Many of you probably don’t know that I am a second generation creative director and I cut my teeth in advertising at his agency in Pittsburgh. He emailed me a response to my article from last week called “Consumer design fears or why Tiger Woods doesn’t care if I pick up a golf club” and I thought he made a great point and I wanted to share it with everyone. It read:
“I just saw your blog about Software and Tiger Woods. I agree that the attitude, or philosophy, expressed by your old Creative Director seems logical, but history would indicate the opposite.
There used to be a time when only TV production houses could shoot and edit video…and only musicians could play music (and only groups of musicians could play like an orchestra)…and only type setters could set type…and only photographers could take professional photos…and only retouchers could retouch photos…
It is true that word processors have not allowed bad writers to become good writers.
But the thing that has always been the agent of change is BUDGETS and almost all clients are going to opt for the solution that costs the least. In the past it wasn’t all the clients who opted for the low cost option, but it was enough to change the business in a negative way. There will always be large high quality clients who want to work with large high quality design firms, but the business will change and it will probably not be in the way we would like.
I had a Creative Director describe this same phenomenon as we were watching the changes happening to the video production business. His description, or analysis, sounded like a rule from Economics 101 and it follows…”as an industry becomes more mature and the knowledge and ability to produce a product becomes more widespread the costs will come down and the need for high priced specialists will no longer exist.”
Tiger Woods isn’t selling his skills to clients…he is winning tournaments…we can’t do that.”