Is a great creative born or bred?

It is always a struggle to find great creatives, and the path to the top for many a creative is usually a long daunting road.

In an interview with Leo Burnett Worldwide’s Mark Tutssel, Marketing asked if it could be nurtured. No, is Tutssel’s take.

“I think great creativity is something you either have or you don’t,” said Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer Leo Burnett Worldwide.

In town for the agency’s global product committee where the network’s creatives gather to critique its own campaigns for clients, he spoke to Marketing about what makes a great creative.

“We are in the business of creating ideas and great creatives are eternal students of human beings and life and are great story tellers.”

“But the intuitive magical spark of creativity cannot be trained, because creativity is never a process.”

What can however be fostered and is much needed, said Tutssel are hard skills, techniques and the eye for detail which are skills that are vital for the success of a creative professional.

The evolving role of the creative rockstar

Social media has changed the dynamic of the consumer world and every individual today now has the potential to be a brand, a photographer or communicator, in control of their own story.

If everyone can be a creative, then where does that leave the role of creative directors?

Tutssel thinks of the role as becoming an “architect” or “director” of creativity, rather than simply being an ideas man.

A modern day creative director’s focus has now been shifted to “maximise the potential of an idea and content,” said Tutssel.

What is important is a strong opinion. “Modern day creative directors need to have strong points of view because otherwise campaign works become rather “beige”. Creativity isn’t about science. It is a subjective business.”

Are media agencies stealing the limelight?

Also, with the evolving media landscape and the growth of interactive consumer touch points, is the media industry today stealing the limelight from the creative fields?

Tutssel doesn’t seem to think so.

Media agencies, said Tutssel, are “laying out the pipework and the connective tissues” but unless creative folks fill that gap with meaningful content that creates an emotional relationship with people, this is all in vain.

“They are creating participation platforms for brands and weaving themselves into popular culture through technology but nonetheless, without creativity it is meaningless,” he said.

Rezwana Manjur
Southeast Asia Editor
Marketing Magazine Singapore
Rezwana Manjur, a true blue city girl and complete social animal, spends half her time sifting through advertising scandals, and the other half testing out brands' retail marketing strategies at the mall. She enjoys traveling and fantasising over the charming lads on hit TV show Mad Men. Most weekends, she turns nocturnal, except when brunch comes into play.

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