Darren Bailes, ECD of British ad agency VCCP, has written an article for the UK's Campaign magazine in which he proposes that "This year should be the year of 'hiring the random'. How great would it be to hire a scientist and put them with a copywriter?" he says, adding "Or a stuntman."

I'll tell you how great it would be, Darren. Not great at all. In fact it would be shite.

But I'm pretty sure Darren knows this. He's just led VCCP to the UK 'Agency of the Year' title, and produced a slew of good work; he undoubtedly knows what he's doing.

The real reason he has made this suggestion is purely for perception-management. He wants to portray his creative department as open, and the opposite of old-fashioned. Fair play to him; he's fighting our corner... fighting the tide of people who accuse us of being rigid and protectionist.

But of course, it will never happen.

I worked at one big agency where a new ECD took over and made the same announcement. Copywriters would be working with psychologists, art directors with comedians, etc.

Never happened.

But it sounded great. 

In a way, it's quite sad that we have to go to these lengths to convince people we are open-minded. Quite demeaning, really. An orchestra would never announce they were going to have a scientist play the cello, or ask a stuntman to play the flute. There's a perception that 'everyone is creative' whereas no one goes around saying that 'everyone can play the trumpet.'

Actually I don't think that old cliche is the point here. I don't think Darren Bailes is saying that stuntmen could do a better job than art directors, as individuals. But he is saying - must be - that a creative/stuntman duo would outperform two creatives. He's saying that creative duos are so lacking in fresh thinking, we could benefit from teaming up with someone from completely outside the industry. Do you think he's right? 

 

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