Here is part two of Ad Industry Misconceptions. If you haven’t read part one yet, click here .


6- Creatives and accounts = natural enemies

To a creative person, there is nothing worse than seeing an innovative idea not getting the recognition it deserves. And it is beyond frustrating for account folks when they see a project veer way off target. When problems arise between creatives and accounts, it’s usually due to both departments not fully grasping the other’s duties and responsibilities. In any profession, it’s easy to just assume we know what it takes to do someone else’s job. Truthfully, both departments have great value and depend on one another to get the job done right. We’re all on the same team, working to achieve the same goal. When both sides communicate, compromise, and collaborate, the end results are always better. Office rivalries just create unwanted stress and reduce productivity in the long run. Accounts and creatives may have totally different perspectives, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get along. Our advice for anyone experiencing a bit of office tension: try to find some common ground to facilitate interpersonal relationships.

7- Having an open office space allows a more creative environment.

We’ve seen the open office floor plan become an agency trend in recent years. While it does cut costs and is more flexible than a workplace with walls, it doesn’t actually foster creativity. Any profession that requires concentration and creativity would be better suited to an environment free of distractions. While the open office concept does communicate the image of a busy and bustling workplace, constant noise levels and interruptions can be damaging to what little focus remains. In many open floor plan offices, headphones have replaced cubicle walls. At Freestyle, we prefer a nice balance between private and collaborative spaces, taking all types of workstyles into consideration.  

8- Wearing black is the standard uniform for all creatives.

Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent once said “black symbolizes the liaison between art and fashion.” Wearing head-to-toe black has been a popular choice among creatives for decades, but it certainly isn’t the standard uniform, especially in today’s agencies. An all black wardrobe may be practical, flattering, and timeless, but some creative types prefer to stand out from the crowd. Designer Jessica Walsh claims she made the switch from all-black attire to bold colorful separates due to boredom. Like Walsh, some creatives look to express themselves through their wardrobe and find inspiration in doing so. Other creatives such as the late Steve Jobs and this agency creative choose to wear the same apparel every day in order to reduce trivial decision making, allowing them to focus more on the important stuff (the work).

9- Anybody can do marketing (including the client’s son-in-law and 2nd cousin twice removed).

When you see a print ad, a business card, or even a beer label, it’s easy to think, “I could do that.” What you don’t see is the hours of analytics, surveys, data gathering, and intense research constantly going on behind the scenes to make those things a reality. Marketing professionals go to great lengths to get to know consumers on an emotional level. It is essential to the survival of your business, so it would be wise not to let just anyone to run your marketing. True marketing is a science––it involves analyzing trends and constructing strategies that cultivate lasting relationships with consumers. Marketing is constantly evolving, and a professional understands how to stay several steps ahead of the competition.

10- Bigger means better. (Bigger agencies come up with better ideas.)

When looking for an agency to work with, don’t let size dictate your choice. Bigger is not always better––that is especially true with advertising agencies. One of the biggest advantages to working with a smaller agency is flexibility. Each employee is required not only to be an expert in his or her field, but also shift roles and acquire additional skills to reach client-based goals. With bigger agencies comes more levels of corporate hierarchy and less individualized attention to client needs. Those layers of management also tend to slow things down and can even prevent a faster turnaround. Small agencies also tend to hire individuals based on talent and ability, rather than hire to meet department numbers like many larger agencies.