Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday Poll No.18 - Does It Help If You Look Creative?

Let's settle this.

My opinion, which I've expressed before, is that just as it's an advantage for a yoghurt billed as 'natural' to have a picture of a farm on the label, it's an advantage for someone with the word 'creative' on their business card to dress different from an accountant.

What you wear, like it or not, communicates something about you.

But what do you think?

Vote now, in the top right hand corner of your screen.

Previous poll results:

Friday Poll No.17 - Ad Of The Year 2007
Friday Poll No.16 - Do Difficult People Do The Best Work?
Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?


Lunar BBDO said...

I wouldn't say that how you dress makes no difference, but it can help to dress like a 'suit' (in a suit). David Abbott used to do it and it meant he got away with much more creative ads because the client thought he was so straight that he'd never try and sell them anything irresponsible.

I suppose in some way that is dressing creatively but I think you meant all trussed up like a cock on the first day of the Commes Des Garcons sale.

Cedric said...

In French we have a quote that states that "the robe does not make the monk", but I am tempted to add that it can definitely help you to enter the monastery!

Anonymous said...

nakedness. simple and ambiguous

Anonymous said...

I'd agree. Unless when you disrobe you look like the Michelin Man that's been rolled on a pub carpet. Like I do.

Anonymous said...

One of our creatives is an ex account director. He dresses like a creative, but the day he came in suited up in his old togs (to model as man-in-suit for one of those no budget shoots) we nearly fell over in shock.

Anonymous said...

The least talented people I know 'look creative'. Often it is a uniform used to hide incompetence. If accompanied by a big mouth this lack of talent can go undetected all the way to Creative Director level. It's a pity.

Anonymous said...

Are you asking a normative question, or a descriptive one?

Anonymous said...

Planners like to look creative don't they?

Anonymous said...

agree with lunarbbdo.

i had the good fortune to meet mr. abbott in new york at an industry event early in my career. everyone else was swilling booze and trying desperately to look early 90s NY ad cool David Abbott came in dressed in a blue suit and tie, sipped water and talked glowingly about the mass at St. Patrick's cathedral that he and his wife had attended earlier that day.

now that was cool!

Anonymous said...

Re Lunar BBDO 5.18

Absolutely, but if I remember back, David also used to dress the way he did, so he could build trust with his clients, by looking and sounding like he came from their world, a world they could understand.

Anonymous said...

I used to work with/for Lee Garfinkel. He was and probably still is a jeans and black t-shirt sort of guy. What he understood is that it's all about perception. He sent a message - "I am creative" and that really worked. With his department (hey, I'm just one of the guys) and with clients who bought into the whole image. And it especially works if you also come up with the goods (debatable whether Lee's done it for a while, mind you).

Yes. look creative - it helps.

PS. He had a suit hanging in his closet for certain clients. As I said - It's all about perception.

Anonymous said...

i guess it doesn't matter so long as you can back it up. trev beattie just looks creative with his mighty boosh. steve henry looks like an accountant. but is in fact, steve henry. dan wieden looks like suburban dad. sir hegarty dresses like a fop and a dandy. but he can pull it off.

it's the ones who conform too closely to the current ideal of what creative people "should" look like who are usually the biggest charlatans. white converse? boo. no cushioning. can't be comfortable.

Anonymous said...

Got to agree with the Converse thing, my poor sore feet

Anonymous said...

This is the most ridiculous thread ever here

Alan Wolk said...

I'm with rdsrae. We have a saying here in NYC that goes "if you can't BE creative, you might as well LOOK creative."

Now that doesn't translate to creatives wearing suits, but the ones with the more flamboyant hairstyles and trendiest clothes often the ones cranking out the least creative work, while the guys in jeans and unpressed button-downs are the ones winning awards.

With one or two exceptions, I really can't think of any creatives- at any level- who regularly dress up a la D. Abbott. Could be part of the whole "Grown-up Children" phenomenon

Anonymous said...

I'll take the bait and say that if the way you dress or wear your hair has any measurable effect on your success at your current agency, you'll have far bigger problems there over the long term than the way you dress or wear your hair. (i.e. unhealthy, political environment. get. out. now.)

Anonymous said...


no. that would have been the whole "should planners be allowed in the edit suite" debate.

charlie gower said...

it's a two stage process.

Looking a way and talking a way.
I'm essentially a creative and I don't bow to any conventions.

I'm not likely to be dressed in a suit but looking 'kooky' will only get you to point A, to get to point B you simply have to be good.

Anonymous said...

i think that photographer Terence Donovan had it sussed when he only wore varying shades of grey. one shade for suit, one for shirt, another for tie.

mind you he did ultimately commit suicide.

so therefore, grey is cool!

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine what someone, who doesnt work in our industry will think, if they stumble upon this discussion about what to wear to look creative or not.

They will think Advertising is full of tossers.

Obviously they would be wrong!

]-[appy Thought said...

I'm not 100% sure how you look creative. I've never walked passed someone on the street and thought now THAT is one creative guy. So long as you don't dress like an extra from Nathan Barley or anything too alternative you'll be fine, most of the people I know who work in adland just wear what makes them feel comfortable, although for client meetings it's still probably best to loose the black trench coat if you're so inclined.

Anonymous said...

White converse ! white converse ! white converse ! and APC suit !

Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

It doesn't affect the work, but it does affect how the work can be perceived; as Lunar points out.

Anonymous said...

anon. 747,

but advertising IS full of tossers. probably always has been. big deal.

Anonymous said...

Scamp come on, are you serious?
Assumptions like these just encourage more wnnabe rock stars and illusionists. It's about as ridiculous as Russell Davies comment that all planners should have a blogs and he wouldn't hire one without one.
How you can measure an individual on irrational rules is beyond me.

But funny all the same.

SchizoFishNChimps said...

I'm making a speculative leap that those who voted "yes" are mostly creatives who like dressing down.
It doesn't matter what dress code someone follows. A planner can still look a twat in a 2-piece Armani, as can a creative wearing a clown suit.

Anonymous said...

can't believe the reactions to the question. guys and girls, hate to be the bearer of bad news but advertising is a superficial business. looks mean a lot.

how many times have you seen someone in a position of power in this industry simply because they look and sound the part? i know i've seen plenty.

and i know it's hurt me that i'm not tall and charismatic. i actually have to deliver! and that's hard.

RFB said...

Be comfortable. If that's ironic t-shirts, great. If it's jeans and unpressed button-downs, great. But very few are comfortable in a suit and tie, I'd argue.

Wear clean clothes and try not to smell bad. Wash your hair once in while, even if you do keep it in that strategically messed-up fashion.

And don't wear thick-rimmed glasses just for show.

Anonymous said...

Recent "you are all individuals" moment: my partner and i go out for lunch with two other creative teams. Five of the six of us are wearing blue Nudie Slim Jim jeans and ironic t-shirts.

The exception was my AD. But only 'cos they don't make Slim Jims for girls.