Think you have what it takes to oversee the creative image and presentation of a company. When one hears or thinks of the position of Creative Director, advertising agencies and media companies come to mine, but other companies employ them to manage the brand of the organization. Creative Directors are typically treated as part of the management team, with real managerial authority within the company overseeing the team charged with shaping the direction of the company.
Presentation is everything, whether or not a company works in an industry where presentation is part of its business model, like fashion, media, or advertising. Creative Directors work with the managers of the company to determine what kind of image a company wants to present, and then they very tightly control the company’s image to ensure that it retains its integrity. The Creative Director oversees the art department that is responsible for generating graphic presentations of the company also dealing with copywriters, designers, and all company employees who are involved in some way with the company’s image. Creative Directors help to mastermind an ad campaign, assist a company with a radical shift in its image, or supervise public relations staff who handle press conferences and media inquiries.
Thanks to the instant availability of information in our 2.o world, the job of a Creative Director has become much more difficult. Every activity a company undertakes, which is inconsistent with its branding and stated mission, will be instantly critiqued and shared around the world, from the launch of new product packaging which falls flat, a new digital ad campaign that is off target to the revelation of investments in companies or industries which run against the stated ethical beliefs of the company. As a result, the image control required from a Creative Director includes a lot of damage control.
Qualifications for a Creative Director vary and there are no hard and fast rules, let alone college programs that train the skills to be a Creative Director. Degrees in fields like communications, advertising, and business are viewed as beneficial, but the best qualification is experience and the need to have thick skin with a work around-the-clock attitude.
Take a look at the new AMC show, The Pitch and you will get, although a bit scripted, a view at the inter-workings of agencies and their Creative Director’s role. They are the pivot and if not aligned often leave money on the table! Think you got what it takes?