Alternative marketing thinking

iCONTRACT

Holistic Thinker. The Future Creative?

Richard Boyko, former Ogilvy Creative and currently Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University VCU’s AdCentre is a man with a mission. Instead of getting students to make portfolios of print or television campaigns—the more traditional approach—students have started to work on holistic brand-innovation projects, designing packaging or retail stores. “The school is set up to replicate business and has always taught its creatives to think strategically,” says Boyko. Adcenter hires no lifelong academics. Instead, most of its professors are advertising profes-sionals. Its seven full-time teachers have recently retired from senior management roles in major agencies and can bestow a career of insights on the next generation. Ten adjuncts who currently work as creatives, account managers, or brand consultants, bring fresh, up-to-date knowledge of the industry into the classroom. It’s a way of tackling a problem he often faced in his own 30-year career at major agencies. He found that training his creative directors to work with account managers or clients proved nearly impossible because creative professionals didn’t have the business wherewithal to communicate with team members from other departments. Meanwhile, the business minds often lacked the creativity to identify good ideas. Within agencies, he explains, “advertising creatives and account managers never spoke to one another.” Boyko realised the problem arose from an academic set-up that separated future advertising clients from future designers. “I’d visit a business school,” he says, “and get an hour and a half of questions, because they’d never had anyone from the creative side talking to them before.” More here.

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