By. Hessen Youssef

On Monday, October 26th, Executive Creative Director of FCB Chicago Dan Fietsam spoke to members of the Illinois American Advertising Federation (AAF) about his personal experiences within the creative advertising industry, as well as some of his own insights on industry trends.

With a Master’s in Advertising and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications, Fietsam emphasizes how today’s advertising is realized through traditional platforms like radio, television, and print, but also new media technologies; digital technologies.

“The industry is changing … [and] agencies are starting to feel overwhelmed … [but] what do you do with all these changes?”

In terms of brands and creativity, Fietsam discussed “the Theater of Marketing,” saying that it is “less about doing an ad” and more about doing a production, or an event, or a story.

“Create more of an experience for people…this way of thinking is important when working in creative advertising,”

“The art of storytelling is making people see themselves in the story,” said Fietsam, “one of the best ways to learn this is to read more books and create your own stories.” Fietsam later recommended attendees interested in storytelling to read Robert McKee’s “Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting.”

Along with this concept, Fietsam also identified the idea of free media, saying, “When you get 5 million or 10 million views on YouTube for example, that’s all free media for the brand.”

In response to the question of “where do you draw the line with creative work?” Fietsam stated that “there’s always risk involved with business and advertising. There’s no measurement for what can by successful…it’s a gamble.”

Alongside great creative work, Fietsam stated that only a handful of companies truly “know why they do what they do,” and emphasized the importance of understanding this concept because “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

On making it in the industry, Fietsam had one key thing to say:

“At the end of the day, if your work is really good, you’ll get a job.”


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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