Monday, May 09, 2011

Creativity in the Digital Space - Part 3

+"For this project, there's no creative. Just copy."

If you've ever heard that phrase, or a similar variation on it, you probably work in a digital agency. And you're probably a copywriter. And it probably is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard.

It's funny how in some cases, the digital world still doesn't understand the value of copy vs. design. In comparison to a traditional agency, copywriters in digital agencies tend to be seen as less important. Many places have crazy art to copy ratios, bringing in freelancers and contractors when necessary.

Some of this is baggage carried over from the early formation of the web when it was driven more by designers and coders. Copy was secondary to knowing how to create a gif and putting the code together for the design. But, the funny thing is, unlike traditional TV or's a lot harder to have anything digital without copy and strong calls to action. So, to me, this makes little sense. And especially when calling out creative but not including copy in that's all creative.

Beyond the words, copywriters are idea-birthers. They should be involved from the beginning of the process. There's no reason you would have a designer go work in a corner and a copywriter in the other and then have them bring their work together like some twisted death match. The best work (and this is something many digital agencies can learn from the traditional shops) comes from collaboration. From teamwork. Why concept disappeared as advertising moved to the digital side of things, I'm not quite sure. But it's time to bring it back. And look at the new creative team overall.

Agencies that use this model with their creative teams will be doing work that is better and smarter.

1 comment :

Kelli said...

Preach it! My agency is small. It's large in my city/area, but small by comparison. I am the only writer for three ADs and I'm frequently not busy while they are slammed. Between the problem you mentioned, clients who think they can write and AEs that think they can write, I am frequently declared 'nonessential.' It's the most frustrating thing. I think I know how my doctor feels when I walk in and say, 'So I was looking on web md..."

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