How to Fuck Your Creative Team
It was about 2 years ago when I found myself at Intro Bar, surrounded by various copywriters and art directors from my previous Agency, toasting with such splendor and spectacular fêtes of Moët & Chandon. An iPod Shuffle was presented to me, which laid beneath a delicately wrapped champagne colored box.
No, they were not celebrating my departure from the Agency. On the contrary, they were celebrating my birthday. They had bothered to organize a surprise birthday party for me, in spite of all the pain and late nights I have put them thru.
It was at that significant point of my life when I first felt I was doing something right as a Suit. Not only was I not murdered by my platoon of copywriters and art director yet, they actually celebrated another year of my existence. The iPod Shuffle, which remains my daily companion as I commute to work, felt like a medal of recognition. It was my version of a Gold Clio Award.
As a Suit, you will run into conflicts with your copywriter or art director. Not always, but often enough to make you wonder how were you unlucky enough to be married to such a bastard. He or she is probably thinking the same thing too. Fact is, we have a love-hate relationship from Day One. Like the relationship our parents have.
How do you make your relationship with your Creatives work, and continue fucking like crazy bunnies happily ever after? Well I have a list of suggestions that may help keep you coming every night. Please note that the judgments made on made Creatives below are purely general and hypothetical. Bitch back if you disagree.
Suggestion 1: Know the size of their goods and how they fuck.
When you’re first introduced to your copywriter or art director, make the effort to unravel what’s beneath his or her clothes. Is he known to be great with big ideas but horrible with little details? Is she a famous award-winning art director with a matching inflated ego? It helps to know the size of your lover’s goods. It will aid you in the manner of which you manage him or her.
To cite an example, I have had a former Executive Creative Director (ECD) who could develop jaw-dropping concepts within hours but yet, found it difficult to even spell the Client’s brand correctly. What did I do? I invited a junior copywriter for a ménage trios to proofread everything the ECD wrote.
Suggestion 2: Be his/ her mother.
Creatives are kids at heart, says my former Group Account Director. I cannot agree more. This is not a bad thing. Suits are too pragmatic to retain any of their once-vivid imagination and this is one key characteristic that all Creatives worthy of their salaries managed to keep within their souls. And I’d like to think that this is very much related to the fact that they are kids at heart. While you milk their imagination for what its worth, as his or her mother, you need to be mindful of the following:
– Your kid will not do his or her homework unless you remind him or her
b. Allergy to Rules
– Creatives are allergic to rules. Sadly, there are some which need to be imposed – like corporate guidelines for example. If a 500-word legal disclaimers need to be included in an advertisement, it needs to be included in the advertisement regardless of how ugly it looks. If your kid’s gonna have a bad reaction against such a rule, serve him or her a chilled beer as medication. That usually helps. Or whiskey on the rocks, whatever’s up their alley.
c. Live with the pranks and create some of your own
– I was once in the midst of writing a creative brief one late night when my dear Creative Group Head decided to pull the power plug off. Admittedly, it is funny now when I mention it, but at that point, I was on the verge of strangling him for his silly prank. No, I didn’t save my document. And yes, I had to bloody re-write everything. While I was re-writing my brief, he decided to rewire all the Suits’ telephone lines so that Clients would be calling the wrong person the next morning. I thought that was funny. Hehehe. Creatives are born pranksters. Learn to live with it; it can lighten up your mood a lot. Unless of course, if they do get too far, I’d recommend this as payback:
Collaborate with Studio to create a fake Final Artwork (FA) that has either the headline with a misspelling or major alignment error (i.e. the second copy line runs out of the ad space), depending on who you intend to sabotage – the writer or the art director. Put on your Oscar® winning performance and present the fake FA to them, telling them of the mistake they’ve made which will cost the Agency thousands for compensation. Watch them snivel.
Suggestion 3: Have angry sex.
Good Creatives who are passionate about their work will have high emotions regarding it. As such, they tend to fight with you when you attempt to bastardise their concept into something it shouldn’t be. I agree they can get over-dramatic (God, I’m asking to you to include a blurb that says “NEW!” in the ad, not tattooed on your forehead!) but give me a Creative who takes pride in his or her work over one who simply takes orders. The latter should be in the Studio department. Yes, I will get killed for this statement.
Suggestion 4: Dress to seduce.
A vast majority of Suits are females. Females have tits. A healthy percentage of Creatives are males. Males have 2 heads. Do I really need to elaborate on this? Feminists can sue me for all I care, but your appearance does help in your relationship with your Creatives. I’m not asking you to bury their heads into your tits, I’m asking you to provide a little subliminal encouragement. Flirt, show a little affection, and use your brain as your best fashion accessory. It would go a long way.
Please note that Suggestion 4 is only applicable to women who are at least average looking (do a dipstick survey would you?) and above. If you’re fat, ugly, or above 50 years old, DO NOT EVEN TRY. It’s illegal.
Suggestion 5: Don’t try to take his/ her role.
Ironically, while most Creatives won’t bother to attempt to play Account Executive, plenty of Account Executives will attempt to play copywriter and/ or art director. I am as guilty as charged. At times when you think your copywriter/ art director is struggling to meet the requirements of the brief, and you feel the need to offer your 2 cents’ worth, start off your ideas with a simple header in your brief:
- Suggested directions to undertake (to be further consulted with the Creative Team)
Simple, isn’t it? Don’t hurt their egos, it’d come back and hurt you instead.
Suggestion 6: Swallow. Spit out sometimes.
In my previous Agency which is rather creative-lead, I had 10 changes listed on my progressive brief, of which 8 were rejected for their subjective nature. Go fight with the Client, they ordered. And I did.
In the same Agency, the ECD scribbled, “this brief sucks” on a brief I wrote albeit approving for changes to be proceeded with. I went up to him and told him in his face, “The brief doesn’t suck. I was clear in the requirements. The fundamental purpose of this ad is to drive sales by means of being tactical. While I agree it is hardly mind stimulating, I don’t agree I wrote a “sucky” brief.” I left him speechless by my audacity and walked off.
I strongly believe that it is our jobs to defend our creative properties. Our creativity is our product. We need to defend it in order to keep our product in demand with the Client. On the other hand, I don’t swallow immature and mindless attitudes ejaculated by insecure dickheads. They don’t taste good.
Suggestion 7: Do not fake an orgasm.
If your Creatives aren’t performing, please do them a favour and don’t lie with orchestrated moans and an eventual fake orgasm. At times, after fucking all day with other Suits (you don’t expect to be the only lover, do you?!), their libido can reach a hiatus and unfortunately, we have yet to invent a blue pill for creativity erection. If you know that their concepts will not fly with the Client, be constructive and tell them the truth. Let them restore their energy a bit and come back to you with better concepts. DO NOT sell what you do not believe in. Maintain that dignity.
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- January 29, 2007 / 2:29 am
- The Advertising Slut