Top of Mind

Q&A with David Harvey, Creative

Topofmind david

What does it mean to be a copywriter?

In college I started in journalism, then realized that being a reporter covering a beat really wasn’t for me. I wanted to tackle something, gather as much background and information as I could, then form my own opinion and have my own take. With advertising you have creative problem-solving, storytelling and usually a visual component, and film was always a big interest of mine. When I was looking to pivot, advertising seemed like a good fit.

Can you talk about your process?

For me there’s a hard fluctuation between solo and collaborative. I want to be able to think about the assignment or problem, let things marinate, for at least some period of time. So I feel like I’m primed for any group conversation. But once I’m there, I’m more than ready for the feedback and collaboration. If it’s just me, I feel like the idea is never going to be as big as it could be with other people on board. I’m not really about “This is my idea, let’s flesh it out.” I’m more of, “This is what I’m thinking. Now where can we go?”

I’m not really about “This is my idea, let’s flesh it out.” I’m more of, “This is what I’m thinking. Now where can we go?"

Through your work, do you sense a responsibility or a desire to be part of something bigger than yourself?

With healthcare clients, even when it’s B2B, you know there is a real person on the other side of it. So it’s never just a website or just a brand or just a client. There is an underlying human element, and we’re trying to bring a higher level of thinking to everything we do. The work feels less productized, and it’s easier to tell human stories. That’s one of the things I appreciate about working with the team we have.

What needs to change in our industry?

When you see a thousand ads that all say, “in these unprecedented times,” it’s a wakeup call as to how reactive our industry can be. Not just to what’s going on, but someone seeing a competitor message in the marketplace and thinking, “oh, we have to say something, too,” latching onto similar sentiment and language. I realize we need to be cognizant of our times, but how do we do it without losing our brand position or our voice? How can we still be different? Let’s not sacrifice creativity in service of a crisis. This is when people need to be more creative than ever.