June 5, 2008
This is a response to an article that RGA CCO Nick Law had penned in Creativity.
Check it out here
I am a huge fan of Mr. Law and respect pretty much everything he has to say, however I disagree with his ideas about the diversity of teams in our industry.
Idealistically he is 100% correct, however in real practice we still need to go out and mine the ideas, to look for them like gold and diamonds and to bring them in and communicate them in the most creative ways possible. No one team member is going to consistently come up with new ideas and even the story teller role is limited to the exposure they have gotten in their lifetime.
The old guard knew how to tell a story, they were immigrants, they were refugees, they were idealists who were laying the foundation for a new world, however we are the spoiled great grandchildren who are still living off of the fat of our forefathers, we need to somehow find our voice and speak from that place genuinely.
This is why the user generated content trend has lasted so long. Its genuinely raw. That is what the old Mad Men had over us, they told stories the way people wanted to hear them. We tend to repackage everything and pay little attention to the lack of substance in our campaigns.
YES! We do need a new role of the story teller, the narrative craftsman who can weave the tale in an interactive and entertaining way that translates to the mediums that we are now executing for.
In all respect, Mr. Law, I think your being a bit too idealistic. I agree that the creative tent needs diversity and that has always been the desire of the entertainment/ad/creative world, to capture the hidden moments and human nuance that makes us all laugh, cry and think.
To tell a story and to involve those who you would never think would allow themselves to open up and shine a light on those small dark spots we call intrigue. To celebrate our humanity through creativity and to ultimately sell products and services based on the obvious needs our complex human race and its many facets.
However... it is our jobs as creatives, technologists and producers to find these rays of light, and then to put them on a stage.
They are NOT in the tent nor do they belong in the tent, they are hidden gems out there ready to be mined. We need to extend ourselves beyond the confines of our offices and to glean the stories that are out there and to retell them in the ways only we as a creative industry can.
That is what makes a good creative better than the next.
Storytellers and stories worth telling are the clovers in the field for us to find.
They are not under our desks or in our offices, they are walking around in the streets and fields of the world.