BEHIND THE SCENES: THE 9-5 OF A GR CREATIVE DIRECTOR PT. 2
Sometimes it takes more than one top dog to run a successful creative marketing campaign. Meet Brett Dougall, part two of the dynamic duo of Globe Runner Creative Directors helping launch our clients’ traditional and digital marketing campaigns.
Though he was born in Las Vegas, Brett escaped Sin City and got to Texas as quickly as he could. Armed with a B.A. in Communications from Southern Methodist University and a right-brain ethos, he set off to fulfill his creative mission. A few creative agencies later, he refined his skills to the point of creative leadership. He firmly believes that “the medium doesn’t matter as long as it’s creative.”
Fast-forward another 20 years and he’s refined even further, helping Globe Runner continue pushing the creative event horizon.
What about Globe Runner drew you in?
When Black Lab Creative was acquired last year, I was a little skeptical about “working for the man” again. I very quickly acclimated to the team’s excitement and aligned with their passion for producing quality work. Now that some time has passed, I genuinely look forward to working in such a fun and exciting environment.
What is the scope of your role as a GR creative director?
Not only have I been a co-creative director, but I’m also a copywriter, account executive, brand manager, print producer, studio artist, photographer, new business generator, funny guy, weird guy, guy who does the dishes…you know—that guy.
I’ve come to understand that being a creative director is more than just a title. I’m here not only to be “the guy,” but more importantly to be a partner in making Globe Runner a better company. I always aim to do more than the status quo. I want GR to be more than successful and to do great work, I want GR to be wanted and desirable because we are successful and do great work. That’s why it’s important to be more than just an “employee.” It’s about being an advocate who’s constantly striving to be better. You don’t get there by simply doing what’s expected. For that you have to focus on what creative blending we can accomplish as a team.
Which three skills do you use most often as a CD?
- Eye for great design. You can’t manufacture good taste.
- Teaching and communication. Though Eddie and I technically have a “creative department,” we are helping lead the agency and teaching everyone how we can be better at what we do for our clients – internally and externally.
- Ability to have fun. Advertising is the fun side of business. We want our clients to look forward to working with us and we want to get them enthusiastic about their business again.
How does the GR culture impact your work?
The open-air atmosphere at GR helps me to be more free and outgoing with my coworkers. This helps me communicate better with others, and in turn, helps with collaboration.
What is your favorite part of a marketing campaign?
The strategic thinking that goes behind every campaign can make or break it. It’s a huge part of how, what, and why a consumer buys a product. From dog food to prom dresses, there are a lot of moving parts. When it comes to a marketing campaign, seeing all those parts come and work together makes it all worth it in the end.
What does a typical day look like in your role?
One might think that a typical workday would be filled with internal and/or client meetings. Sure that happens from time to time, but most days I’m designing, strategizing concepts, and creating. That’s what gets me going… it keeps my brain alive and keeps me generating new ways to solve problems strategically and graphically.
Where do you find your biggest creative inspiration day-to-day?
It really all depends on what kind of project I’m working on. Packaging, web design, branding, or logo work, it varies from campaign-to-campaign. There’s so much good work out there that has already been done, it’s easy to get on the web, do a search, and pick a creative direction. There are many great talented art/creative directors and copywriters out there that can be very inspiring. Really, that’s what it comes down to for me—finding that inspiration. The muse could be music, a photograph, a type treatment, architecture, cooking, etc. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to be inspired to find it yourself.
How do you deal with challenges in your role?
With 20 years of experience, there are and always will be challenges in my career. Challenges change with the time, but because of past experiences, some challenges are easier than others. As an artist, challenges simply become another opportunity to express my individual creativity.
Do you have any advice for someone looking for an agency role?
Be ready to be collaborative no matter what role you take. Be ready to participate and go above and beyond what your “role” or “title” might be. Be willing to learn to better yourself to keep pushing the status quo.
Also, an art director can direct a piece forever. It’s good to know when to walk away from your work. It’ll always be there tomorrow. Give your eyes and mind a break and you might even see the piece in a whole new light. Just make sure that when you get to a place where you like it, walk away from it and move on to the next project. No matter what you do, eventually, the client is going to have changes.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you’d received before starting out?
I wish I knew how to put together a better portfolio. To this day, when I can find the time, I keep polishing up my book. I’ve worked on hundreds of projects and only a select few get chosen. I still have pieces from 15 years ago. It’s funny in this business… you can market anybody and everything else, but when it comes to you personally, it’s always a challenge.
Where do you hope to take GR clients in the future?
I want our clients to see the value in what Globe Runner has to offer. Since Black Lab Creative came on board, we’ve become a well-rounded agency that offers more than just SEO. We provide our clients great creative alongside the strategic thinking that can take their brand to the next level. We want our clients and their customers to think differently about their brand.
Want to fuel your brand’s next marketing campaign with a bit of Brett’s creative genius? Make contact!