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The Cat Herder: The Role and Function of the Agency Creative Director
Unformatted Document Text:  THE  CAT  HERDER     12   length of the thread following the piece (41 comments) and the passion on both sides underscored the importance of great presentation skills. What the debate didn’t settle is whether both creative brilliance and presentation skills must reside in the same person, namely the creative director (2009). A Creativity magazine article highlighted the role of the creative director in “relentlessly” monitoring and tracking the best young creative talent in order to recruit (Gallop 2007). The job of a creative director has certain peculiarities. One that goes with the managerial turf in most creative endeavors is that “you become successful as a creative through a kind of reclusive, monomaniac, detail-fixated obsessiveness, only to find the job of creative director demands the opposite” (Campaign UK 2007). The creative director’s sphere extends beyond his or her immediate job description. Rather than the person with the best ideas, or the person who is the best judge of good work, or the person who can best manage the creative process, a creative director needs to shape the creative brain of the entire agency and build a creative conscience. His influence extends well beyond the creative department (Johnson 2011). Alex Bogusky, voted Adweek’s Creative Director of the Decade by a large margin, is described as “the one man who most shaped creative trends in advertising over the past decade” and one who has “reinvented the agency business” (Lippert 2009). These advertising industry perspectives further delineate key functions for the creative director, and add greater expectations. They also underscore the importance of understanding the role and function of the advertising creative director. Thus the goal going into this study was to answer the following research questions: RQ1: How is the role and function of the creative director defined by agency creative directors and creative staff?

Authors: Mallia, Karen., Windels, Kasey. and Broyles, Sheri.
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length of the thread following the piece (41 comments) and the passion on both sides 
underscored the importance of great presentation skills. What the debate didn’t settle is 
whether both creative brilliance and presentation skills must reside in the same person, 
namely the creative director (2009). A Creativity magazine article highlighted the role of the 
creative director in “relentlessly” monitoring and tracking the best young creative talent in 
order to recruit (Gallop 2007). 
The job of a creative director has certain peculiarities. One that goes with the 
managerial turf in most creative endeavors is that “you become successful as a creative 
through a kind of reclusive, monomaniac, detail-fixated obsessiveness, only to find the job of 
creative director demands the opposite” (Campaign UK 2007).  The creative director’s 
sphere extends beyond his or her immediate job description.   
Rather than the person with the best ideas, or the person who is the best judge of good 
work, or the person who can best manage the creative process, a creative director 
needs to shape the creative brain of the entire agency and build a creative conscience. 
His influence extends well beyond the creative department (Johnson 2011). 
Alex Bogusky, voted Adweek’s Creative Director of the Decade by a large margin, is 
described as “the one man who most shaped creative trends in advertising over the past 
decade” and one who has “reinvented the agency business” (Lippert 2009).  
These advertising industry perspectives further delineate key functions for the 
creative director, and add greater expectations. They also underscore the importance of 
understanding the role and function of the advertising creative director. Thus the goal going 
into this study was to answer the following research questions: 
RQ1: How is the role and function of the creative director defined by agency creative 
directors and creative staff? 

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