Creative vs. Creative Director

There's an article in CA's Interactive Annual by Xanthe Wells called "Promoted to Fail." It includes  this chart from Rob Schwartz.

I love it. It's true. Absolutely true.

But if you're a young creative with aspirations of becoming a creative director, don't just jump to the right-hand column. Embrace the left side. Be about your book. Have lots of ideas. Worry about now. It's what you need to do now.

Someday, you'll realize you're more concerned about the client than your book. You'll know what finding the idea feels like. Unifying won't sound so lame and kumbaya-ish.

Nothing wrong with either column. Just know where you fall. And play your part as best you can.

It doesn't have to be what you think it has to be.

I'm a fan of Stephan Sagmeister. I like his book. I like his TED talks. Maybe I'm suckered by the Viennese accent, but I think he does fascinating work.

Sagmeister was asked by Adobe to "make an interpretive graphic of their logo." A lot of creatives would have come back to Adobe with just that. A different version of their logo. Sagmeister gave them a game show. The first episode is below. But you should view the entire experience here.

Episode 1, Sagmeister X Walsh from Sagmeister & Walsh on Vimeo.

I work at The Richards Group. And though I'm not on this account, one of our most famous campaigns is the Chick-fil-A cows. This is one of the longest-running, most-awarded advertising campaigns around. And the Cows were completely off-brief. Not even close. The idea was at odds with the original strategy. It took guts to present something off-brief to the clients. And it took guts for the client to buy it. But it's done pretty well for both parties.

We all approach assignments with pre-conceptions. And sometimes we're able to overcome them. But even then, we still stay within expected parameters. Yes, we have clients to answer to. And yes, we have to be grown-ups and deliver what we promised. But don't let that stop you from doing something more.

It doesn't have to be what you think it has to be.

The 30 Most Creative Women In Advertising

How many amazing, world-class female creatives can you name? (Go ahead, post them in the comments section, I'm curious.) Not just good female creatives, but Cannes-jury-level female creatives. Off-hand, I can think of four or five. And a couple of them aren't really in the business anymore. I know there are more. But unfortunately, they don't come as easily to mind.

There are lots of women in advertising. But not on the creative side. At least not in my experience. If you're a female writer or art director, I hope you can change that. I hope you can put your stamp on the industry. Here's a list to get you inspired. It's The 30 Most Creative Women In Advertising according to Business Insider.

Go through the list. See how many of these women you already know. You probably already know their work. See what they do, and how they do it. Then, go do it yourself.

Guys, you may want to pay attention, too.