Are “digital” creatives the future for traditional shops?

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what the future’s creative department should look like and who it should be headed by. Do traditional shops need to get rid of their old guard and make way for leaders and practitioners steeped in the traditions of the digital shops?

Surely they need to get rid of dated thinking. Kick out folks who can’t code, tag, and develop an app. And there’s no one who understands how to make use of the new tools available than someone with a digital background. Right?

But what about all that brand stuff? Is a techno creative really better equipped to communicate the client’s brand story than someone who’s been focused on it their entire career? Aren’t the truly great communicators capable of doing their job in more than old-school traditional media?

Digital creatives are getting dinged for lack of branding and planning experience. While traditional creatives apparently can’t grasp the internet. But are either of these characterizations fair?

I think people are getting too caught up on resumes and not focused enough on real skills. For example, I work at a traditional agency yet the majority of the work I do lives online. Some of the work I do is even social media marketing – imagine that. Does this make me a traditional creative or a digital creative. I suspect in the eyes of many recruiters who can’t get past a resume it makes me a traditionalist. But I just see myself as being current.

Marketers need professionals that can tell their story and engage their customers in all media. Be it on Twitter or on a billboard. And that is best done by a media neutral creative, working off a media neutral brief, for a media neutral media buy.

I don’t think the best creative comes from a digital or a traditional background. What is important is their grasp of  today’s tool, the future, and the client’s business.

Posted on: June 4, 2010, by :