Resetting into a “normal” week following all the fun I had last week at Creative Week, I must say:
Aside from the exhaustion, I feel great!
In less than two months, I will have completed my first year in an advertising creative department. One day – many years from now – I will look back and be proud of the energy and fortitude I showed toward my career at this time.
Maybe I’ll even be fortunate enough to sit on a panel for Creative Week New York 2022 discussing, “My First Year in Advertising”.
On that platform, I’d have the opportunity to boast about the beginning of my wonderful journey; I plan on having an exciting story to tell.
All throughout and across this year, I have thrown myself into the industry.
I write for the Advertising Week Social Club, and I am just starting the exciting journey to work with Creative Week. I never really know what to expect – but I am always eager to find out what’s next. Because what I do know is this:
There is no way that the experiences I take part in will leave me with LESS inspiration and energy than before.
I am an avid believer that as a newbie in this industry, I have a lot to learn from my more “seasoned” peers.
The greatest personal gain from my experience at Creative Week is that no one has to agree.
What makes the industry amazing and bright – and what always keeps it fresh – is the varying opinions of our best and brightest stars.
I watched ECD’s and Innovation Officers disagree time and time again this week. It left me energized. It reminded me that I can continue to wear my afro and Dr. Martens – all while maintaining my slanted views about the strategy department.
Just because I didn’t see things the same as others in my office – or even and especially, my closest peers in the industry – doesn’t mean I am wrong or unfit. It is our differences that make the industry unique and keep it thriving. Even in a career field that sometimes feels structured and corporate – see: bow ties and suits – there will always be room for plaid shirts and Chuck Taylors.*
Some of the most interesting questions raised during this Creative Week will most certainly have plenty of room for debate. Creative Directors all carry the same title, but the differences in opinions are what make the individual agencies unique.
Here are a few of my favorite – and most-debatable – quotes from Creative Week:
- “I think creative departments are s&!#.” – Colleen DeCourcy, CEO/Founder, Socialistic
- “Ideas are useless!” – Dave Clemens, ECD Taxi NYC
- “Ideas are the holy grail.” – Jimmy Smith, Chairman/CEO, Amusement Park Entertainment
- “Creativity exists within constraints.” – Patricia Stokes, author and adjunct professor, Barnard College
- When are financial motivators better than social motivators?; i.e. Buying your employee a drink vs. offering a raise? (Paraphrased) – Faris Yakob, Chief Innovation Officer, MDC Partners
- “Constraints are necessary.”
- “Ad agencies have to create a new brand model. They no longer have the same wedge in the industry. Brands are creating more content on their own, and the initial reasoning for advertising agencies is now gone. The structure of the agency has changed, and now brands are working with a multitude of agencies.” (Paraphrased) – The Big Picture with moderator Warren Berger of Wired Magazine
- “Rapidly ideate and iterate…creative departments should not be fearful to move quickly. (Paraphrased) – Agile Creativity with moderator Torrence Boone of Google
All in all, Creative Week offered top-notch networking opportunities, while also urging all attendees to take a second look at the industry. Are we all evolving with the world – and what are we doing to stay ahead?
This has been an especially optimistic week for a young creative like myself. I am prepared to head back to my desk each morning with a special dash of positivity for the future of my industry and my career.
This is something we can all use a little of from time to time.
*It was scientifically determined that creative and art directors hold an undeniable uniform of plaid shirts, denim jeans, and sleek sneakers.