard for many suits and creatives to understand ;)

  2. Same for account services - we creatives and planners are always trying to do their job. Wait, no we don't.