Decoding creative decision-making: the influence of social context on the choices art directors and copywriters make about what is novel and valuable in creative advertising

Powell, J 2011, Decoding creative decision-making: the influence of social context on the choices art directors and copywriters make about what is novel and valuable in creative advertising, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communications, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Decoding creative decision-making: the influence of social context on the choices art directors and copywriters make about what is novel and valuable in creative advertising
Author(s) Powell, J
Year 2011
Abstract This was an action-oriented study of the concrete experiences of a peer group of mostly middle-level male art directors and copywriters (collectively known as ‘creatives’) engaged in decision making at the evaluation end of the advertising process in some of the world’s largest advertising agencies. The emergent focus was on how they perceived and interpreted concepts of novelty and originality, and planned and negotiated their version around what was generally considered to be a complex, ambiguous and uncertain social process.

As is appropriate for an exploratory study, empirical material was derived from both literature and from grounding in practitioner experience, and reported via a combination of informant accounts and reflective researcher observations. Fieldwork was conducted over a three-year period between April 2001-December 2003. Sixty-seven interviews across three sample groups and two agency observations were conducted in major centres of advertising in the US, UK, Europe and Australasia.

A number of social influences emerged from the data, the most significant was that too many decision-makers with contradictory and unclear performance expectations and multiple entities outside the group with conflicting values and different decision-making styles made it difficult for art directors and copywriters to moderate, maintain and manage the standards of novelty and originality they advocated to management, clients and expected of themselves and demanded of their peers.

The outcome of the investigation a coherent naturalistic worldview of the affective reactions of art directors and copywriters to workplace situations, and a workable definition of what it means to be creative in an agency that may help facilitate an understanding of how both agencies and creatives can make themselves more creatively sustainable in future. A conceptual framework of the inter-relationship between the creative process and creative person is proposed.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communications
Keyword(s) Advertising
creative
decision-making
performance
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Created: Tue, 17 May 2011, 09:36:44 EST by Guy Aron
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