Being creative isn’t necessarily the same as being A creative

An illustration of a creative working at a desk

One of my favorite movie quotes comes from Ratatouille: “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” I completely agree with this. So much creativity in this world goes unrecognized. Just because something isn’t artistic in nature, doesn’t mean that it isn’t creative. A structural engineer has to be just as creative as the architect in making a skyscraper come to life. Lawyers get creative when strategizing a defense or prosecution. Even most parents have to be creative to get their kids to eat vegetables. You get the point.

So, why does my neck hair stand on end when I hear people make that statement about creativity in advertising? Mostly because, in advertising, there is a difference between being creative and being A creative. A lot of what we do as creatives can be rather boring. A great brand is built by taking a great idea and defending it at all costs. This means every execution for a client within a campaign needs to be consistent in look, feel and tone. This actually leads to a lot of, well, uncreative work. For instance, a designer has to hold fast to graphic and brand standards. The writer needs to craft copy in a rather specific way. This is the part of being A creative that most people do not understand but is one of the most important parts for a client and a brand.

When we do have to flex our creative muscle, it isn’t the same as a painter or sculptor would. When you create just to create, you have a blank canvas. You can do anything. When it’s time for a new creative campaign, there’s a client with goals, a business strategy that all leads to a creative brief. These are constructs your ideas have to live within. Creatives always try to push the limits and bend the rules, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are rules. These are just some of the factors influencing where you take your ideas and how you execute them. That takes practice. It isn’t something that just anyone can do.

At re:group, we are creative people. We solve problems, we create smart strategies for clients that set them apart and we follow trends and help our clients stay ahead of the game. At re:group, we also have creatives. Creatives who have worked on clients big and small, and know the difference between what is just artistic and what is right.

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