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Can Your Agency’s Executive Creative Director Be a Technologist?


Since the early days of creative agencies, Executive Creative Directors have come from visual design and copywriting backgrounds. The ECD role has long signified the peak of agency career progression hierarchy, and this tradition continues to ring true at most digital agencies.

But digital is challenging the nature of the ECD role. One could argue that the majority of creative work done at digital centered agencies takes place at the intersection of technology and user experience. This injection of technology into the study of human behavior is often held up as the “most creative” space to work in.

This ultimately begs the question of whether the function of the Creative Director in today’s digital agency is still driven by visual design and copywriting or whether we need to take a closer look at the definition of creativity in the digital space.

Is the agency world ready to accept a Creative Director with a technology background, or are we still holding onto the belief that a Creative Director needs to have a visual or copywriting background?

At GALE, we drive creativity through our no silos approach to problem solving. In theory teams should be led by people that come from varying backgrounds that have the capability to get the most out of a team. The team should consist of visual designers, copywriters, technologists, strategists, and data scientists that join forces to tackle problems as a collective. Gone are the days when creative solutions were the domain of the copy and visual duo and “big ideas” were the property of the “creative department”.

Brad Simms
CEO & President