The trouble with creatives: negotiating creative identity in advertising agencies

Advertising creatives are often characterised in terms of stereotypes such as genius or maverick. Relatively few studies have focused on the complexities and contradictions that face creatives in their professional role.

The trouble with creatives: negotiating creative identity in advertising agencies

Chris HackleyRoyal Holloway, University of London

Arthur J. KoverFordham Graduate Business School


Creative professionals in advertising agencies ('creatives') are commonly characterised by outsiders as quirky and insecure, brash and brilliant, and even mendacious. Few such accounts have focused on the subjective experience of being a creative professional. Because of this surface treatment, it has never been clear how these people arrive at an identity that satisfies themselves and others in their workplaces. This research opens up this area for investigation.

We first review the ways in which...

Not a subscriber?

Schedule your live demo with our team today

WARC helps you to plan, create and deliver more effective marketing

  • Prove your case and back-up your idea

  • Get expert guidance on strategic challenges

  • Tackle current and emerging marketing themes

We’re long-term subscribers to WARC and it’s a tool we use extensively. We use it to source case studies and best practice for the purposes of internal training, as well as for putting persuasive cases to clients. In compiling a recent case for long-term, sustained investment in brand, we were able to support key marketing principles with numerous case studies sourced from WARC. It helped bring what could have been a relatively dry deck to life with recognisable brand successes from across a broad number of categories. It’s incredibly efficient to have such a wealth of insight in one place.

Insights Team
Bray Leino

You’re in good company

We work with 80% of Forbes' most valuable brands* and 80% of the world's top top-of-the-class agencies.

* Top 10 brands