The strategist-creative team – a source of better ideas?

I’ve been hunting around recently trying to find some decent articles about ‘the new creative team’, i.e. not the traditional pairing of art director and copywriter, but one that is more suitable for the integrated, digital world we live in.

I first came across the idea about 4 years ago.  A pal of mine had moved as a solo creative to Work Club, which she said was super exciting after working for years in a creative team.  She said the best thing wasn’t just the energy the place had but the fact that she was frequently paired with a strategist (in the same way as she would have been paired with her former copywriting partner) but also working very closely with UX designers, developers, and other members of the wider team.  These guys understood the technology as well as the creative idea.

The result was a constantly changing team who brought something new to the table every time they met – even if it was just a fresh face and a bit of enthusiasm.

At the time this seemed really outlandish (but thrilling).  I thought that perhaps this would take the traditional ‘creative’ off their pedestals and into a situation where they were properly useful, in helping everyone come up with better ideas, and in helping everyone feel like part of the idea.  It was a much more caring, sharing way for things to be.  The epitome of ‘we don’t work in silos’, which is what everyone says but is often not practiced.

Since I started working in digital 4 years ago this has become a far more common way of working and it is something we do at Equator.  I very much enjoy working in a pair with a designer/creative, and also with a wider team, and I believe that this really does help to get the balance right, avoid too many meetings, keep the focus when it’s needed, but also ensure that idea generation and collaboration on ideas is something everyone can take part in (and pride in.)

There are a few articles that I came across in this search which reflect the experience my friend and I have both had, from ‘opposite sides’, i.e. she as a creative and me as a strategist:

Edward Boches The new creative team and getting it to work

This really reflects my friend’s experience and offers some great tips for making it work in your agency.

Olivier Altmann and Richard Pinder The new creative team (this opens as a pdf)

This is a similar article to the above but it’s also about new ways of working more generally.

Rory Sutherland Who make better planners?

The result of one of these black/white debates which essentially came up with the result that we need a good balance of planning/strategy and creative.  And that they should work more closely together.

Richard Huntington Is Planning in crisis?

Again, a simplistic question but some interesting points made about how we have to move with the times.

Edited to add: David J Carr So what is planning now we are all digital?

A really nice article about changing roles of brands means changing roles for planners.  (Better roles, actually.)

If you know of any other articles that fit, I’d be really interested in reading them.


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