Successful Creatives Share This Trait

Jonathan Cude, chief creative officer of McKinney, also singles out “the greatest differentiator” in the advertising and marketing industry.

Successful Creatives Share This Trait

by Alan Hart

Posted on 10-09-2017

This article is part of’s October series about creativity and design-led thinking. Click here for more.

For “Marketing Today,” I’ve interviewed people from across the country and around the world. In this episode, though, I talk with someone who works in the same building—McKinney chief creative officer Jonathan Cude. (Note: Our companies are both part of the Cheil network.)

Cude got his start in advertising as a secretary at an Atlanta ad agency. Then, after a stop at portfolio school, he made his way to Portland and Wieden + Kennedy before arriving at McKinney. He’s been awarded just about every industry accolade while working with clients including Nike, Diet Coke, Audi, and Samsung. In 2015, Adweek named him one of the 50 Vital Leaders in Tech, Media, and Marketing.

For Cude, the two most important qualities for creatives to possess in advertising are fearlessness and resiliency. Talking about fearlessness, “I do believe that the creative people in our industry are artists,” Cude said. “But we don’t so much get paid for the artistry as we do the ability to withstand the critiquing and pulling apart of ‘our babies.’”

As for resiliency, he went on to add, “To me, being resilient as a creative in advertising is probably the single greatest determining factor in whether or not a person is going to be successful.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

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Topics: Creative Cloud, Insights Inspiration, Creativity, CMO by Adobe