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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  My CD has solved the creative brief before he even gives it to me — HELP!

My CD has solved the creative brief before he even gives it to me — HELP!


Dear Jancy,
What do you when you have just been given a brief that needs an idea but because the CD has already read the brief before any creatives he/she has already got ideas that they may want to go with before you’ve managed to even had your first thought. Do you take their ideas into account and stick to that direction or completely ignore it and churn out some different ideas and hope they change their mind about the direction of the campaign?
The short question version: what do you do when the CD has already got ideas locked in their head before you’ve even read the brief?

intro My CD has solved the creative brief before he even gives it to me — HELP!Think of what they gave you as thought starters, which may spark something for you. If what you were handed helps, great. If it’s not getting you anywhere, don’t think of it as the little box you’re stuck in. Put it to one side and start fresh.

It’s not uncommon for the creative leader to share their ideas, and it can get heavy handed. They mean well of course. But equally, they stand to look best with the best ideas for their clients, and if that means your ideas come out on top, a good leader will happily put them forward.

We aren’t big on playing politics. If the boss holds on to their ideas and you don’t think those ideas work, honest dialogue is not inappropriate. Respectfully saying what you really think shouldn’t hurt you. The trick is to keep working to deliver great ideas for them to consider, until time really runs out.

If you find this becomes a chronic pattern, and your ideas are regularly killed in favor of solutions from the boss that aren’t great, it may be time to start looking. Your success is tied to a leader who will help you learn and go up the ladder, not treat you as hands to execute their ideas.

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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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