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Change is due for the creative agency. In the year 2015 and beyond creative agencies must learn relevancy. A recent article I came across stated that clients are increasingly going directly to production houses for their creative – bypassing the creative agency altogether. That is no surprise. The client/agency relationship has been fraught with exponential frustration.

I was prompted to write this post out of my frustration in hearing and seeing many clients suffer at the hands of inefficient creative agencies. In short, I generally find myself  having to convince clients that there are creative agencies that are not rigid in their stance or positioning – they just ‘get it’.

Rewind to a little over a decade ago and creative agencies were just that: Creative. However, many were not generally concerned with production implications and the costs of their creative. Creative awards were all the rage and were ultimately most creative agencies’ end goal. It is my belief that the pursuit of awards, qualifies as a conflict of interest. Perhaps we’ve reach the point where those days are gone?

Advertising agencies used to silo their team of creative people and their team of production artists so that the two never mixed. This was a recipe that usually lead to added costs and time delays. And it was the client who was always on the paying end.

Unfortunate but true: The creative agency has taken many hits in the last decade. This is due in part to a niche mentality and an inability to embrace change.

The introduction of the computer (or more specifically Apple), in effect monumentally changed the creative advertising industry. The computer enabled creative output at speeds that were unheard of back in the early 1990s. Add the speed of creative output to the facility to create in software that ensures production outcome values and you have a major shift in creative dynamics. Unfortunately, the typical advertising and creative agency hasn’t moved forward on that front. Many still keep their teams siloed – thereby maintaining the frustration within the client/agency relationship.

Today a creative agency should be holistic, nimble, well-rounded and product savvy on multi-platforms and channels. That means all team members should be creative and should have a solid understanding of the production implications for their creative. That way, whether a client mandate is for a logo design, TV ad or multimedia and multichannel campaign, the creative team fully understands the potential pitfalls or issues that could arise. The team also works towards resolving those problems before they become an issue.

A creative agency must be relevant and provide value in marketing, creative and execution. One might have the best creative in the world or the most beautiful logo on a presentation screen, but if can’t be reproduced in the real world and with an acceptable budget, what value is that to the client? Ultimately success lies not only in the creative, but in its execution. If the execution and creative work is understood, the end result will be a creative solution of beauty and joy.

Do you agree?