If you are in the agency business you are familiar with the label "creative." The trades and clients will refer to how creative your agency is and it is a factor in most agency report cards. But what does creativity mean? I think I know what the ingredients are, although I cannot offer the exact recipe.
The first ingredient is authentic creativity, which is sort of a raw intangible that is hard to define but you know it when you see it.
The second ingredient is celebrity. A program with a movie or music star is exciting and sexy. Such programs may or may not have been remarkably creative, but you must have celebrity somewhere in your case study portfolio to be considered creative as an agency.
The third ingredient is programs targeting 19 to 34 year-old males. Do your programs have farts, belches, and sexual references? No? Well then you aren't creative. Seriously, programs that target this audience are typically irreverent and edgy, both common ingredients of the definition of creative.
I've been in the business for 17-years and this feels accurate. We may not know for sure until someone commissions research to validate this, but since that isn't likely to happen you will have to take my word for it.