Defining creativity is impossible. It is subjective and in the eye of the beholder and the maker. Out of curiosity, we’ve asked our Guest Nominators to describe what creativity means to them and what sort of a role it plays in advertising. One of the first responses we’ve received is from Tim Nolan, Creative Director of BBH Labs.
Advertising has long since been a one way conversation from a brand to a consumer that has been tailored and crafted by an advertising agency. After years of qualitative and quantitative testing advertising became formulaic, expected, and ultimately boring. The Internet came along and changed all of this. Advertising has become invisible to the consumer. A new model is required. Creativity in contemporary advertising breaks out of these expected pathways and is naturally embraced by the population. It’s an open channel, and encourages involvement. In short, advertising needs to be as unlike advertising as possible to succeed.
So, what does this mean for you?
For me it means that I need to look for the unexpected opportunity. It is easy to do something “cool” for a “cool” brand, but can you deliver breakthrough creative for a Pharma brand? Creativity in advertising is about understanding not only the brand and the consumer, but also having a handle on the platform and media landscape. Once you have those elements positioned you can map them against popular culture and truly create something that will be embraced by society.
Jinal’s Note: If you haven’t checked out, experience the Zyrtec Park’s Unleashed Pick-your-adventure style campaign Tim launched before he left JWT for BBH.
What work do you nominate?
TakeThisLollipop.com does a wonderful job of tapping into the sub-conversation that exists around social media and our dwindling privacy. If you have not experienced it for yourself, I strongly suggest you open a new tab and spend some quality time there now. The site is a statement on how we as a culture have shifted to an open source lifestyle.
Whether conscious of it or not, we as a collective of people have opened up so much of our lives up to the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram have all captured our daily lives down to the moment. Finding someone in the real world, through their digital footprint is no longer a challenge. A few days before the site went public, I got an instant message with a link from my friend Jason. He asked me if I could check it out, and what if any brand would I think like to sponsor, buy or be attached to this idea. After getting a bit freaked out, and after digesting what I saw, I could not come up with a brand, but more importantly I did not think it needed one. It was such a memorable experience, it totally stood on its own.
In the first 24 hours of the site being open to the public, more than 300,000 people have given it access to their Facebook accounts, to date the site has just over 10,325,054 “likes” on Facebook. With it’s wild success I am sure there could be be a sequel in the works.
It doesn’t quite fit our brief which is why it’s so exciting to me. If Creative Directors are using this as a benchmark to define creativity in our industry, than that’s saying a lot about where the pulse is and what we can perhaps expect in the future. Take this Lollipop has been master-minded by Jason Zada. The campaign has massive talk value and pass along appeal. The cinematic quality of the film draws viewers into a deep level of engagement and delivers on the promise of suspense and surprise.