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How to Unlock Your Agency's Creative Code

How to Unlock Your Agency's Creative Code

Rules for managing and improving your advertising agency's creative product. Creative Agency Management, How to Shape Your Agency's Creative Identity, ad agency management

May 20th, 2013 |

20 pages


By Mark Stuhlfaut, Ph. D and Kasey Windels, Ph. D.

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In this report, you will learn:

How to Shape Your Agency's Creative Identity

The Four Dimensions of Creative Excellence

Creative Agency Management

Creativity drives the advertising business. But on the way to producing eye-popping, jaw-dropping campaigns, agencies typically are unaware of a powerful hidden influence: the social forces within their organization that affect their perceptions and judgments about creative products.

The Creative Code refers to the values that people have inside an agency for what represents creative excellence. Understanding an agency's Creative Code can lead to understanding how efficiently a creative group works together, what work gets approved, how consistent the quality of the work is, what new ideas get heard and how the group approaches risk taking. This resourceful guide to ad agency management includes practical implications for copywriters, art directors, creative directors and top management.

This research is the product of more than four years of investigation and five studies. Qualitative personal interviews were conducted with more than 100 creative directors, copywriters and art directors at 12 U.S. agencies, ranging from large international multi-office firms to regional, consumer, business-to-business (B2B) and multicultural specialists. National surveys captured opinions from 557 creatives at an additional 200 U.S. agencies of all sizes.

*American Academy of Advertising Winner*
Ad Age partnered with Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University to sponsor a research paper contest for the American Academy of Advertising, an organization of advertising scholars and professionals with an interest in advertising and advertising education. This report is one of three winning papers that came out of that peer-reviewed process. Ad Age is committed to bringing the best academic thinking on current business problems to its professional audience, and to encouraging productive interaction between the two communities.


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