How to defend a slot for creativity in an agency?
This year, we spent 348 agency hours on an activity that nobody paid for (and honestly, they didn’t ask for said activity either). Creative Workers is a Žiška open forum for playing, discussing and practicing creative skills. That means that every Thursday at 3:00 pm, we get half the office (whoever wants) and retreat to the conference room with a supply of felt-tip pens and paper.
Digression: Papers have an almost meditative property in creative work. Yeah, you can type the words, but they won’t start looking back only when they’re on paper.
The people we work with and the people we want to work with are creative people. Whether they are from accounts, in production, creatives, designers or HR. (We tested: Tija, our HR officer, worked with us once on a pitch. She killed it!). This isn’t a platitude but the nature of the slasher. Few people in Žiška are mono-slashers. Even those who are, participate in the creative process every time. We’ve got managers who’ve handled KVs, we’ve got creatives who’ve sent in brutal e-mails. And we like it that way.
Even so… When pressed by deadlines, meetings, pitches and clients – the desire to make a creative earning, beyond what you have to, becomes secondary. This means that space for play and exploration is also disappearing during work. And this space… Well, it can’t be accidental in a creative agency. This space must be created and nurtured, so to speak, to defend itself against all other tasks.
PLOT FOR CREATIVITY
That’s how we came up with Creative Workers. It’s a Sunday term when we work creatively. It is open to everyone and is not obligatory for anyone. And yet, PEOPLE LOVE IT, as one says. It’s the place where some with Žiška wrote the first story in their lives, where we come up with THE WORST slogans for Žiška or test who writes copy better: artificial intelligence or us. (Mimiška beat AI, for the record).
This week we wrote a story based on randomly drawn photos and objects. Jela wrote a folk song, though.
One week we do creative exercises, and the next week we discuss the works. Mostly we do our work and talk about what could be better. We analyze ready-made proposals from four angles: strategy, creative, production, presentation. One might say – we cultivate a culture of debate and conversation about work.
We wrote a Google search description on Creative Workers. This is the proposal we liked the most.
In addition to exercises and analyses, these workshops also produced finished products for the Žiška brand, such as last year’s merch, description on Google search, and soon… :we won’t spoil it – a board game.
HOW Y’ALL DOIN’?
We didn’t invent the wheel, we just really love it. We know that most, if not all, agencies have their own version of Creative Workers. But if you happen to be worried that your creative plot will disappear now in Q4, we just want to remind you to defend the plot.
Another poster created on KW, placement: Our toilet.
Advertising, as an industry, has lost its luster a bit. Creative revolutions have taken place, algorithms have become too powerful, and buyers have become cynical. Know-how is almost the same in all products, so advertisements mostly resemble each other. The pessimists among us would say that there are no more original ideas. Well, inn such a context, the dignity of agency work has a chance to survive only if we manage to maintain a culture of creativity. Which is actually the one thing you can’t find in every profession. Not to mention, USP.
If you are reading, leading or participating in such initiatives in your agency, please let us know so that we can talk and exchange ideas for creative exercises, like we used to do with football cards at Terazije.