People have often asked us here at Media Button how we balance being creative with our responsibility to facilitating the growth of our clients’ businesses? Or, even more to the point, they wonder if it’s possible for art and business not just to coexist, but to thrive alongside one another?
The short answer is yes. Most of the time… Almost always. Yes, darn it.
In both the world of advertising and media it is not uncommon to hear the word “suits” bandied about begrudgingly. Also known as the decision makers (and sometimes even the creativity killers on a bad day) The Suits are often blamed for everything from bad video editing to lackluster taglines. At Media Button, that doesn’t happen. Not here. Not ever. And I’ll tell you why.
Suits don’t always wear suits.
What I mean by this is simple: they may have to do their due diligence and crunch numbers, stake out the competitors, balance budgets and the like, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have creativity (or admire it, for that matter). Quite to the contrary, our corporate clients are often the first ones delighted by a creative idea specifically because they do not have the luxury of being in a position which requires it. They are our biggest cheerleaders, and we must support them.
That takes some finesse, we admit; that and a healthy respect for corporate initiatives and goals. For us these come first and the real creativity takes place when we look for effective ways to communicate these in a compelling way. We would venture to say that anyone creative who is worth their salt finds a challenge like this enticing. Not all art is born from limitless resources, time, money, or all three. In fact, quite the opposite. Just as necessity is the mother of all invention, so too is working within parameters. The only limitation in this case, is our own imaginations.
It’s interesting to think that barriers can actually enhance creativity, but that’s certainly been our experience. A recent post we love on Buffer expands upon this theory and its author talks about how restrictions, though they seem counterintuitive, can generate even better results. The post goes on to cite a great example–one of those stories we creative types get misty-eyed over because of its sheer audacity. Apparently the great Ernest Hemingway bet a friend (or friends) that he could write a story in six words. Even by today’s 140 character standards, that is one serious leap of faith. The result?
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
No art form is more important or natural to humanity than storytelling, and even within a framework that would bring a teenager today to their knees, Hemingway did just that.
We’re not Hemingway, we know.
But we do our best. Corporate videos needn’t be stuffy. Artists needn’t be afraid of suits. None of us need be terrified of constraints; whether they come in the form of a corporate message, financial budget, or business model. Embrace what you have and what your client needs, throw some spaghetti against the wall, sit back, and see what sticks.