Star creative directors have always wanted to try their hands outside the comfort zone of ad agencies so Jeff Kling’s departure as european creative director at W+K Amsterdam (Wieden & Kennedy to most of us) should be no surprise.
In a way it echoes the departure of Alex Bogusky from Crispin Porter + Bogusky earlier this year; Kling says he wants to try something new just as Bogusky did.
But as agencies try to adapt to a multi-media world, with numerous opportunities for key creatives to play film maker on the internet, it’s going to be harder and harder to keep their restless creative top guns. All of a sudden there’s an attractive middle ground between being a creative director (and then maybe a commercials director) and a fully-fledged feature film director to explore.
In this respect Kling’s stock will be high right now as he was the creative force behind Nike’s ‘write the future’ World Cup extravaganza featuring a hairy Wayne Rooney, among others.
What’s more clients, who seem to be falling in love rapidly with mini-feature films on the internet, may well choose to follow their chosen creatives and dispense with the services of the agency entirely.
Kling may, of course, ship up at another agency. He was creative director of Euro RSGG in New York between stints at Wieden and Kennedy.
But these days top creatives don’t need to be in advertising to gain the plum advertising assignments.