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Changing how we see creativity

TBWA Global chief creative experience officer, Ben Williams, focused on thinking about creativity in its broader sense at one of the several panels and presentations hosted by The One Club for Creativity's One Show, during the week of 16-20 May.

“There’s a lot going on in the world, to say the least, and the role of creativity has broadened for a number of years, but more specifically, over the last few,” Williams said.

“There’s a whole host of skills and types of people who play roles within the world of creativity that need to come together. How do we actually find a sense of common ground in terms of how we think about creativity?”

Understanding a different creativity

When we think about creativity in the marketing space, we often fall into the trap of focusing on how we advertise. In this space, we think about people reading, listening, and watching - and we focus on these areas as the media landscape. The industry has been built on core behaviours that stem from these mediums.

“Technology has really evolved since then,” Williams said. “It’s evolved human behaviours, how we engage with brands, with media, with each other.”

As a result of this evolution, engagement has moved past merely reading, listening and watching, leading to a broadening of the landscape for brands in how they engage with their audiences.

What does this expanding creative landscape look like?

Advertising is still part of the puzzle - but it is only one piece. “Building a brand requires much more than just advertising,” Williams said. “There are other pieces to this puzzle.”

The way people engage with brands has changed, and as a result of this change, people want more of a relationship with the brand. “There’s a value exchange that people can have with brands these days in these ongoing engaged relationships,” Williams said. “It comes to life through things like CRM, membership, customer service, loyalty service.”

Historically, the worlds of advertising, products and services and client relationship management have been separated. These are ways that brands show up in the world, but customers don’t think of brands as one entity with these separations, but as one entity.

The core DNA of the brand should inform the entire customer journey. Advertising, products and services, customer relationship and everything in between should be consistent and used to define the brand at its essence.

How do we come together?

So how do we establish a common ground of what good work means? The first thing is that this kind of thinking requires more diverse perspectives, talents and skill sets. “Art and copy alone will not solve every brief,” Williams said.

The understanding of great work is a common thread among creatives, despite the different talents and skill sets that we possess. As such, the common goal of producing great work is the thing that will pull creatives together at the end of the day.

But what is good work? “I don’t think there’s one clear answer,” Williams said. “I think it’s thought about in a few different dimensions.”

Williams surmises that these dimensions include understanding how to create work that stands out, is distinct and sets the brand apart from the rest. More than that, the work needs to add value to people’s lives - something that is relevant and impactful to how they go about their daily lives and deal with the challenges they face.

“The point is to really think about those broader behaviours,” Williams said. “Thinking about the brand at the centre, making sure that the brand is dictating and driving those touchpoints while thinking about that broader landscape where our work can show up is more needed than ever.”


 
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