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Wax Your Boards

the creative"the creative" is a column focused on the creative side of digital marketing.

Stephen P. Williams has worked as a copywriter, long-form writer and author for a wide variety of creative agencies, like Rokkan, RAPP and Co:Collective. He's written a dozen books, as a ghostwriter and author, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, GQ, Smithsonian and the first true online magazine, word.com.

This morning I ate breakfast at The Breslin in NYC with a 50-year-old freelance "experience director" for a number of leading agencies. With a tinge of disbelief, and not a little disgust, he described once working with a much-praised 50-something creative director who in meetings repeatedly, and proudly, said, "I don't get digital. I just don't understand it."

It startles me to see how tentatively some people (to be blunt: people who are, like me, over 50) approach the 0s and 1s that define everything around us. It's like they're just waiting for this whole digital thing to die down a bit. We olds tend to look at technology just as a tool for making things easy, or a toy for our entertainment. Rarely do I encounter olds who have a sense of wonder about the almost fantastical changes happening around us. But just as my experience director friend and I had to ditch our traditional bacon and egg notions in order to enjoy our modern breakfast of poached eggs with curried lentils, and baked eggs with spiced tomato and chorizo, olds facing digital need to expand their minds.

I spent most of my career as a kind of literary snob, avoiding advertising work in favor of coming up with ideas for "meaningful" magazine articles and books (ok, there were quite a few meaningless ideas in there too). But a few years ago I realized that this snobby world was (thankfully) dead to me. The new online world had just gotten too exciting. So I started doing digital creative work whenever I could. Who wants to just write words when you can create a whole experience online? And more importantly, who wants to think in print terms when the rest of the world, clearly, is leaping into the digital fray.

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New Platforms, Devices And Opportunities Means New Design Skills For The Creative

the creative"the creative" is a column focused on the creative side of digital marketing.

Tom Moran is Executive Creative Director of Seattle-based digital shop POP.

If you work at an advertising agency today, you are likely moving at warp speed in several different directions while staying as synchronized as possible.  With so many new platforms, new devices and new opportunities available to help clients express their points of view, it’s not a bad time to be a creative.

However, as we all know, innovation requires new skills, and some of the most important skills creatives are learning to adopt are not ones they’ve traditionally associated with design, but that are now equally as important as understanding the value of white space.

Here are five new design skills that I see as essential for success in today’s creative environment.

1. The Creative Has Become the Teacher

Before creatives can sell in their beloved idea or execution, they need to first make sure they’ve fulfilled their new role as teacher and guide to a client bombarded by changes in the industry.  While clients may think they know the latest news in the platform wars, or what is possible on Windows 7 vs. Android, the opposite may be the case.  Creatives have to hone their ability to explain complicated concepts in a way that connects with their clients.

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Our Diminishing Private World

The Creative"the creative" is a column focused on the creative side of digital marketing.

Today's column is written by Barry Lowenthal, President of kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners' The Media Kitchen.

I was inspired by a SlideShare presentation written by Paul Adams (@padday) who works on the UX team at Google. The presentation discusses the convergence of our social networks. I thought the presentation was terrific and it got me thinking about what privacy means today, especially given the recent expose on the topic by the Wall Street Journal.

I have many social networks. I have groups of friends from various life stages that I’ve accumulated over the last 45 years. I have friends I went to Yeshiva with and friends I went to camp with. I have friends from Cedarhurst, where I grew up, and friends from college. I have friends from my first job at NW Ayer and friends from my current job at The Media Kitchen. I have friends from the gym and friends from Fire Island and friends from the NY Tech Meet Up. I also have friends from Laughing Yoga class. I probably have a dozen different offline social networks. Some of them overlap offline and online. But in many cases friends from one network don’t know the others. Usually it doesn’t bother me if my networks collide but in some cases I like keeping my friends apart. In some areas of my life I like keeping my activities private.

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Creatives Must Not Fear Quantitative Analysis Says ECD Moran

the creative"the creative" is a column focused on the creative side of digital marketing.

Today's Q&A is with Tom Moran, Executive Creative Director of Seattle-based digital shop POP.

AdExchanger.com: Is there a divide between media and creative today?

Absolutely not. In the big picture, media is just one of many touch points in the overall creative experience. It's a medium to get the customer to engage and experience the brand.  To be a creative inside the digital landscape, you must be able to think and execute across all digital media.

As digital media increasingly involves the use of complex data and analytics, what must creatives do to thrive and remain successful?

Creatives must not fear quantitative analysis of their work, but should instead embrace the power those insights can bring.

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Is There A Divide Between Media And Creative?

The Creative"the creative" is a column focused on the creative side of digital marketing.

Today's column is written by Barry Lowenthal, President of kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners' The Media Kitchen.

The original thesis presented to me by AdExchanger.com was that technological innovation is occurring on the media buying side but there is less innovation on the creative side. In fact, according to AdExchanger.com, there may be a rapidly widening gulf.

I’m not sure this thesis is entirely accurate.

Although my perspective is shaped by my own agency situation, and not based on an industry-wide survey or vantage point, I’ve noted that media buyers have actually grown closer to the creatives as innovative technologies help bring ideas to life.

The shift from buying media placements direct from sites to buying audiences and individual impressions in real-time on public and private inventory sources represents one of the most important media buying and targeting shifts the industry has seen in a long, long time. This shift has not only changed the way media folks think about media buying, it’s also forced the creative to think about segmentation, relevance, and messaging, which directly affects content creation.

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