Technologies Impact On Creativity

The building pictured above is a recently opened skyscraper in New York by Frank Gehry and a great real world example of technology meeting creativity.

I think the definition of what we consider creativity is changing, morphing to include functional aspects. In terms of advertising, how users will interact with a campaign, on which devices, at what time are all becoming just as valid creative aspects as what colour the typeface will be. Many people may see technology as negatively impacting creativity in advertising as the proliferation of people becoming “connected” through PCs, tablets, mobile and social networks drive campaigns that have just as much to do with functionality as they do the big TVC idea. However, I think it’s actually creating an environment that not only encourages creativity but actually means that it’s more effective.

I believe creative work now more than ever equals effective work. Previously a creative campaign would run it’s course through the paid broadcast media channels and fade away, only leaving word of mouth behind. Now, if people watch something they enjoy on one of their connected devices or with one present, they can then share the experience with their friend networks and create discussions around it. Not only that but it lives on as a permanently available record on the internet.

Technology (being connected) & social networks amplify the message of creative campaigns, if people are interested in the content enough to spread it throughout their networks.

Moreover, technology has created an environment which empowers people as content seekers, distributors and creators. We’ll search out and only engage with what we want to, whereas previously we simply consumed content that was broadcast to us (because we didn’t have a choice). In this new environment if what we create as advertisers isn’t creative and engaging, more and more we will just get ignored and passed by as people get used to accessing only the content they are after. Television broadcasters are dealing with this issue currently with time shifted viewing, newspapers are being replaced by daily updates on news websites and people are using iPods in the car to listen to music rather than radio. So what do we need to do as advertisers to continue to be relevant to people:

Be Interesting: Lets deliver information and content that is revelant to the person who is experiencing it at the time, whether it’s a price on a product they are seeking out or an amusing video to kill a couple of minutes at the office. Let’s deliver content that is easy and enjoyable to experience for everyone no matter where they want to access it, whether it’s from their mobile, tablet, PC or letterbox.

Do Stuff Rather Than Say Stuff: Look to create things as well as ads. Create utility. Allow people to access the interesting content on their terms.

Experiment: Maybe good enough is good enough. Lets be agile and iterate, operating more like a tech start up than a typical agency. Work together in cross disciplinary teams. Gareth Kay also made the suggestion of putting a percentage of the marketing budget directly towards R&D.

Why can’t the next Facebook/Twitter/Instagram be started within an agency?

Author: Alex Leece