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The Influencers

Should the Traditional Art and Copy Team Still Exist?

INFLUENCER: Havas Düsseldorf's Darren Richardson asks the why and how of changing this traditional way of thinking

Should the Traditional Art and Copy Team Still Exist?

I know this is a subject that’s been batted around for years, but I have honestly not seen much change. I look at myself as well with the agencies I have built up and run.

Well I'm now taking a step to change this... 'finally', most of you might say. But like I just said, most are talking and not doing.

Saying that, we still need the skills of traditional art and copy - they are not just important, but vital - but we also need other skills such as technology, digital, social media, design, 3D, editing to name a few.

Before I changed, I asked myself a couple of questions: why should I need to change and how do I change?


Why

Clients are wanting quicker, cheaper and better solutions, because their customers want the same, therefore we have to deliver on this. Gone are the days where we get a brief and have one month to work on strategy, then another three weeks creative before presenting to the client. Then you have more time, with many rounds of changes.

These days we could have a brief from the client and be asked to respond within 24 hours with solutions, these solutions could be live tested and adapted while in market.

This sort of quick creation takes a mindset that reacts in a different way vs the creation of a 30 second TVC. It takes a different team set up to get the concept from thought to produced in a very short time.

To recap: we need to work quicker and better which equals time and skills.


How

Let's look at how smaller agencies work, most of the time they work on project-based work. When the job comes in they put a team on it that can answer the brief in the quickest and best way possible. Most of the time they hire in freelance specialist to compensate for the lack on knowledge in a certain field such as technology.

So why not use this model in the larger agencies, but instead of freelancing use shared specialists across the group?

Instead of fixed teams why not select people best suited to the project?

We should break the traditional structure to be more flexible in the future. We don't always need the big teams or groups you would normally see in an ad agency, we could have skilled people that are flexible, and are able to team up with either an art or copy partner one week and a creative technologist the next.

The brief defines the team...

Sounds logical, but how many are really doing this vs firefighting because your structure doesn't allow you to do otherwise?

To get back to the headline of this post - should the traditional art and copy team still exist?

In my view - yes, but they should open up to working in different constructs otherwise they will become a hindrance rather than helpful.



Darren Richardson is Chief Creative Officer Düsseldorf and European Executive Creative Director Digital at Havas