Why the best Creative Directors are Pedestrian Thinkers.

Why the best Creative Directors are Pedestrian Thinkers.

Everyone in advertising and marketing has a tough job … constantly asked to do more with less, and engage consumers who just really don’t want to be bothered. But Creative Director is a uniquely challenging role because it demands two types of thinking that don’t generally go well together.

To be successful, a Creative Director must be equally Visionary and Pedestrian.

It wasn’t always that way. Most of the historically great CDs we know and love are celebrated for the almost alchemistic way they seem to come up with great ideas. You know, someone like …

unknown

But great ideas aren’t enough any more (if, ever, really, they were.)

To be a truly successful leader, a Creative Director must also be Pedestrian. But not pedestrian as in “dull and unimaginative.” No, pedestrian as in “people in motion.”

A great Creative Director, in other words, must not only focus on the destination (the great idea)— s/he must also build the roads that make it easier to get there (process).

Without both those abilities, a CD might be accused of acting like the little kid in the backseat who endlessly asks Are We There Yet? Not only not knowing where “there” is, but also not offering help in getting “there.”

The best Creative Directors (should) spend as much (or more) time thinking about how to make the path to a great idea as direct and intuitive as possible as on the great idea itself.

And that’s a tough double act to pull off. The big picture thinker isn’t generally the nuts-and-bolts person, too. But, of the two skills – being Pedestrian may offer the greatest value.

And again, no, that doesn’t mean being boring. It means helping everyone travel more effectively and efficiently in pursuit of the best possible solution.

Calling your Creative Director “pedestrian” probably won’t go over very well. But helping your Creative Director be more Pedestrian might be just the thing your organization needs.

 

 

Case Studies

AdWatch: Apple, Maya Angelou and The Human Family

AdWatch: Apple, Maya Angelou and The Human Family

What do you say when you are a global brand? What do you say when your products are practically ubiquitous … shorthand for an entire class of technology? What do you’ve when your champions and critics have said nearly everything that could be said? You let a poet speak. You let a poet speak not…+

Case Study: 35% Response Rate

Case Study: 35% Response Rate

How do you get a 35% response rate on direct mail? (How about 40%?) I was showing some of my past work to a prospective client the other day, and I happened to pull out a dimensional mailing we did years ago for Nordstrom … the one that got nearly 40% response when it was…+

More from the Blog

Looking for a Winning Strategy? Try the Constanza Method.

Looking for a Winning Strategy? Try the Constanza Method.

You, me, and everyone we know have gotten to where we are today by leaning on a few tried and true techniques … approaches … strategies. Call them your go-to moves. Or your core competencies (if you are in that kind of TPS-Report-kind-of-organization.) Our brains are hard-wired to repeat what has been successful in the…+

Why the best Creative Directors are Pedestrian Thinkers.

Why the best Creative Directors are Pedestrian Thinkers.

Everyone in advertising and marketing has a tough job … constantly asked to do more with less, and engage consumers who just really don’t want to be bothered. But Creative Director is a uniquely challenging role because it demands two types of thinking that don’t generally go well together. To be successful, a Creative Director…+

What does “Independent George” have to do with brand voice?

What does “Independent George” have to do with brand voice?

Stick with me for just a minute. And let me tell you about how George Constanza puts his finger right on one of he biggest dilemmas that face brands and the copwriters who support them. First, let’s step into George’s world, just for a second. It’s one of his greatest rants … the one where…+