With my first week at Y&R now in the books, the question most frequently asked (by both friends and new colleagues) was, “What is a Creative Culturalist?” It’s a fair question. I suppose I could answer with a mobius strip-type response, explaining that it’s not a job with a clearly defined job description, just as culture today is hard to easily define or categorize; and it is that very element of cultural ambiguity that lead to the creation of the Creative Culturalist role in the first place.
Several people have suggested that my role is similar to that of a planner, and I agree. It definitely has some of that to it. I know a lot of planners, have had that as part of my job descriptions in the past, and have a lot of respect for the role. I hope that my ideas are informed by and relevant to the work of the planners at Y&R.
Where my role diverges from the planners will be the work I do on behalf of the agency in addition to that of our clients. I hope to bring the culture of Y&R to the world, helping to shape the agency’s voice and the way in which we communicate with our industry and the public at large. The flip side of that will be bringing elements of culture into the agency through my filter.
But sometimes rather than talk about things, it’s better to describe it with something more visual. And so I was able to work with Bumhan Yu, one of the talented people at The Madison Group, part of the Y&R Brands network, to create this infographic. Because the role of Creative Culturalist, or any of the new hybrid positions popping up at agencies right now, is defined as much by the person in the role as the role itself, this visual definition is part job description, part bio. We wanted to have a little fun with it too, so this isn’t exactly gospel here. I hope you like it and I welcome your comments.