Breathing Digital

In another sign that digital creatives are hot shit today, Jean-Marie Dru, the chairman of Omnicom Group’s TBWA Worldwide, flew from his office in New York to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for lunch. His task: sealing a top-secret deal to lure Colleen DeCourcy, then top digital executive at WPP Group’s JWT.
The Wall Street Journal (paid sub. req.) asked DeCourcy, who is now chief digital officer for TBWA about training old-school creative executives who grew up on TV ads to be digitally adept. Here’s what she said:

I think that people who continue to be culture eaters regardless of their age are trainable. In my mind digital is ubiquitous, you use it across your life in all its various forms and if you live doing that you understand what it needs to give you to be a good experience. If you do not, you will never get it. I have had creative and media people say ‘I get it, I am reading up on it and I understand interactive is important.’ I point out to them it’s the same if I came to their shop as a junior creative and said ‘I totally get TV commercials.’ They would say, ‘Where is your reel? I have shot 500 of them.’…People are mistaking recognizing digital as an object of conversation with having the craft to throw down. Let’s face it, even the people who grew up in digital are still learning the craft. I’m 42, the longest I could have been making digital is 10 or 12 years and there are people who are talking about a TV shoot that took place 20 years ago….Let’s not forget there has to be craft applied here. I wouldn’t want anyone to let me loose on a $10 million TV shoot yet.



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.