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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : January February 2008
UP FRONT NE T#WORK How can creatives retain their everyday genius? If the agency’s creative knowledge only consists of static files on servers, a bunch of emails and the rented brains of the current employees, it isn’t much more than a name with a reputation, a building and a fancy coffee machine, writes Tim Buesing, who has just left NetX Sydney, where he was lead creative, to take the CD position at OgilvyOne. The following is a plea for more permanent creative knowledge to be retained within an agency. Buesing: “Since any key person leaves an organisation at some point, they take with them a wide spectrum of extremely valuable knowledge, including industry and target group insights, confidential data and relationships”. THIS MIGHT NOT SOUND LIKE a sexy thing to work on, after all, a me ssy creative haircu t goes well with a messy creative process, right? Tell me if any of the fo llowing emails sound like they were plucked from your own email inbox. If so, y our agency might want to change the way it creates and learns in orde r to ret ain more of t heir intellectual property. This is not abou t addi ng more processes but giving creatives more headspace for their thinking. After all, adver tising isn’t getti ng any easier. From: <Art Director> To: <Studio> Subject: new h ero shot for in-flight magazine? Guys, just got royally whacke d b y the CD for us ing outdated imag ery, who knows where the new s tuff i s on the server? Who worked on it last and is that person still with us? C’mon help me out here…don’t want to look like a dud again. Here Mr. R oyally-Whack ed dreads poking around on the server. His ema il reflects the firs t e scape route: ask a colleague. So maybe the fi le will turn up on the s erver , because it sim ply got mispla ced i n an obscu re fol der structure. But what if it rests on the hard d rive or as an attachmen t in the inb ox of a long-departe d c o- worker? Quite l ikely, this art dire ctor wil l transfer the problem to an account 8 CAM PA I GN B RIE F person and waste their time finding the resource. Research shows tha t staff so urce between 50%-75% of i nformat ion relevant to their wor k f rom ot her people. It also shows that more than 80% of an organisation’s digitised infor- mation resides on ind ividual ha rd dr ives and inside p erson al f iles. This means that individuals - rather than the organisations - control the bulk of essential knowledge wit hin an agency. From: <Creative Director> To: <Traffic Manager> Subject: utter waste of time!!! Look, next time you dial me into all those r eviews, make sure that “di rec- tor” a nd those “cr eat ives” ov er i n Adelaide are up to speed with all the script changes we put in during our off- site. And what happened to those b ril- liant ideas for different online edits that I tossed at them last time? Our CD produce s (na tura lly!) brilliant ideas in a break out ses - sion, on the go or dur ing a te le- phone call. His creative team unfor- tunately fails to catch the spark due to t hei r g eo-spatial se pa ra tion. Additio nally , nobody bo thers t o ga the r al l t hose scribbles an d assemble the various thr eads an d ideas in one common pla ce. The pitch work t hat started s o am bi- tiously scrambles to the finish line with creative direct ions t hat o nly narrowly answer the s trategic goals set in the beginning. From: <MD> To: <Digital Planner> Subj ect: facebook app ? <se nt via Blackberry> @ Group Summit, got hit w/ requests for “social networking apps”. You got some numbers, h aven’t you ? Remember some links you sent around ages ago. Need to fo llow up qui ckly. Pls add more hot trendy stuff and stick into a PPT, get CD in on some high- level creative if possible. Thx! Al though this s ubjec t has been simmering for some time, knowledge about it hasn’t grown b eyond the individual specialist. Links to bench- mark c ampaigns or valuable da ta sources are spread widely across individual PCs or lost in those long streams of emails. When our digital planner gets poached by the next hot shop, our agency will be back at square one. Solution: hire the next dig ita l gun for more m oney a nd hope he stays a bit longer. These examples show how email is an unsuitable tool for ga thering and retaining ideas and know-how. Emails are interruptive, di fficult to keep in context and the ol der a n emai l g ets, t he less valu able it becomes. Messages t hat s croll out of our preview window mi ght a s well not be there. Ema il doesn ’t work well in distributed offices nor is it able to integrate outside parties in the collaborat ion – unless y ou call sending attachments ba ck and forth an inspiring collaboration. Imagine cracking a brief with a team in two offices and several out- side par ties and fre elan cers, al l information and assets are available to all p artie s, and comments and thoughts stay in context and accu- mulat e con tinuously. I mag ine searching across a ll projects based on over arching topics such as an industry or a channel and actually finding it quickly. Digital support t ools for such a process are already available, for exampl e Del iciou s or G oog le Notebooks (collec ting and com- men ting book mar ks), Con cept Share and Slideshare (annotating and discussing scribbles and pre- sentat ions) and Soci al tex t or OpenTeams (collaboration). All of these tools allow adding meta data (descriptions), linking and attribut- ing different access rights. Most importantly though, this is a cultural change for how creatives work and has t o be adopted and brought to l ife by the creative lead- ership f irst. The need for better knowledge management in creative processes is evident. Campaigns are becoming more and more sophisti- cated to succeed in a fragmented med ia environ ment. If agencies don’t learn from mistakes and suc- cesses, they can never be better than their current workforce allows them to be . And since any key per- son leaves an organisation at some point, they take with them a wide spec trum of extr emely valuable knowledge, including industry and target group insights , con fidential data and relationships. J ANU ARY /FE BRU ARY 2 008
AWARD Awards 2007
March April 2008