An associate creative director helps develop, initiate, and analyze marketing strategies and project concepts. Most professionals work in advertising agencies and creative divisions within the entertainment industry, though many directors are employed by large corporations that hope to improve their overall public image. They generally perform more administrative duties than the senior director, who is primarily concerned with coming up with original ideas and campaigns. By working directly with copywriters, graphic artists, and marketing employees, the associate creative director ensures that work is completed on time and that final products meet the expectations of clients.
Most associate directors are responsible for coordinating and overseeing activity in art departments. They explain basic concepts to graphic artists, designers, and copywriters, and make sure that work is performed as instructed. When an associate creative director decides that a project is not coming together as planned, he or she typically determines the best changes to be made. For example, a director who is in charge of an Internet marketing campaign for a new consumer product normally will explain the company's vision to a team of designers, detailing the importance of a particular color scheme and interactive graphic. Designers may need to submit several drafts of the project before the director is confident that the campaign will be effective.
An associate creative director in the entertainment industry usually specializes in a particular type of media. A professional might be in charge of putting together a live fashion show, designing a magazine ad campaign, or producing a movie trailer. Most directors are involved in every aspect of an event or promotion, from meeting with clients to evaluating a project's success months or years after its inception.
There are no set education or training requirements to work in this position. Most professionals hold at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, marketing, or art. A prospective director usually begins his or her career in another position within a corporation or advertising agency, such as an entry-level copywriter. With experience in the industry and a strong reputation for quality and timely work, he or she may be awarded a promotion to an associate creative director position.
Many associates eventually become senior directors. Most senior creative director jobs entail more private office work and less personal contact with employees. A senior director spends most of his or her time conducting Internet market research, reviewing proposals, and making the final decisions about whether or not to carry out a project idea.