WHO OWNS THE CREATIVE IDEA?

Nothing that’s ever successfully been ‘made’ is owned by one person

Nothing that’s ever successfully been ‘made’ is owned by one person

The short answer, for me, is everyone; in their own way. And by that, I mean the audience it is intended for. And the people they share it with. And the people they share it with…

That’s the dream.

Because when you reach people with a really great idea, that genuinely touches them, they kind of make it their own. Just like when you tell a cracking story down the pub after work, that ‘happened to a mate’. Or a ‘mate of a mate’.

When that happens, it’s now become your story. Morphing a little every time you tell it, depending on the audience. Gaining extra meaning, because, for whatever reason, you love it. And feel compelled to share it. Anticipating the reaction, when you get to the ‘punchline’. That’s what happens to the best ideas, the best stories. You make them part of the public consciousness. Ultimately, public property.

Back in the real world, sometimes it’s handy if an idea is so bang on the client starts to claim it as their own. That’s a sure-fire way to get the thing off a slide deck and into production. Every successful creative idea also has a team that feels some genuine ownership.

And for this, we are back to sharing. And sharing it early. In case it turns out it’s not a very good idea after all. This gives everyone a chance to get to know an idea. Interrogate it. Take it to pieces and put it back together again. Understand how they can best tell it. Because, chances are, they will have to.

I genuinely don’t believe any one person can own the creative idea. Not in a commercial environment. Nothing that’s ever successfully been ‘made’ is owned by one person. Sure, it starts somewhere. But that could and should be anywhere in your agency.

As Creative Directors, it’s ultimately our job to turn the squiggles of inspiration and conversations where the best ideas always start, into a story we can all tell like our own.  

Mandy Sharp