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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  How can a “suit” best help creatives make great work?

How can a “suit” best help creatives make great work?


I am in a junior account position at a small agency. My client is very demanding and stubborn when it comes to the account team and even more so with my creative team. This has lead my creatives to put out what we all agree is inferior work and have a generally demoralized and sarcastic attitude towards my client and sometimes to me, not that I blame them. Considering that clients will be clients, what can I do on my end to boost their spirits and get them to turn out some really great work?

intro How can a suit best help creatives make great work?Where’s your senior account person when it comes to motivating your creative team? More importantly, where’s your creative director? Does your creative team work on only one business? Sometimes the energy can be found by working on other accounts. Everyone should have things to work on that make the job exciting and fun. But it’s not just up to you. Your creative team has to want to do good work for their own pride not just for the clients.

What is your creative team doing to help the client’s get excited about the work? Are the presentations involving? Can you make the briefings an adventure? (Once our Unilever clients kidnapped us, took us on a bus to old Fort York, made us dress in army fatigues and briefed us as if we were a military special forces unit. It was tremendous fun and it motivated the creative team like crazy.) Are your clients ever exposed to other people’s good work? Have they ever been sent a copy of Archive? Are they ever invited to watch the Cannes reel over lunch or drinks? Do you have conversations with them about the kind of ads they like?

If people never see how high the bar can be they’ll stay stuck in the same box forever. If you were to sit down and watch a reel of great ads with them, notice what they like, what they laugh at maybe you can lay the groundwork for a better product in the future. This kind of stuff doesn’t change overnight unless a new senior client who embraces brave work comes in . Otherwise only time and relentless effort can change things. And to be perfectly honest not everyone can be moved there. Good for you for wanting to make a difference. But if other people in your shoparen’t already trying to do this you’re being let down by more than your clients.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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