What does a creative agency do anyway?

My parents have no idea what I do. Normally, I’d be fine with that. Since the Great Law School Fiasco of 2003™ my parents have never really fully understood what I’ve done. But now I realize that how my parents look at my job is, in many ways, how many people often look at agencies: with confusion and a vague inkling that a foosball table is somehow involved. Trying to explain what a creative agency does is challenging, mainly because the term “creative” is so broad. There are agencies that focus on print, digital, and countless other specialties, so working to describe all of them in a single all-encompassing explanation is difficult, if not impossible, to do.

That’s why I’m only going to tell you what we do.

Replace the cigarettes with G-2s, the suits and dresses with gingham-check shirts and cardigans, and the alcohol with alcohol, and this is pretty much exactly what we do. Replace the cigarettes with fine-tipped pens, the suits and dresses with gingham-check shirts and button-up cardigans, and the alcohol with alcohol, and this is pretty much exactly what we do. Credit: AMC

Here at 2e, we work our asses off to help our clients get the results they want. Yes, I know: every agency says that. But I don’t know another agency where the art directors stay late just because they’re curious to learn how a specific cancer therapy works. Before this agency, I’d never seen a developer pack a toothbrush alongside his iPad — you know, just in case his work day turned into a work night back into a work day again. And the only copywriter I know of that has ever (correctly) challenged a doctor on their clinical knowledge during an appointment sits just 40 or so feet away from me.

Our insistence on understanding every nuance of every project we undertake makes us, well, us. It’s what feeds our ability to build images and words and understanding that actually mean something. Any decent agency can make you pretty pictures and nice-sounding words. A great agency should be able to do that with substance.

So what does a creative agency do? In our case, a lot of things. We put in impressive amounts of energy to research and analyze every single client goal and challenge that we take on. It’s not an independent research team or an outside contractor putting in the legwork. It’s us, the actual individuals that live, breathe, and, yes, create content that matters to your project. We find and unleash the soul of your message, turning an awareness campaign into a cultural movement, a new services launch into a new company mantra, and a seemingly simple conference booth into a key moment in a young doctor’s life. We listen to what you want, research what is relevant, and deliver what you need. Sounds intense, right?

It is.


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