Some people in advertising think clients are stupid.
Clearly that's rubbish, but I think there is an opportunity to help some clients better understand the role of creativity.
So what can agencies do to help clients feel more comfortable about creative ideas?
How can agencies encourage clients to write better briefs which open up the door to better creative solutions?
Here's one idea to start with (with a few more to come). There's no doubt lots more and I'd welcome any ideas.
AWARD School for Clients
Award School (Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association) is a 12 week course about ideas, creative thinking and the processes involved in coming up with great ideas (and ultimately great ads). It's primarily aimed at people wanting to be art directors and copywriters in the ad industry. Anyone can apply.
Lecturers from the ad industry talk every week about how to spark ideas, or great creative within a particular medium, or some other creative principle.
Groups of students are also allocated to agencies, where students work on a brief evey week. These are evaluated (quite ruthlessly!) by agency creative teams.
I did it four years ago when I was a Marketing Manger. It was one of the best pieces of training I have ever done in my career. The key benefit was that it taught me how to write simpler, clearer, more powerful briefs.
It also exposed me to creative ideas across all mediums. It helped me understand what the creative team has to go through. It helped me appreciate the power of a creative idea.
Whilst some marketers might always revert back to the comfort of a formula ad, it can only help when marketers better understand creativity and embrace it, so they can at least make a balanced decision when it's time to approve creative.
Now that I've written this and searched for the Award link for this post, I see that there actually is an Award for Clients! Great news.
What might make it even better is to replicate the AWARD School course designed for future creatives. Make it an 8 or 12 week commitment. That's probably unrealistic, but even a 4 week commitment would be more beneficial than another 2 day training course.
If clients don't know about it (like I didn't), it might be worth a mention.
Advertising approved by someone who didn't do Award School