One Big Idea by Anil Thakraney: Outsource creative work

23 Apr,2013

By Anil Thakraney


I think time has come to do away with the traditional creative department in the ad agency. There should be just one creative director in each office, and he/she must assign work to experts from different fields on various campaigns. This will bring in fresh, relevant energies to the brands, and it will lead to sparkling work. Need a long copy press ad with a serious tone? Invite a journalist to write it. Need a totally filmy treatment for a wood polish TVC? Invite a Bollywood script writer to work on it. Need a 360 degree campaign for a shampoo brand? Invite a funky hair stylist to do the honours. Need a campaign for a real estate project? Invite a Hafeez Contractor to your office. And so on.


This will not only help agencies cut the cost of huge salaries in a big way, their brands will benefit from new ideas and new ways of approaching communication. From professionals who would naturally know a great deal about their field of activity. The main problem with the current format is that creative personnel in ad agencies work on multiple brands at one go, and therefore their knowledge level and interest in many product categories is very limited. Many don’t even possess the desire to dig deeper for insights, and this leads to predictable, uninspired work. Even the hotshot names are able to deliver only one or two good ads in a year. This rotting system needs to be demolished.


The ad world needs to look outside for solutions. It’s time to quit being insular.


– The writer is a senior journalist and commentator based in Mumbai. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia


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