Making Content Is Just Part Of The Creative Skillset In Adland

One key challenge for the ad industry is training aspiring professionals and putting them in the right jobs. Are they filmmakers? Social media mavens? Tech specialists?

"I think we are creative problem solvers for clients," says Susan Credle, global chief creative officer, FCB, during a Tuesday session at the 4As Transformation Conference in Miami.

"I didn't get into advertising because it was creating content. If that was the case I would have gotten into film or something. But I thought art and commerce together was fascinating." She says all agency executives need to understand the full scope of services offered by the industry to clients. Despite all the buzz surrounding native ads, content marketing and related areas, Credle said, Adland offers much more: "It is not about brands sponsoring content."

Credle was joined by Cutwater's Chuck McBride, R/GA's Chloe Gottlieb, and CP&B Miami's Gustavo Sarkis to discuss the state of creativity in today's rapidly evolving industry. 

A big part of the recipe for success is great people. Credle recognized that she was defaulting to "easy choices" when it came to hiring new talent. "It wasn't conscious, but I know five names, so let's go talk to them." However, she admits looking for more diversity is not easy. 

Gottlieb adds that there are three things the industry needs to do. One, look at the data since numbers don't lie. Two, look at how the industry hires and upgrade its current tactics. And three, “once people come in we have to make space for them." She mentions that she wasn't meant to be on the panel, but Credle was the reason she was invited to do so. "Otherwise it is likely to be four men up here but she made space for me." 

Sarkis points out that diversity isn't limited to gender and other much-discussed characteristics. It is important to expand beyond the U.S. as well. He emphasizes the importance of turning internationally for the "best talent in the world," which is what CP&B does to ensure it has many different points of views and a diverse culture. 

Cutwater's McBride reminds people to look at the "other end of the telescope" for the perspective of those entering the industry. "You didn't want to be a banker or salesman. Agencies encouraged you to express yourself.” 

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