Advertising art director, often referred to as ‘creative’, are responsible for producing innovative ideas for advertising campaigns in all kinds of media, including:

  • television;
  • radio;
  • posters;
  • press;
  • direct mail.

Art directors will also work in digital/viral marketing, which is a huge growth area.

A copywriter works alongside an art director to form a ‘creative team’. Traditionally, the copywriter produces the words to go with the visuals created by the art director. These roles are becoming more blurred now though and it is likely that both will have an input on the visual and verbal content to produce the right look and feel for the advertising campaign.

The advertising art director works on the campaign from the beginning and receives details about the client, product, target audience and required advertising message, which helps to shape the advertising campaign.

Advertising art director

Advertising art director Job typical work activities

The roles of advertising art directors vary according to the agency they work for and the client brief, but typical activities may include:

  • meeting with the account management team to discuss the client’s requirements;
  • gaining an understanding of the target audience and business that the advert is aimed at;
  • working closely with the copywriter to generate creative ideas and concepts to fulfil the client’s brief;
  • meeting with the creative director before presenting ideas to clients;
  • pitching ideas to clients;
  • producing sketches or ‘storyboards’ (television) or ‘roughs’ or ‘scamps’ (print) to communicate ideas to the client;
  • briefing other members of the creative team;
  • commissioning photographers, artists or film-makers to work on projects;
  • visiting and assessing locations for potential shoots;
  • working on location;
  • attending meetings at production houses and with other directors;
  • working in editing suites to oversee the finished product;
  • advising new creatives, reviewing their ‘books’ and managing new teams on placement with the agency.

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