Ed Cotton: Collaboration Can’t Happen In A Divisive World

Ed Cotton: Collaboration Can’t Happen In A Divisive World

The ad industry is going through something of a cultural shift and will emerge in a new space where collaboration is going to be a critical component for success.

Ed Cotton, BSSP
  • 3 march 2011

The ad industry is going through something of a cultural shift and will emerge in a new space where collaboration is going to be a critical component for success,

However, collaboration requires trust, honesty and a willingness to work together.

This month the One, the One Show has an interesting issue devoted to Products and features an article by Warren Berger on “Form on Function”. In the piece he highlights how agency creatives can embrace product design and showcases how designers have brought innovation to seemingly mundane objects by understanding how products really get used.

‘….what impressed me about many of the designers I studied was the dedication to getting out into the world and really paying close attention to people—which is often the best way to ferret out people’s deep, unarticulated needs. Again, returning to the example of OXO, the lead designers for that company, from the firm Smart Design, spend huge amounts of time watching and learning—and this leads to a constant stream of innovations…”

He then goes on discuss the similarities of the approach with Account Planning.

“Obviously, consumer research is nothing new to ad agencies; up-close observation is a big part of what account planners do.

He goes on…

“Still, ad creatives might take a lesson from the best designers, who don’t rely entirely on others to watch and learn for them. They get out there and do it themselves.”

Implicit in this quote is the inbuilt distrust of “outsiders” to the creative process, bringing insights back to creative people. Without trust, there can simply be no collaboration and again the “tone” of the piece just confirms some of the “supposed” divisive sentiment that exists between creatives and strategists.

(Continue reading here.)

Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at influx insights.

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