Creative Myopia

The lack of strategic thinking in design and creativity proposals leads indirectly to the standardization of creative results.

There are three variables which belong specifically to the work of agencies that result in the development of possible solutions adapted to repeatedly uninventive and unoriginal uses:

  • The excessive interference of the commercial team.
  • The client’s amateur criteria.
  • The tendency to mass communication.

These causes are not always external to the creative team. An advertiser complains: “¿Why do they hire me to think ideas that an account executive is going to correct later anyway? ¿Don’t we have any criteria?” My answer is: Yes, we do. But we seldom use it.

Therefore, in this article I want to develop a fourth item that leads indirectly to the standardization of creativity, which affects the creative team: the constant lack of strategic thinking. If “strategic thinking” (within the working model of agencies) is understood as the capacity to consider a creativity or design proposal as a whole and functional to the “company/market” system, then the following shortcoming in the delivery of ideas and creative results are exposed:

  • Production costs and deadlines are not considered. That is why we sometimes hear proposals that consider first level celebrities, unavailable promotional awards, complex and expensive participation techniques that could only be confronted by few brands in a international level.
  • The client’s business objectives are not taken into account. This leads to excellent proposals, which will probably make the author worthy of the greatest distinctions, but will not respond to the client’s needs in the least.
  • A high subjectivity in the proposals is prioritized. The advertiser or designer frequently forgets that the market does not have their same preparation and proposes ideas based on their own experience, knowledge and proficiency.

To ignore or avoid making decisions  about the variables over which the creative proposals will be judged implies granting the space for someone else to do so: the external or internal client, who is probably less qualified in the matters of design and creativity.

Hence, we must anticipate ourselves to this analysis by being the first ones to question our proposal strategically, comprehensibly and uncompromisingly. This does not imply that the advertiser or designer has to do, for instance, a cost analysis, or research the different possible programming languages to carry out their proposal. Neither will they have to limit their ideas initially to the restrictions of the project management, because this would affect adversely the process of creation of ideas. My proposal is an active, conscious and responsible intervention by the creative team, to build comprehensive and encompassing ideas that respond to the necessities and limitations of the client and the market.

No brief will include all the information to determine the success or failure of our proposal, but we will be closer to the former, the more detailed our proposal is, not only in the communication and creativity aspects, but also regarding the global management of the project.