Does Great Advertising Come From Individual Talent, or Is It a Team Sport?

More advice for young people from veteran creatives

Video Producer: John Tejada

Lots of people can have great creative ideas. But almost without exception, it takes a team to bring it credibly to life.

So, when you’re starting out in your advertising career, put a lot of stock in who you’re working with, several veteran creative directors told Adweek in our latest “Advice for Young Creatives” video.

FCB’s Susan Credle says it’s very important to care who your colleagues are, and that you share similar values, even if you’re very different people. MullenLowe’s Tim Vaccarino, meanwhile, says advertising as a “team sport” and that collaboration, even with those who may have opposing tastes or opinions, just makes the work better.

Check out more in the video above, including other advice from Arnold’s Wade Devers and Van’s General Store’s Scott Carlson. And below, see excerpts from their advice.

“Care about who you’re working with.”

—Susan Credle, global chief creative officer, FCB

“It’s very important to care about who you’re working with,” Credle says. “And I don’t just mean an art director/writer team, or a creative technologist or whatever. Just the agency, the group that you’re working with. Who’s your boss? Do you line up? It’s interesting. I think you can have very different ideas, and be very different people, but I think your values have to be similar. Do you really care about doing great work, or is it just the fun of coming into work and doing something OK? Both are fine. Just make sure that you share those ideals and I think your job life will be much more fun.”

“Learn to collaborate.”

—Tim Vaccarino, executive creative director, MullenLowe U.S.

“I think of advertising as a team sport,” says Vaccarino. “It’s not necessarily just you. Better work comes when you collaborate and surround yourself with interesting, diverse people. People that challenge you. People that might have opposing taste or opinions. But people you like.

“Make sure there’s opportunity for you.”

—Wade Devers, executive creative director, Arnold Worldwide

“My advice to anyone who’s getting into advertising, or who wants to make a career in advertising, is make sure that there’s opportunity for you. Personally for you,” Devers says. “If you’re trying hard for yourself, and you’re looking for the opportunities to do the things that you know how to do really well, and making sure you have those opportunities, and being kind of selfish about those things, I think everyone around you can benefit from that. Looking out for yourself, and looking out for this opportunities, is really good advice or someone. If you’re in a position where you not getting opportunity that satisfies your personally, or helps you grow personally, then I think you’re doing yourself a disservice. … Protecting that is super important.”

“Think of everything as a medium.”

—Scott Carlson, founder and chief creative officer, Van’s General Store

“When we talk to young people—and have young people come in, or young people in the creative department—what I try to get them to do, or look at, is really explain to them that anything and everything is a medium. Anything and everything is the avenue for your communication.”

Below, check out earlier installments of the “Advice for Young Creatives” series.