Kristian Barnes
Sep 21, 2016

What is advertising creativity, and how do we deliver it?

The ‘fourth industrial revolution’ has changed the media playing field beyond recognition, and agencies need to realise that when the fundamental questions are different it’s time to come up with new answers.

Challenging times: With the emergence of real AI, technology and creativity need to work hand-in-hand.
Challenging times: With the emergence of real AI, technology and creativity need to work hand-in-hand.

The last few decades have seen the unbundling of media and continued fragmentation of digital specialists as we go through the fourth industrial revolution—one built on technology and connectivity.

This has all contributed to the erosion of our industry’s model of ‘traditional creativity’. Firstly, channels such as TV, print, outdoor and radio are digitising and being joined by digital/technology platforms such as social, mobile, apps, programmatic and so on, that all need to be considered part of a 360-degree creative solution. 

Secondly, AI is starting to challenge creativity as a ‘human-only’ trait. Already companies such as Narrative Science are using AI and deep data to create copy that is indistinguishable from one written by humans. This application of creative AI will only continue to rapidly evolve.

Let’s be clear, though: effective creative communications delivers better outcomes for clients—as has been proven by many studies in the past two decades. The question we have to ask ourselves as agencies is, ‘What is advertising creativity, and what does it take to deliver that for ourselves and our clients?’

If you still believe the answer is an art director and a copy writer huddled together, high on caffeine and not having slept for three days, trying to crack the idea, then it’s time to retire.

Building a contemporary environment to deliver effective creative takes more than just ‘creative’ talent. It is also having the right talent that understands how technology can enhance or drive the creative solution, and people who think beyond just creative comms as a solution.

At Vizeum, our legacy is as a digital agency founded in media, however we have evolved to a media-plus approach. The answer to a client’s business problem can be (and often is) more than a clever comms solution. Our offering is underpinned with creative technology.

We have reshaped our talent to people who think beyond traditional communications, who understand big data, and who understand technology and its application. Simply, we changed the way we think about answering a question. 

A stronger, more inclusive and open relationship with your clients is key to delivering in this new model. They need to understand that this is a creative technology solution, not a creative comms solution. In many ways it is always an experiment and can, occasionally, go astray.

For Vizeum, promoting great effective creativity is a mindset built on thinking differently and embracing technology as an enabler. 

Kristian Barnes is APAC CEO of Vizeum


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