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What makes branded creative concepts magical? In a recent LinkedIn discussion, someone commented that the reason why creative agencies were no longer relevant was because computer software (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) had replaced what was once reserved for creative directors, illustrators and designers. As a result, it removed the magic that was once part of the creative agency positioning for their clients.

I do agree that computer software has provided access for everyone to exercise his or her creative ability – and that’s just awesome. However, to equate creative exploration with on point, branded creative concepts may be a little bit over the top. I don’t think it’s fair to say that the creative of branded creative concepts no longer provides that magical moment.

It’s a little simplistic to believe that creative concepts are all about design and only design.

To say that creative is all about software is quite naive. Consider the implications of what makes for a good solid creative concept. Branded creative concepts take time to develop in order to deliver that ‘ahh’ reaction. And trust me, it has nothing to do with software. Many clients know their business better than any agency will – as they should. Likewise, creative professionals and designers know how to develop good creative concepts – actually outstanding creative concepts.

I have run a boutique agency for over 25 years. I’ve seen the transition from the drafting table to the computer screen. From that experience, I can say that the creative magic is still there. Many of the mandates our teams have worked on through the years have involved various pieces of a puzzle. We’ve had to take those pieces and make them fit into one coherent, succinct creative concept that told a story. Other mandates involved taking dry, complex material and communicating it in a lighter, friendlier tonality. There’s nothing better than a beautiful piece of creative that is branded and on point. It’s simply a thing of beauty and joy!

Those of us who live and breathe creative think differently. Thinking differently is what makes for awesome creative. If software has taken away the magic of creative, then the same would be true of  TV ads, music, promotional contests, PR campaigns, music which still stand apart from the norm of mediocre. Time and time again we see “creative” that when properly conceptualize,  executed, timed, and delivered get a reaction – a good reaction.

Creative concepts when properly developed, designed and executed for a brand piece are magical. I could go as far as saying that the reason some feel that creative has lost its magic may be that too many are not approaching branded creative the right way. Many are only producing mediocre creative concepts that don’t deliver the desired results. All of this, in the business of marketing and branding, is not magical.

What are your thoughts on the subject? I’d like to hear them here.