The Great Chicken vs Egg, Media vs Creative Debate

If I had a dollar for every time I heard the question, “Should creative or media come first?” I would rival Trump’s piggy bank (and maybe then I’d be running for president!). Let’s face it, “creative then media, media then creative” is the advertising quintessential of “chicken then egg, egg then chicken” debate.

On one hand, having a brilliant and disruptive creative idea is the kindling that could inspire equally brilliant and disruptive placements of said idea. On the other, having strategic insight into all of the constantly evolving media possibilities can spark a brilliant and disruptive creative idea.

I’ve been a part of both approaches. And both have their benefits. I guess that stands to reason because a “creative” process by its very nature should hardly be contained or truly “process-y.”

That said, when I see a brilliant idea like the Lagavulin Whiskey’s award-winning Yule Log, starring the one and very only Nick Offerman in his archetypal “Ron Swanson” demeanor and environment, it makes me believe that ideas work best when creative is the egg (aka: the beginning of the idea’s life) and media is the chicken (aka: the idea comes into the world).

Try to back-engineer the birthplace of such a clever idea. Scenario 1: the media team comes before their creative partners and say, “I’ve got it! Let’s do a 45 minute online video with YouTube of… well, you figure it out…” Or Scenario 2: the creative team comes before their media cohorts and pitches, “What if we were to film 45 minutes of Nick Offerman doing what Nick Offerman does best – silently drinking whiskey with his iconic mustache in an ideal gentleman’s lounge. Does that make sense in the plan, and if so, where?” The latter certainly seems the more likely scenario.

But regardless, while the debate might ever-exist and there continue to be confusion in the process, one thing is crystal clear: the most brilliant of the brilliant ideas are a collaborative effort between creative and media. So wherever the initial spark happens, it takes both parties to fully bring the idea to life.