Whose idea was this anyway?
In the darkness of a movie theater as the credits roll by, you come to see what a big production putting together a feature film can be. The viewer is totally unaware of all the energy that has gone into creating the motion picture, which is the point of all that hard work — to make the final product appear effortless and fluid.
The audience takes away an overall impression of the experience that was created for them by an unseen team. A film’s main job is to capture you and captivate your imagination for a set amount of time. A few films might even send a message to your brain that sparks your thought process — to get inspired or take action or reflect on your own life and experiences. Sound familiar, ad men?
But the real “story” in the movies starts with the script. Creating the script is a critical part of the process, but one that is often overlooked by consumers. Talented script writers are in very high demand by the film industry and are paid handsomely, some even more than the actors themselves, for developing a movie script. Their main job is yes, to come up with a great idea, but that is misleading. Nurturing the idea throughout the entire creative and production process of the film is equally important to the viewer, or in agency speak the client and “their” viewers.
Just like the big Hollywood movie studio’s mission is to capture an audience, the advertising agency creative processes’ mission is strikingly similar.
Here is the problem: often someone at an ad agency comes up with a great “big idea” but then releases ownership of that idea which then stalls or dies because it has lost its owner and inventor. It is a mistake to think that the creative inception of the “big idea” is all that is required of its creator, and that the responsibility for the project now rests with someone else. It is important to not lose sight of the fundamentals in bringing the idea and everything that goes along with it to life.
Own your idea. Don’t expect your team to know what to do with your vision without the nurturing and input they need from you through the entire creative and production process. Your continued support for the project is just as vital as the initial stroke of genius that was the “big idea.”
Part of being on a team is acknowledging and appreciating the contributions of everyone who helps bring your idea to life. Everyone from copywriters to designers to production managers to account managers are equally committed to bringing the “big idea” to life, and you can support them and help them stay true to the vision. It takes equal parts creativity, technical skill, and team work to achieve the finished product.
When the work is done, no one should have to ask, “Whose idea was this anyway?”, because you have been there right beside them from step one.