Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Agency I TO NIJE SVE! was joined recently by Alen Grozaj, a long-time senior copywriter from Unex. Below you can read what Alen had to say about the creative director’s work in a creative agency.
Creative agency I TO NIJE SVE! has a new Creative Director. How are you settling in?
Alen Grozaj: It was fast and efficient, we sat to talk and something clicked during the first interview. Actually, many things clicked. Creative agency I TO NIJE SVE! has a very clear idea of what kind of advertising it wants to do. And it’s not all sorts of advertising. Here we believe that advertising can be smarter, warmer, more subtle, but also more courageous. We believe in a creative process that is structured and yields results. And finally, we believe in brands – in their emotional and functional benefits (which always look for new ways of creative shaping) – in smart campaigns that promote these brands and in the better world of advertising we want and can build.
What is the most important trait of a Creative Director?
Alen Grozaj: This question can certainly be interpreted in many ways, but I would say that for a Creative Director it’s most important that they feel inspired. 24/7 inspired? Probably not. Something like that happens only in movies or in a commercial … and when we talk about advertising, it seems to me that there are those who, in their 30 or 60 seconds, can sublime a killer dose of inspiration and motivation in people (especially among those working in marketing agencies). They are easily more powerful than the effect of a triple espresso on an empty stomach, or the effect of Red Bull, making them look like lukewarm chamomile.
What would be the main task of a Creative Director?
Alen Grozaj: A lot can be said and systemized here as well, bit I would say it is to inspire their team. Simply, to work with people, direct them, and – it’s important, so we can repeat it – to inspire them. But no one can live from inspiration, it alone is not enough, but it is irreplaceable. In that famous taunt “I know, I want, I can,” the inspiration for which it is good to go hand in hand with motivation, is compatible with the latter two concepts, while the first one takes a little more time and space. And here is where a creative director can help.
And how do you win a client with all that inspiration, good will, great desire and positive attitude?
Alen Grozaj: An easy answer would be persistent work. But that doesn’t say much. Work is a fairly broad concept, and in order to deliver good results, we believe it must be well structured. It’s good to be inspired, but inspiration needs to be directed, guided, tailored … creative director can help here as well. In order to guide inspiration, a creative director must understand the processes and the language of the different entities involved in the emergence of a single campaign. They must speak the languages of the designer, of the brand and of the client, and translate them simultaneously and fluently.
Creative director may or may not need to know typefaces, they may or may not know how to use drop shadow or verlauf, but what you must know is how to fit all the parts into a whole – how to recognize the red thread that leads the good idea to an excellent campaign. They must know how to make the thing work.
In this process, perspectives are important – different viewpoints, angles that slowly move and adapt to the needs of the brief (which also often “moves”). In this process, questions are important, because questions take us closer to the answers. Knowledge and experience in the creative process are variables. What we know must always be challenged anew. Knowledge needs to be updated, built upon, or sometimes even subtracted – things today are changing too rapidly for the acquired knowledge to stay lulled in its comfort zone.
How do you decide which idea is the right one?
Alen Grozaj: There’s a notion that you will best sell your idea to the client if you convince them it’s actually their idea. Working with a creative team means effective navigation through a sea of ideas, and choosing the best for – caution, this word is a bit heavy – execution.
The most interesting, but also the most challenging part is this navigation: an idea surfaces, then another one, one is rejected, some other is elaborated further, another one just sparks and disappears, some are already seen (how come you don’t know that?), some have potential, another one is award-winning but won’t go down with the client well… Here the role and the experience of a creative director is essential – pulling out ideas with potential, further elaboration, directing the team towards the goal and the desire that everyone give the best they can, and then some. And if the team members are inspired by a brief on that certain day, perhaps with some other campaign, maybe radio music or a YouTube playlist, maybe an anecdote they heard over coffee … all that represents a chance for a successful creative process to happen and to end the day with a good new idea. And then you win the pitch. And then, perhaps you win an award as well.
It doesn’t sound too complicated…
Alen Grozaj: Let’s be honest and admit that there are days when even the creative director is specially motivated, and asks for the moon. He presses on, nothing is good enough… it can always be better. Trends are glittering on all sides. Which one to hook on? Awards are shining from all sides, which one to invoke? Does the client’s product / service have the potential for imposing its own trend? Winning its own award? Things can always get complicated.
We are here, we work, combine research and associations, we dissect the target group and mingle with it if necessary… But we have to press on. Standing in one place is not an option. Going in the wrong direction? It doesn’t matter. There are no bad directions, only bad attitudes.
What does the dynamic of a creative team look like?
Alen Grozaj: A creative director must respect their team. It doesn’t matter if everyone always gives the same. It’s important that everyone give their maximum, and that they love what they are doing (and if they really adore it, then it’s an extra plus).
And when the creative processes start, when the wheels start turning, when good ideas start piling up, then the creative director may take a breather, drink coffee, see what happens on some other, parallel project, and let their team reach the goal.
Then they only need to straighten some typos in the presentation, and impress the board of directors.