The Creative Process

May 11, 2018

The Creative Process

“Creative” and “Process.” Like Kanye and Kim, they make for a peculiar pair. Something looks a little off that challenges our brains to understand their union.

Individually—sure, we get it. We totally get it. One is undeniable talent and unpredictable irrationality with strokes of brilliance; yet divisive and peculiar with a fine line between danger and euphoria. The other is the striking result of DNA, time, and systemic, gravity-defying molecules coerced with chemicals and ennui encased in yoga pants.

Standing side by side, arm in arm, it looks and feels like an oxymoron; but somehow, it works.

Creativity is a process. Things don’t just happen out of thin air.

Well, at least not smart things. And certainly not consistently.

Clever ideas, funny concepts, and even random, senseless one-liners…they easily come and go like tweets from the oval office. However, producing smart ideas (and truly good creative) is a process. It’s a sequence of connecting information to action and filling in the gaps along the way. It’s a science of taking the objective and making it subjective…or at least, getting as close as possible (and on time and on budget, no less).

Unlike traditional science, there is no definite correct solution. There is no absolute zero. So the ingredients must include intuition. All the research and quantifiable data can’t do what intuition does, so that’s why it’s important to nurture and cultivate it. The ultimate combo is to get the data and intuition to work together. That’s where the lightning strikes, and that’s where we go chasing after it.

Everyone values good creative, but the difference is valuing the process of what it takes to get there.

At Americom Marketing, we believe in the creative process. We believe in putting in the work to get the best results. We’ve put measures in place to start with a solid foundation, inspire and influence, fuel the fire, and allow for inevitable change along the way while still hitting the targets. It’s not an outright formula, but in our 18 years of business we’ve crafted our creative process into a model that works:

  • We start with two things: Audience and Objective. Project briefs, creative briefs, needs analysis…all of these are built on the foundation of this dynamic duo of strategy.
  • Then we dive headfirst for facts—research, artifacts, those old things called “books,” coffee…
  • Next is more information—research, interviews, more coffee, reports, competitive reports…Americom has unparalleled weaponry for this. No other advertising agency or marketing firm in our principle market has the data and analysis tools we have. It’s important for our clients to have the best info and stats working for them, and it’s important for us to have the best information fueling our creative fire. We invest in some mean technology. It’s a game-changer, and our toys are just the best!
  • Then we make a pit stop. No, not BBQ (though, that does need to happen). We check back on our Audience and Objective. We filter our findings through the brand values, targets & goals.
  • Then, after we marinate on things and immerse ourselves in mood boards and word clouds, we we shift to the right side of our brains with whiteboards, post-it notes, Evernote, Planner, text messages, and more. The tools here are not important. It’s the talent. This is where it’s a free-for-all for embracing our instincts, vision, values, and personality. It’s colorful, it’s exhausting, it’s loud and arduous; it’s the part of the agency life that we all came for. Ideas, designs, headlines, and RTBs are shot out like bullets in an old Wild West saloon gunfight. Only the best survive and go on to the next stage. It sounds horrible and violent, but it’s quite fun. So far, we’ve seen only minor scrapes and bruises.
  • Next, we go to “the Refinery.” This is where we take all the brilliant goodness and refine it, pouring it through our funnels of Audience and Objective along with our newly combed data and statistics. No matter how good the idea was that got here, this is where we try to beat it. This is how it gets better. This is where we turn clever into smart. We can’t stop, won’t stop, don’t stop. Or something like that.
  • The stuff that makes it out of this gauntlet goes on for production and presentation. We break out the tools and put ideas into action.
  • Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. Campaigns, scripts, storyboards, Facebook ads, magazine ads, brochures, web designs—you name it—we run them through the ringer so that we start and end with our Audience and Objective. Because that’s the point of all of this, right?

It’s hard work. Again, there’s no secret equation or scientific formula to produce good creative. But at Americom Marketing, we do our best to feed and improve this process. It puts us in position to do our best work over and over again.

Creative. Process.

Such an odd pair, it’s like an arranged marriage. One’s a wild card with talent. One’s a model.

But together? A loud, proud, unmistakable power couple.


Lance LaRue, Creative Director | Americom Marketing

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