The Need to Cross-Train Creatives

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MARC BROWNSTEIN: The conversations at our agency used to be about which agency creative teams will work on what projects or clients. That has changed. Now, the question is this: how do we align the interactive creatives with the traditional (advertising) creatives, to collaborate on our clients' work?

It's a challenge. In my experience, traditional art directors and copywriters allow ideas to bake. But in our digital group, they microwave ideas. And neither group wants to sacrifice quality. Despite that, the traditional group has a bit of an attitude about the digital group. And, yet, our digital talent are every bit as good as the ad teams. And it shows in their work. The trick is to get both teams playing nicely together in the sandbox.

So they try to put me in a King Solomon role. But I won't have that. We try different solutions. I'll put a digital copywriter upstairs on the traditional floor. We'll mix and match digital and traditional creatives on projects. Sometimes that works like a charm. Sometimes, it bombs.

We know that -- in the future -- the two disciplines are coming together, and we won't hire any creatives today that can't cross-train. But until we have a whole agency of those who are cross-trained, looks like we'll have to continue to manage in the sandbox.
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