“Creative” is Not An Adjective (A Public Service Announcement for CDs)

By Egotist / /

Creative Directors, please, for the love of God, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, tell your copywriters to pen something more “creative.” It doesn’t help you – or me. And it does absolutely nothing for the client.

When I hear the word “creative” I envision an out-of-touch, in-house middle manager who would never admit that he himself doesn’t really understand the word and uses it as a way to say, “just make some shit up.”

Vagueness, by definition, is unfocused and imprecise. It won’t lead me to something more inspired. It won’t lead me anywhere.

How could the Cadbury Snapchat filter and experiential pop-up shop, courtesy of Elvis, have been created without the terms “happy-go-lucky,” “mischievous” or “kaleidoscopic?”

(Remember, “edgy” isn’t a great substitute for “creative” either. Don’t make it your default. Not all campaigns need to use the words “awesome”, “genius” or feature the belligerent playboy laughter of Will Ferrell. We can’t all be Jesters.)

Instead, tell your copywriters to write more like the way Jack Kerouac thinks. Or the way Willy Wonka speaks. Or the way the Gorillaz sound.

Know the etymology of the client and product. Get really, really, really close to the end user. (Like so close that you can smell their B.O.) Know their intuition and be their advocate.

And then guide your copywriters with specificity.

That is all.

Marly Beste is a senior copywriter and junior account planner who has served in-agency and in-house, creating standout customer experiences that drive loyalty. You could say she’s obsessed. This article was cross-posted from the Denver Egotist