Yes and no.
When I was a young copywriter, I only focused on the work. That's what I was told to do. I had my nose stuck in Communication Arts annuals and One Show books. Eyeing great creative and trying to understand what worked and why.
We'd all say, "Let's do some kick a## work! Yeah!"
Then I got older. Started actually thinking about it.
Not all clients want kick a## work. Of course, we're talking in vague measurements here, but the one measurement that can't be denied is increased bottom line.
So, here you are with your award-winning print ad, but the work did nothing for their brand or bottom line. That's a tough one. Honestly, I think it's a problem award shows have been dealing with for a while now.
The real magic is in the strategy.
And that comes from working with your client and truly understanding their business problems. I'm talking to the point where those problems keep you up at night. Ok, not in a I-got-an-ulcer kinda way, but you feel what they feel.
Once you've done that, try and see the work through their eyes.
If your goal is clear and measurable, there's a way to get there. Hand the strategy brief to the right creative team, and they'll give you back gold.
It happens. A lot more than you think.
The work doesn't have to be amazing to move the needle, but it has to be smart. For me, that's the ultimate compliment. It not only shows off your creative thinking but your logic. Smart work can only be produced with a smart strategy brief.
So there you have it. It is and is not about the work. Sorta. Kinda.