Ask Better Questions. Get Better Results.

Adweek reports that John Livengood has been promoted to executive creative director at DDB Seattle. No doubt for lucid thinking like this:

“My whole perspective is, creatives need to change the questions we ask,” he said. Instead of asking clients what they want in terms of campaign components, Livengood suggested, “ask them what they want people to do. Not, ‘Do you want a print campaign?’ But ‘What’s the business problem here? What’s the challenge?’ ”
Livengood said he has found this “problem-solving first, tactics second” method to be a productive and “fundamentally different way to drive [consumer] behavior.” Getting messages noticed and acted upon relies on a strong combination of creative, account planning, strategic and production efforts, he said, and it’s harder than ever to achieve.

While I agree with each and every syllable uttered by the good Mr. Livengood, he assumes a solid agency-client partnership, when few such relationships exist today. Agencies, even the best of them, are vendors, not partners.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.