How to Achieve "Group Genius."

As it relates specifically to advertising, the history of creative development, as it pertains to organizational structure, is an interesting one. From the beginning of modern advertising up until the '60s, the copy/contact person from the agency visited the client, determined what the message would be, then turned that over to the agency's graphics department for visuals and typesetting. Relative to today's norms, little creative collaboration took place, and the results are obvious when you look at advertising from that period. However, media was not as fragmented as it is today, and competition for the consumer's eyes and ears was tame compared to today's.

In the 1960s, Bill Bernbach and a few others on Madison Avenue pioneered the creative team approach that exists in most agencies today that produce quality work. It works like this: The account executive or the account planner, delivers an advertising strategy (i.e., what is to be communicated) to a copywriter/art director team. This two-person team then bounces ideas back and forth to produce visuals and headlines that work together as a single concept. The synergy of the two minds intensely working together produces a 1+1=3 phenomenon. This approach elevated the quality of work in the industry to a new high. This more sophisticated approach was necessitated by the fact that the ever-increasing level of advertising “noise” made it tougher for advertisers to have their message heard over the clutter of other advertisers.

However, in today's fragmented media market, advertising alone isn't as effective as it was in the past.

Enter client-team-based IMC: When strategy, art, copy, PR, promotion, interactive and media specialists collaborate to develop integrated campaigns, challenges are seen from numerous points of view. Ideas spark other ideas. Then, results-oriented campaigns are born that work with a variety of media. It's all communications speaking with one voice.

The phenomenon is more like 1+1+1+1+1+1=15. Group genius at work.