Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Copywriters are creatives too

I'm glad to say my current agency doesn't make this mistake, but it's one I've encountered so many places, I have to set the record straight.


Too many times, account people have asked me to "work with the creatives," not work with the other creatives. Too many times have I heard, "Hey, we're having a meeting. We're gonna need all the creatives, and you too." "Let the creatives handle that." "Give this to a creative." "This invite goes out to you and the creatives."

And for some reason, every time, the "creatives" are art directors or designers. I realize that the days of the traditional copywriter/art director pair are long gone at most agencies these days, but for people who went to school for this sort of thing, you'd think it would be clear. Maybe they didn't think what I did was that creative, maybe it wasn't valued. Perhaps, because I wasn't using specialized software they had little knowledge of, I wasn't included in that group. Or perhaps, they just weren't used to having a copywriter around at all.

Whatever the reason, it confuses the bejeebuz out of me. 99% of ads are composed of two crucial elements- the visuals and the words. That means copywriters create HALF of the creative product of an ad, assuming they aren't entirely responsible for coming up with the concept themselves. So, to not call a copywriter a creative in my mind is insulting, as it implies that we "just write" and aren't creative. It implies that what we do serves some tertiary function and that the art directors/designers are the ones doing the real creative work. It's tantamount to pretending the House or the Senate has no role in making laws. They both have equally important roles, and to imply otherwise is brazen and smacks of under-education.

So remember everyone, copywriters are creatives, too. If you don't realize that, you need to go back to school.

No comments: