All Cooks On Deck

Ad Age’s Small Agency Diary just got bigger. Joining Bart Cleveland, are Noelle Weaver and Marc Brownstein.
Marc Brownstein, president of The Brownstein Group in Philadelphia explores the need for convergence in agency creative departments:

How do we align the interactive creatives with the traditional (advertising) creatives, to collaborate on our clients’ work? It’s a challenge. In my experience, traditional art directors and copywriters allow ideas to bake. But in our digital group, they microwave ideas. And neither group wants to sacrifice quality. Despite that, the traditional group has a bit of an attitude about the digital group. And, yet, our digital talent are every bit as good as the ad teams. And it shows in their work. The trick is to get both teams playing nicely together in the sandbox.

If I had an agency with my name on it, and some creatives with strong print or TV backgrounds scoffed at an interactive project, I’d make sure the cleaning crew thoroughly scrubbed their former cubes for even the slightest traces of attitude.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. This is a really good point, however, in my position as a copywriter, I’ve discovered two VERY big problems regarding “baking” vs “microwaving” digital ideas. At my agency (which just so happens to specialize in technology clients), we the creative teams have a very hard time getting enough hours on these projects to actually allow them to bake. The last digital project my partner and I were assigned was a joke, they gave us 1 (one) hour to concept. Nice.
    So fixing this problem, like most in any business, begins with recognition from the top that it is just as viable, probably even more so depending on the client, as a traditional source of advertising. I, personally, am as excited about the potential of doing great digital work as any other. The other problem is that a lot of clients think that digital stuff just “happens” a lot faster than traditional work. So they need to be educated as well that this stuff takes time, like all good ideas.

  2. If I had an agency with my name on it, and the account team didn’t negotiate enough time for creative brilliance, I’d make sure the cleaning crew thoroughly scrubbed their former offices for even the slightest traces of sycophantic rubbish.