Every creative agency – online or offline – seems to have the best of work spaces and cultures. A check on their social media pages show that they are always up to something fun and exciting. Not only that, they dress up nice and easy to work. Who doesn’t love to have a break from wearing those straitjackets? But here is the big question. Is the agency life as fun and hippy as it ‘seem’?

Well, here is the real deal. It is blood and thunder all over. Wondering why? The internal competition is keen and intense, resulting in endless arguments about who knows the client best and who thinks they know how best to pimp the client up. It’s not funny people. Gathering evidence to shoot down one side and looking across the room for validation of ideas from the other side. It is messy in there. Here are a few things agencies can apply to help tone down the voices in the room, make the boss happier so more pizza flies around on Friday afternoons for a job well done!

Copywriter, help the designer

No no no! You haven’t even done -1% of Photoshop. Fact. But, this is what it is – those gentlemen and ladies do not enjoy having a zero lead to work on. If you require a caption on the image, don’t leave it to them to come up with one – it’s not their favourite thing to do, remember? They love it when you include an idea of what visual you want the copy to go with – it helps their own thought process.

Gang up on accounts…sometimes

“…but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety…” Proverbs 11:14.

Yup, this post couldn’t have been without a reference to the Bible. Creative wells do run dry for even the very best. Working on that one account that’s so stiff and suddenly shifting to one that is vibrant and easy going can be challenging for both designers and copywriters. So, from time to time, call out the rest of the team and get them to make input, freshen things up and give your creative brain a fallow period to get those creative nutrients pumped into your brain again. Caution: these sessions can be time-consuming so they can’t always be done but they are very useful for breathing fresh air into campaigns.

Wo-man up to the client!

Yo Geng! What goes up and out has your final signature on…forever, until you get a court order to have it taken down. No one would know it was the client that made you do it. No one would want to know. If the idea isn’t great, the client must know. Why? Well, you risk having your work being displayed in a rival’s pitch of ‘how not to do it’. Having an account manager who is seen to be a ‘yes wo-man’ can cause a rift in the team. The rest of the team resent this and it stifles creativity. Look, truth be told, half of your clients are old and greyed but the fact that they come to you means, they are probably not soo stuck in their ways. Set up a meeting, show samples, give examples of how what you are proposing has succeeded and watch them turn over – even if it’s slowly, and give you the freedom you need to execute an impactful campaign. Just pray the turning over is complete with you in charge, otherwise, you run the risk of being labelled as that boring agency.

New client campaign set up beginning. Look out for three more things agencies can apply to enhance creativity and productivity in the next blog post.


Jonathan is a self-proclaimed “words and numbers guy” with a degree in Engineering and masters in Development Finance. Mix that with his word play and that’s what he applies to demystify products for consumers while providing insights to businesses.