Talk About the Work

If you want to get better at recognizing (and ultimately creating) great work, you need to talk about it. With your partners, with your CDs, with your planners and account team. You probably already do this, but let me tell you why it’s a good thing to do. By talking about the work…

  • You internalize why it’s great (or why it sucks). Those values become a part of who you are as a creative.
  • You open your taste to criticism. And education. (Someone at my office thought this was a great “commercial.” Obviously, we need to talk about great work with her more often.)
  • You become more capable of articulating why something works or why it doesn’t. This is an invaluable skill if you want to be a creative director or judge an awards show. (“It just isn’t working for me,” is not helpful direction.)

Seeing the work Fred & Farid did for Wrangler is good.

Understanding why it won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year is better.

Having an opinion on whether or not it deserved such an honor - and being able to articulate it (see Lubars' comments) - is best.

And you get bonus points for knowing the opinions of your partner, creative director, agency president, and planner. Because that will let you know what kind of agency you work for. Not because they agree or disagree. But because you’ll know that they’re thinking about what’s great, and what it takes to get there.