A creative director is a position usually found within the advertising, media or entertainment industries, but may be useful in other creative organizations such as web development and software development firms as well. The job entails overseeing the design of branding and advertising for a client and ensuring that the new branding and advertising fits in with the client's requirements and the image they wish to promote for their company or product. The main aspects of this role are to interpret a client's communications strategy and then develop proposed creative approaches and treatments that align with that strategy. Another is to initiate and stimulate creative ideas for and from everyone involved in the creative process. Creative directors normally oversee creative service agencies or departments within a corporation. In advertising agencies, this consists of copywriters and art directors. In media design firms, the team can include graphic designers and computer programmers.
A creative director is ultimately responsible for the quality of the final creative work. They are often praised highly when their team's efforts win awards, but conversely, the creative director shoulders the negativity when a project goes wrong, response falls short of expectations, or an important individual dislikes the idea.
Advertising Creative Directors are usually promoted from copywriting or art directing positions, and while most have a command of one of the two disciplines, they are more than familiar with the other, and in some rare cases they are equally adept at both. Long lists have enumerated the qualifications a creative director should have, but the lists can be as illuminating as they can be confusing. It is agreed, though, that creative directors should be more than just masters of their craft, they should also be inspired people-managers. Nevertheless, at the very least, art directors who become creative directors should have developed an extremely fine ear for good copy, just as copywriters who become creative directors should have an educated eye for design.
The acclaimed David Ogilvy once advertised for creative directors for his agency, and called them "Trumpeter Swans." This may highlight the difficulty of having a universally accepted set of qualifications. There simply isn't an easily understood qualification similar to an MBA for creative people. While independent advertising and graphic design schools do graduate people with their own degrees and diplomas, there is no known degree or diploma in "creative directing".