Media and creative agencies often have similar objectives of finding “the big idea” that will help sell the brand to customers. The creative idea and the media that is selected to reach the consumer contribute to the magic that becomes an award winning campaign.
Often, as agencies work together for a brand’s success the lines blur and it becomes difficult to identify who is in charge of leading the campaign, which then raises the question: Who owns the idea?
In the AMASA Forum held on 3 February, Sheila McGillivray, our Tribe Leader, joined Johnathan Deeb from FCB in a debate hosted by IIthateng Mokgoro (TedX) to discuss and debate the issues around “Who owns the idea?”
With another Awards season underway, and entries for industry events, such as Cannes Lions Press,being disappointing, the discussion began by questioning the entire role of advertising creativity. Is creativity in crisis? If there are great ideas, are they actually benefiting brands or consumers?
As the“Who owns the idea?” debate progressed, the comments from different industry perspectives were as diverse as the industry itself.
From an agency perspective the question of creativity and ownership is sometimes a difficult space to be in. Agencies are entrusted with building a brand through creativity as well as making them commercial viability. Ultimately, it is the agency that ensures this comes together, which is why they have usually been recognised for having the creative idea. Agencies are also feeling the pinch in terms of losing some of their creative leverage as strategic and media companies begin to pitch directly to clients.
Increasingly however, the collaboration between the media, advertising and marketing industries has meant that the idea and where it comes is really now a group effort. Gone are the days of ego-driven campaigns, and as one of the speakers so aptly said: “With regards the Ego-nomics of Ideas, the ego has no place in brilliance.”
The panel agreed that like-minded people have the power to bring together brilliant ideas. But when marketers and creatives are in a room the brand supersedes them both as the most important entity, “In the rock stardom for creativity-the brand is actually ‘the star’.”
While the issue of creativity and idea ownership is a complex one, the following points were raised in terms of how to manage accolades for creativity better:
- Although collaborators are paid by agencies or sometimes directly by the client, this does not publicly acknowledge that the idea was collaboration.
- The presence of both marketers and brand managers at creative circles and Awards shows would go towards showing that the brand creative idea is owned by a multidisciplinary team.
- Having the right marketers on the job helps to ensure a brand`s long-term success.This will also mean that the“idea” is more likely to stay true to the brand promise for the consumers.
There were more excellent suggestions raised at the first AMASA forum of the year. Some of these being:
- Do we need an industry standard for idea generation to exist?
- Should there be more standardisation for paid for pitches?
With so many controversial issues left to discuss to keep our advertising and marketing industry vibrant and fair, One Lady and a Tribe looks forward to being invited to another forum.