The Creative Resurgence of the Account Executive

October 27, 2014

The Creative Resurgence of the Account Executive
By Hill Shore

All right, I'll say it. This isn't what I came here to do. I came here for the creativity and the brand-building workshops, and I came here for the afternoon brainstorms over a beer. I came here to be creative, and to think dynamically. Not for this.

Not to blindly take notes, or to organize team schedules. Not to update and double-check status reports, or to crank through emails during the breaks of a day filled wall-to-wall with meetings.

This isn't a generational thing. Yes, I'm one of those, born between 1980 and 1995, but this isn't a case of Millennial entitlement. Think about it. The day-to-day has always threatened the opportunities account executives have to flex their creative muscles.

We battled into the industry fueled by creative firepower, but are now so focused on maintaining daily assignments that we sit creatively stifled, considering surrender as schedule-driven cogs in the machine. I mean, were we ever actually that creative in the first place?

Hold on. We are, and always have been, excellent creative thinkers. And, while we fight the uphill battle to prove we “Millennials" are willing to pay our dues, we can't afford to abandon that creativity. In fact, in our current positions, the implications are enormous.

If we repurpose our creativity to dynamically manage day-to-day tasks and approach every interaction with fresh thinking, we'll create a hotbed for our own professional development. Our otherwise-mundane tasks can become a training ground for skills that will revolutionize our careers.

Consider these perspectives:

Acting as the gatekeeper of all creative feedback and revisions can teach us more than good time and file management. “Please, proofread the creative, and send along to client." Sound familiar? We can become great process and time managers, but we have more thinking to contribute, right? Let's write POVs on why this creative works and send THAT to the client.

We can explain why the work resonates with the Millennial target from the brief. Or better yet, let's be the specialists on the target so we're the authorities on why the campaign works. With time, we'll develop an eye for great work, and build in ourselves formidable creative opinions.

Becoming comfortable with agency workflow during chaotic projects is actually a huge deal. We're learning to build teams that don't always follow process, and fill roles we weren't hired to do. We'll have to play digital producer, copywriter, project manager and planner every once in a while.

Developing a calm demeanor amid chaotic workflow will help us become steady, comforting leaders in the volatile agency world.

Delegating assignments to agency specialists can actually train us to become authoritative, multi-talented project owners. In fact, our broad access to the agency could be our biggest asset, as it teaches us to own agency opinions.

With each interaction, we can learn the details of every agency role. Shadow that planner you look up to. Have a beer with the creative who hates account management and figure out what makes them tick. At our best, we'll be a one-person agency, able to craft creative and strategic POVs in stride over a phone call.

If we re-energize our creativity, our daily work becomes a training ground to learn the characteristics of group account directors, agency executives, CMOs and CEOs. The busyness of the day, the thousands of emails, the brief interactions, and the hundreds of tasks are all small opportunities to grow into the leaders of the industry we're longing to be.

So…no, we aren't brainstorming campaign ideas or writing TV scripts. And we aren't yet key contributors to the brand planning sessions. But, we'll take it. Let's awaken our dormant creativity to form opinions that define meetings, grow into a presence that calms those around us, and become the support our teams need to do the best work of their lives.

It's time to get creative.

Posted By: Hill Shore

Campaign US Features John McClaire’s Article on Stayin’ Alive

October 09, 2014

Creative Technologist John McClaire's talks 5 lessons you need to know to fight of a mob of clients....or zombies.

Link to full story.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

The Martin Agency Included in Forbes Article on Making

October 06, 2014

Forbes featured The Martin Agency as an example in their latest article on "Why More Marketers Are Working With Companies That Actually Make Stuff."

"They define it as their “make it and take it” culture and try as often as possible to present a finished piece to a client rather that a rough idea. Putting their own resources behind an idea also shows to a client the commitment the agency has to an idea: 'If we put our heart, soul, talents, our craft into it, it endears us to clients. We become more partners than vendors.'"

Link to story.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Ad Age Announces Ritz Win

October 01, 2014

"We are excited about the opportunity to engage Martin on the U.S. Ritz business, a priority and iconic brand in our portfolio. We look forward to working with them on what's next for the brand in 2015 and beyond," said the Mondelez spokeswoman.

Link to story.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

The Martin Lab

September 24, 2014

In this video, David Vogeleer and Jeff MacDonald talk creative technology, getting your hands dirty and all things Martin Lab.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Jorge Calleja Named ECD

September 04, 2014

Richmond, Virginia – September 4, 2014 – The Martin Agency announced today that Jorge Calleja has been promoted to executive creative director. Calleja joined the agency in 2012 as a group creative director and was immediately instrumental in bringing in the OREO business with the creation of the Wonderfilled campaign.

“Jorge is a world-class combination of talent, brains and passion,” said Joe Alexander, chief creative officer of The Martin Agency. “He’s especially adept at creating iconic campaigns, like Wonderfilled. And on top of it all, he’s a joy to be around. We’re lucky to have him.”

Calleja will remain the lead on the OREO account in the U.S. and across the globe. In addition, he will continue to play a big role in new business. His guidance helped Martin win Chips Ahoy! and Stolichnaya vodka. He will continue to work with these two accounts in his new role as ECD.

Calleja has won every major ad award, including two Cannes Lions and two One Show pencils in 2014. Prior to joining The Martin Agency, Calleja worked on the Coca-Cola “Open Happiness” campaign at Wieden+Kennedy as well as on Honda, Adidas, Nike and LEGO in Europe.

Posted By: The Martin Agency