Sep 25, 2007


So there's this interactive creative team I know, great guys who do excellent work.
I stumbled upon their LinkedIn profiles the other day and it struck me as odd that in the section right under your name, where the rest of us put things like "ACD at BBDO" or "VP/Account Director, BBH," they had this:

Senior Partner, Creative Director/ Workhorse/ Guy with an idea or two, Big Agency* (perform off and online magic)

Associate Creative Director at Big Agency. I dabble in the Internets ;), print , DM, TV, whatever needs to be done

What struck me as odd was that they clearly felt the need to shout out their non-digital, offline creds in order to be taken seriously. And the reverse just isn't true. I mean I doubt you'll find too many Creative Directors at BBDO who put "Creative Director Who Also Knows His Way Around Designing A Website" on their LinkedIn profiles.

And I don't think these guys are misguided: for all the talk of how digital is the future, how it's where everything is going, if you're on the ground, with the troops, in September 2007, the people who work in digital are still not getting anywhere close to the respect they deserve.

Especially in big, allegedly integrated agencies.

*Agency name omitted to protect their privacy


Anonymous said...

Not sure why they wouldn't want to lay claim to it if they've done great work online, but it sounds like they're afraid of being pigeonholed as "just internet creatives."

As we all know, creatives get typecast just like actors do, whether by other creatives, headhunters or Creative Department Recruiters.

Then again, I've always thought being wishy-washy about where your true passion lies gets you nowhere. Plus, you can try to spin things however you want, but at the end of the day your book and reel don't lie.

Maybe they want to zag while everyone else is claiming to zig, and in a brilliant stroke of ad biz genius have decided that now is the time to begin doing TV and print exclusively.

Contrarian investors. I like it.

Alan Wolk said...

FATC: Creatives get typecast as either "digital" or "traditional" (or even DM or promotional) because there are few jobs that span all categories. Even the big "integrated" agencies keep the creatives in separate silos.

Now the prejudice against digital creatives isn't totally a fear thing. In the early days, online was the domain of technologically oriented designers and DM writers looking for a change. There weren't too many people who understood marketing or had any background in traditional advertising so the quality of the work suffered.

Unfortunately that stereotype has persisted even as the quality of people who work in digital has improved.

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to me. All the more reason to get the heck out of the BDA world and go to a shop that "gets" what you do, I guess. I understand how the typecasting happened in the past (and how it happens still) and agree that it sucks they feel the need to shroud their "great work" inside more traditional terms. Regardless, though, I think that in order to move on to bigger and better things via LinkedIn (or wherever) they'll be better served by dropping the references to traditional stuff and just describe themselves as being the interactive badasses they truly are. (Come to think of it, Interactive Badass is a cooler title than all those others anyway, IMHO.)

Alan Wolk said...

@FATC: I agree 100%. Their self-descriptions scream desperation, not confidence.