We love to hear from the creative leaders at our member agencies. And our first creative chief to be featured in the 5 Questions for… series is RPA‘s Joe Baratelli, who’s based in Los Angeles. RPA’s Honda spot entitled “Paper” is one of a handful in contention for a 2016 Emmy. Baratelli has been with RPA for more than 30 years.
1) What’s the biggest challenge or opportunity facing the ad industry right now?
Our biggest obstacle and reward is compensation. How do we create a monetary value for the ideation beyond the simple labor involved? A good idea well executed is worth much more than a mediocre idea poorly executed. It’s critical that we acknowledge that success should be rewarded.
2) What is the single most significant change you need to make in your agency in the next 12 months?
I want teams to find smarter solutions quicker—hack workflow. I think this can be done by empowering cross-discipline teams to work together to accelerate communication and collaboration.
3) What products/services/unique skills do ad agencies offer that guarantee the industry’s survival for another 100 years?
Connecting with an audience will always come down to creativity—an idea that is fresh. A new or different way to see a solution to a problem. A new or different way of expressing information, in whatever form it takes. Creative solutions will always be at the heart of what ad agencies offer.
4) What attributes do you look for in your next generation of leaders/managers?
Empathy is paramount and can make all the difference. Teamwork, collaboration and communication are the building blocks for creative solutions. There needs to be an understanding of the perspective of each individual and what they endure to contribute to any given project. The more that managers understand people, the more they can trust and empower.
5) If you weren’t working in advertising, what would you be doing as a career?
I’d be an artist—fine art or filmmaker, probably—and I’d still be creating art that connects with and moves people.