Creativity

What will the future of our industry look like? We asked the experts for their predictions.

Behaviourial advertising
By Andrew Simon, ECD, DDB Canada

Welcome to the petri dish, otherwise known as the golden age of experimentation. Creativity is being pushed and pulled in all kinds of novel directions, all in an effort to get closer to consumers. As a result, more and more agencies have adopted the inventor mentality of “well, I sure hope this works.”
Exhibit 1: the recent Old Spice real-time personalized video extravaganza. Not to beat a dead (“I’m on a”) horse, but part of the charm of this social media effort was that the team honestly wasn’t sure if it would be even mildly successful. As we continue to take this trial-and-error approach, a more specific form of experimentation is emerging in our industry that’s long been the domain of psychologists. It’s the idea of “behavioural engagement” – manipulating a situation and seeing what consumer behaviour will follow.
It doesn’t take a Stanley Milgram-type shock (sorry, I was a psychology major) to wake up to the fact that behavioural engagement is an interesting way to prove a point. We’ve already seen some provocative examples of this – VW’s “Fun Theory” and Heineken’s “Auditorium Football” come to mind, and before that, Burger King’s “Whopper Freakout.” And the reality is that awards-crazed creatives tend to mirror whatever wins big at Cannes so there’s sure to be a lot more where that came from. 

Answering the unasked question
By Michel de Lauw, VP/CCO, Cossette

The world of communications is changing, for the better. An integrated approach is the only way to give brands weight. The authority of our craft is no longer the deciding factor.
Today, it’s the consumer. Consumers choose the platform they like, when and where they like it. And consumers themselves are the best media. We can no longer seduce them without offering experiences they’ll want to talk about.
Today, transparency and collaboration must govern the processes of defining our clients’ objectives, reaching their clientele, and producing solutions with lasting effects. This is the integrated approach. This is the way to evolve a brand.
To have an impact in a world where the effectiveness of mass media is diminishing, creativity and communication must be at the heart of any brand expression.
Today, the key to innovation is the culture of insight, of the human truth. It’s about hearing that small sound, the weak signal, the unasked question.
Today’s ideas are content driven – stories or narratives in the here and now. The platforms we create are places to meet and sustain continuous communication with consumers. Getting there is simple if you know how to create the spectacular and question the conventional.
The role of the creative director today is to cultivate a more flexible hierarchy of creative forces – a new democracy of disciplines – capable of generating powerful, integrated and sustained responses.

A match made online
By Eva Van Den Bulcke, ACD, Sid Lee

The next big thing is nothing new in itself. It’s about creating the perfect match between a project and the people who are working on it. The internet and social networking are putting us in touch with people all over the world who we never would have known about just five years ago.
In a traditional agency, we would get anyone available to work on a given project. This can result in awkward teams such as a Greenpeace member working on an SUV account or a man on a feminine hygiene pantyliner account (these are real examples, by the way). We would keep convincing ourselves that as communicators, we can address any crowd and by reading a few articles we would “get” the product and be one with the consumer. To me, insight can only come from within. Therefore, casting the right people is key.
I think the next big thing will be the way we cast. There couldn’t be
a better use of social networking. There are already a few websites
out there setting the talent showcase trend like Behance.net or
Netdiver.net. There’s also a new trend of freelancers banding together to highlight their services such as Pigefolio.com. Clients and creatives have also started to team up in online communities inviting people to participate in all stages of a creative process and the best work from the most well-suited creatives wins. This new form of democratic creativity is gathering momentum at sites like Openideo.com.
There are many more creative community sites out there and way more to come because there is so much talent in the world. It would be a shame not to use it.
I think this process benefits everyone. It’s basic human behaviour that if someone is motivated to do something, they will do a better job on it than the person whose heart isn’t in it. If a creative is working on projects that interest him or her then they are more likely to personally invest their efforts into the project and make sure the first experience with this client is not his last. The end result will benefit from this passion and the creative will have a great piece of work to add to their portfolio, which will, in time, attract more desirable projects (or matching projects).

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