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Harnessing the Power of AI in Your Agency Workflow

Harnessing the Power of AI in Your Agency Workflow

As a small creative agency, staying ahead of the curve and maximizing efficiency are essential for success. One powerful tool that can help achieve these goals is artificial intelligence (AI). At FourthIdea, we’re using AI to streamline our workflow and enhance our creative processes. Here’s how we do it.

1. Start Small, Think Big

While AI has tremendous potential, it’s essential to start with manageable projects and gradually expand. Begin by identifying specific tasks or processes that could benefit from automation or optimization using AI. For FourthIdea, this meant integrating AI into our creative ideation process with tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney. By starting small, we were able to gain familiarity with AI technologies and assess their impact on our workflow before scaling up.

2. Collaborate with AI

AI shouldn’t replace human creativity; instead, it should complement it. We encourage our team to view AI as a collaborative partner rather than a threat. Foster a culture that embraces experimentation and innovation, where team members are encouraged to explore new ways of working with AI tools. At FourthIdea, we’ve found that combining human creativity with AI-driven insights leads to more innovative and impactful solutions for our clients.

3. Embrace Automation

AI excels at automating repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable time for your team to focus on more high-level creative work. Identify areas of your workflow that are ripe for automation, such as data analysis, email responses, or project management. By automating these tasks, you can increase efficiency and productivity while reducing the risk of human error—allowing your team to devote more time to crafting compelling campaigns for our clients.

4. Stay Ethical and Transparent

As with any technology, it’s essential to approach AI integration ethically and responsibly. Be transparent with your clients about how AI is being used in your creative processes and ensure that it aligns with their values and objectives. It’s also important to respect artists’ rights and adhere to best practices when it comes to image and content generation. At the agency, we’re in the process of creating an AI user guide to help us navigate through the gray areas that this new era has generated. 

Yes, I did use AI to help me write this.

Why wouldn’t I? It’s no different that providing creative direction to the human members of the FourthIdea team. I created a very well-defined prompt that outlined the  structure of the post and the points I wanted to make. Ultimately, it provided me with a start, but I still had to shape it to my vision. Integrating AI into an agency’s workflow can unlock new possibilities for innovation and efficiency. By starting small, collaborating with AI, embracing automation, and maintaining ethical standards, agencies can harness the full potential of AI to drive success for agency and clients like. At FourthIdea, we’re excited about the opportunities that AI presents and are committed to exploring new ways to leverage this transformative technology in our work.

AI Apps + Usage

ChatGPT+Gemini: Research, Data-Analytics, Strategy-Planning, Emails

MidJourney: Image generation for ideation, ad comps, and storyboarding

Eleven Labs: Voiceover generation for video rough cuts

Directing from Stage to Agency

Directing from Stage to Agency

As someone who wears two hats – a creative director at an advertising agency and a director of local theater – I’ve discovered a surprising overlap between these seemingly disparate roles. In both worlds, the ability to craft a compelling narrative and bring a vision to life is paramount. As it turns out, directing a play has honed my skills as a creative director, with a focus on the power of vision statements and the art of storytelling. Here’s how…

1. Crafting a Vision Statement

In both theater and advertising, a clear vision is essential to guide the creative process. When I direct a play, I always start by crafting a vision statement that encapsulates the story I want to tell and the emotions I want to evoke. This vision statement serves as my North Star throughout rehearsals, helping me stay focused on the core message of the play from scene to scene. Similarly, as a creative director, I rely on brand position statements to align my team and clients around a shared vision for each project. Whether it’s a brand campaign or a theatrical production, a strong vision sets the stage for success.


2. Bringing Vision to Life

Once the vision statement is in place, the next step is to bring it to life on stage or screen. In directing a crucial scene from “The Lion In Winter,” I encountered a challenge that forced me to revisit my vision statement. The script direction for a particular scene wasn’t aligning with the overarching vision of the play. The vision statement reminded me that King Henry should always operate from a position of strength. With this clarity, I made a decision to deviate from the script and have the spotlights on each of the sons blackout as Henry rejected them. This simple yet powerful change transformed the scene, reinforcing the central theme of power dynamics within the play.


3. Collaboration and Communication

Directing a play requires collaboration with a diverse team of actors, designers, and technicians. Clear communication is key to ensuring that everyone is aligned within a shared vision. Similarly, as a creative director, I collaborate closely with art directors, copywriters, and clients to bring concepts to life. By honing my communication skills in the theater, I’ve learned how to effectively articulate where we are in relationship to goals and provide constructive feedback to ensure that everyone is working towards a common vision.


4. Adaptability and Problem-Solving

Theater is inherently unpredictable, and as a director, you must be prepared to adapt to unforeseen challenges. Whether it’s an actor falling ill or a last-minute set malfunction, the show must go on. This ability to think on your feet and find creative solutions to problems has proven invaluable in my role as a creative director. In the fast-paced world of advertising, unexpected hurdles are par for the course, and the ability to adapt quickly is essential to delivering successful campaigns. The key here is to be flexible. When you present option “A” but the client wants “B,” there’s usually a “C” option that satisfies everyone. Rigid thinking can derail any production.


As the Curtain Closes

Directing a play has taught me valuable lessons that have directly translated into my work as a creative director. From crafting vision statements to making creative decisions, the skills honed in the theater have helped me become a more effective leader and storyteller. Whether you’re directing a play or leading a creative team, remember the power of a clear vision and the importance of bringing that vision to life with creativity, collaboration, and adaptability.