Putting Ideas Into Play
There once was a time when the Client told the Agency what they wanted. The Agency filled out a Creative Brief. The Client approved said Brief and the Agency went dark for a few weeks only to return in the Creative Review to present a variety of concepts, each of which "delivered" on the Brief, but at different levels of creativity (as in; one concept was "way out there", one was "pushing it a little" and one was "exactly what they're looking for"). Those days are over.
In today's world of real-time-everything, clients have no patience for agency dark periods. The creative timeline has collapsed and become a matter of days instead of weeks. Even the Creative Review has changed. Rather than being treated like mushrooms, clients today want an active role in the creative process. They want to see work in progress and they want the ability to alter the direction of the work if things head off in the wrong direction.
Technology has facilitated that evolution. Digital Asset Management tools like ConceptShare give agencies the ability to share creative with clients in a real-time, interactive workspace that allows each to review, comment on and make adjustments to creative assets. Some systems even offer side-by-side comparisons of different (or modified) versions of the creative as well as audit trails so you know when changes were made and can easily refer to (or revert to...) prior versions.
Is this the death of the creative process? Are we doomed to a future of franken-designed deliverables? Or is this the start of a healthier, more agile creative development process? A process that teams people with a deep knowledge of the product or service (aka the clients) with people who make it their life's work to find the most compelling, unique and (dare we say... provacative?) methods of presenting that product or service to catch the attention of and motivate action from potential customers. We think it's the latter.