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A’s for Q’s: What’s the biggest strength an Art Director can bring to the team?

A question from a Brandcenter student


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Carolyn Hadlock

3 years ago | 1 min read

I love this question because I came up as an Art Director. I’ve written before about how unusual it is for ADs to become CDs. Writers typically evolve more naturally into Creative Direction.

There are many reasons this happens. Some of it is the sheer amount of time the AD has to spend on projects which precludes them from being able to spend time concepting with their partner.

Another is that US advertising is very verbal based. Writing is at the core of presentations, briefs, communications and campaigns. Noel Haan has good advice on this topic.

But I’d like to take a step back and reframe your question. The proper question is: What’s the biggest strength a creative can bring to the team? The people that think of themselves as a certain position when it comes to the team limit their ability to contribute beyond that position.

Sure, you are ultimately responsible for the art direction, writing, or strategy, but when it comes to providing value to the team, the best way to thinks across all lines. Ask questions a strategist would ask. Write thoughts for the brief. Dream beyond the brief. Talk to the media planner.

The one thing these creatives have in common is they think backward from the brand’s goal vs forwards from their specific role.

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Carolyn Hadlock


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