This Creative Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

9 Oct

I remember learning about the creative revolution when I was at Brandcenter. I always wondered what it must have been like to have lived through it. And lately, I find myself thinking about people  like Bill Bernbach, Phyllis Robinson and all the other ad legends who helped shape the creative revolution. Were they nervous about the unknown? Excited about the possibilities? Frustrated with people who were in denial of the change that was happening?

Now that we’re in a creative revolution, I feel what they probably felt. And that is a little of everything, but mostly pure exhilaration. Being in the beginning of a creative revolution and working in advertising is pretty amazing these days.  From mobile apps, augmented reality, social media and the amazing breakthroughs in technology, the world and the way information is delivered  is changing every day. And the possibilities, well, we’re just scratching the surface.

As the world evolves with the exploding development of social technology, a few things have become clear to me:

1. Evolve or die. Any agency who refuses to do this will perish. It is not the 80’s. It is 2009. And a print campaign cannot solve everything anymore. Audiences are segmented and you must be willing to consider mediums and platforms that you are not familiar with and be okay with it. Open your mind and be creative.

2. Fuck so-called experts. We’re in a creative revolution and we’re all learning. Claiming to be an expert means you’re closing your mind to more possibilities and you believe you’ve achieved the highest level of understanding. You may know a lot. But no one in the revolution is an expert; we’re all students.

3. Everyone has a voice. Your customers. Your employees. Your family. Nowadays if you piss anyone off, your brand or agency or name is fair game. It can and probably will get slaughtered publicly on forums, comment posts on blogs and social networks. Don’t assume it’s like the good old days when people just talked shit behind your back. Today, people talk shit about other people publicly to the entire world wide web. Which reminds me, it’s probably good to have a crisis management plan for when the shit hits the fan.

4. Promote collaboration. We live in a time when it’s no longer cool to be a one-man show. Ideas require collaboration to bring them to life. From developers, QA, information architects, art directors, copywriters, producers, designers, illustrators… there are a shit load of people who must work together and often, in different offices or remotely. Do yourself a favor, promote collaboration and strong teamwork. Don’t be a tool and treat developers like monkeys or nobody’s. Same goes for anyone on your team. You want respect? You gotta dish it to receive it. And if you don’t believe me, just know that these other members of your team who you take for granted who hate your fucking arrogant guts.

5. Love the process. Mark Fenske used to say this. And it’s true more than ever. Today, the process creates headaches, fights, computer related eye strain, carpel tunnel syndrome, beta testing, wire frames, etc. It can be complicated and frustrating. But that’s because every project is a learning curve.  So you gotta love the process in order to get the idea to not only come to life, but blow users’ minds.

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