June 14, 2021

Is This Thing On? With FCB’s Susan Credle

In episode two of “Is This Thing On?”, @FCB Global CCO @Susan Credle joins our Chief Brand & Experience Officer @Winston Binch in conversation on the pandemic’s impact, applying creativity to business, brand purpose and more.


A Business Agency

In episode two of “Is This Thing On?”, we were excited to welcome FCB Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle in conversation with our own Chief Brand & Experience Officer Winston Binch as they tackled the pandemic’s impact, applying creativity to business, brand purpose and more. Here’s a look at some of our favorite highlights from the episode: 

Partnership has been a great side effect of the pandemic for both clients and agencies. When it was business as usual, agencies often felt like they weret reated like vendors. And it’s dangerous because we can't do our best job if we don’t feel like a partner. The pandemic brought back the sense of how important partnership is. When you know how to do your job, you don’t need a partner.When you’re not sure how to do your job, there’s nothing better than a partner.  

Brand strategy is really business strategy. Agencies were relegated to just, ‘make me an ad,’ when really, we can use creativity and strategic skills to help reframe business, how you go to market, how you connect with customers — thinking about the experience end to end. When TV became dominant media, we became short-form filmmakers, which was wonderful at the time. But it got us further away from business problems and opportunities and thinking about business in a creative way. If you have a business problem and you apply creativity to it, it’s an economic multiplier. 

We have undervalued creativity for two reasons: 1) We think it only happened in film, and 2) We did our best creative on haute couture, on briefs that clients didn’t care about. We have to get back to doing our best work on problems clients truly care about. You’ll never see the value if that's not where the creative is showing up. It’s not precious. Creative is not meant to be over in a corner, it’s meant to be out in public, en masse, affecting people in business. 

Awards should be the byproduct, not the goal, of trying to do right for our clients. When we set our own standards of great work — be provocative, askpeople to participate in it, and build brand equity — if we can do these three things, we'll be in good shape. Awards are important at different times for different people. When you're younger it’s inspirational, you want to win them.It attracts and keeps talent. But if you’re trying to guess what would win an award, that’s crazy. 

We’re not going to process our way to brilliance. If people feel like they can show up and not have to be right all the time, we’re going to get evenbetter. We’re ad agencies. Play is going to get us there, creativity and showing up and letting go. The pandemic has given us permission to try; we were free to be creative. Once we get back to a normal world and apply that freedom,that can be a combustive creative moment, coming out of this.


“Is This Thing On?” is a new audio series from GALE, a creative media consultancy,exploring marketing, life, and random thoughts with business leaders from around the globe.