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September 1, 2009
Hey Idea People, Got Any Idea How to Make Money?

Used to be that, for an idea person, there was a patented formula you’d use to get a better job: Book not good enough? Well then, do some spec or freelance campaigns that show off your creative abilities. Reel not good enough? Shoot a spec spot (just make sure people don’t detect that it’s spec). But nowadays, jobs call for some mighty specific skill sets, and while there are many designers out there that keep up with codes like php, xml, Javascript, Ajax, AS2 and AS3, there are many art directors and writers who figure that, while code-illiterate, the idea and art of execution is all that matters and that there are always coders out there who can be directed. To us Idea People, content is king, right?

Ugh. Let’s just say that we Idea People had a good long run. I mean, c’mon, unless you did that big, clever commercial that everyone saw or you came up with Sacrificing Your Friends for a Whopper, good luck in the job hunt.

The Idea Person’s unwritten standard has long dictated what a good idea must be: a piece of creative that’s some combination of witty, enlightening, dark, artful, ironic, wacky, or design-y. But wait. Where in the mandate does it say a good idea should be engineered to make money? It doesn’t. For so long, we’ve celebrated award-winning and notable ads that meet the above standard, but the vast majority of them didn’t prove to be cash cows.

The non-sequitur response (by agencies and clients) in these times is to abandon traditional media by simply turning to the newest, technology-driven Delivery Systems to co-reign with, or at times supersede, creative content. Kind of like Putin and Medvedev. Like how the Good Idea lightbulb is now an ugly, however more efficient Compact Fluorescent. The largely digital actions that Marketing takes these days are indeed proven to save their dollars, but are they the kinds of ideas that are engineered to make money? The clients think, “since all the coveted demographics spend their time on Facebook, Twitter, and generally online, why don’t we deliver our message (sometimes creatively) via these Delivery Systems du jour, these fresher platforms? We can push the message via a means that Gen Y finds venerable, and therefore it’s a Good Idea.”

Article continued at link :http://vimeo.com/5777128

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After roughly 15 years in advertising -- at places such as TBWA Chiat/Day, Leo Burnett, Euro RSCG, and JWT -- Britt Benston now works independently for a few fantastic clients. He has also come up with and designed iScreenwriter, a highly functional mobile screenwriting application available at Apple's App Store early this fall.

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