Creative Direction Of A Creative

A very smart ex-colleague of mine, Jason Lonsdale, found this incredible article, How to Catch Lightning in a Bottle, written by W+K's GCCO, Colleen DeCourcy, after the recent D&AD awards. 

I had to share it. Thanks, Jason.

Over the last few years I started losing, I guess, hope in this industry I love and I wanted to be in since year 9 at high school. 

Losing hope that creative was/is headed towards becoming just a data-filled marketing dashboard on a laptop that turns a graduate into an advertising expert once downloaded. 

That formula now takes precedence over fantasy.

That 25 words on a digital billboard flanking a highway is now easily digested and acceptable, as opposed to a minimum of 9 words for motorists to read, when I learnt how to write them.

Those who know me know I'm a cynical prick when it comes to this game. I've always called bullshit. It's got me down more times than I'd like, and made me question over and over, what my role within this crazy industry actually is - am I still relevant? Is this still my home?

It's why I, why we, need articles and speeches like this from people like this. To know the fight is still on. To join it. Otherwise, I'm fucked. 

I've never been to D&AD to judge. But gee, I wish I could go there one day just...to be there. A fly on the yellow walls (assuming there are some yellow walls there).

Steve Back and Damon Stapleton, also mates (and mentors) of mine who recently went to D&AD, returned with their glass bottles ready to fill with lightning. I guess it's now their jobs to pass on this excitement and hope to their teams. And hopefully it, in turn, brings magic to the work.

I've now been on both sides of the fence, witnessing the ad world from two angles. It's different but not different.

Creatives want their ideas to be loved. Brands want to be loved. 

All I know is that I still need to make this stuff. 'Need'. Not like to, or reckon it's cool to, I need it. It's how I'm programmed; it's how all creatives are programmed. 

I've spent years singing the praises of advertising, and also been guilty of putting my boot into it. 

I'm not too sure what lies ahead of me, right now. What I do know is that I won't allow others to do the fighting while I sit on the sidelines. 

I've been blessed to have learnt how to write ads from some of this industry's best people, from David Nobay to Jane Caro, Luke Chess, Tim Brown, Eron 'Eza' Broughton, Justine Armour, Vince Lagana, Andy DiLallo, Andy Firth, Aisea Laungaue, Scott Waterhouse, Dave Bowman, Jay Benjamin, Jay Furby, Rebecca Carrasco, Steve Carlin, Malcolm Poynton, Ted Emery, Luke Dunkerley, the list goes on and on and on.

Jesus, look at those names. 

Any amount of clever software can't compete with this. Surely, not.

Yes, I feel like a square peg in a world of round holes, at the moment.

But as Damon said to me, 'at least you're not the hole'.

Here's his article from D&AD, Judging D&AD. The Hustle and Strive. You should read it, too.