- Last year at Praxis in India you talked about investing in creativity through training (like the one when a movie director talked to your team about his creative process). How important and valuable is to create a creative culture?
Vital. A culture of creative excellence led with intent and determination from the top is essential in the marketing and communications sector, where there is a strong link between creativity and business success. And yet, in many firms there’s no clear outline for it. Very few companies – agencies and clients – have an actual creative strategy, and creativity is many times left to chance. Leaders don’t have a clear understanding of their own role in driving this culture or the specific actions they need to do. I want to change all that, and it’s one of the things I’m focused on with my creative leadership lab, WINGS.
- Also, before you talked about how PR needs to learn to build humour oriented creative culture with hunger, ambition, and obsession from advertising, and how advertising needs to learn democracy of creative process in PR – collaboration where ideas are welcome. How tough process is this for both sides?
There is so much that advertising and PR could learn from each other. And though many of the communications groups have both types of agencies, learning and integration is a lot more difficult than one might think. This is because for PR agencies it requires an important shift in culture and structure, and for advertising it requires a change in process and also abandoning the ‘superiority complex’. I don’t want to reveal too much right now, as this is the topic of my session in Belgrade at Kaktus Festival.
- Earlier this year in London, you mentored connection between bravery and creativity. How much those two are actually linked?
Every new creative idea is an act of bravery. ‘New’ means ‘never done before’. ‘Never done before’ means ‘risky’. You need to be a bit brave to embrace a risky idea. But I honestly think that NOT doing new creative things is a whole lot riskier for any business in today’s world.
- How much is tech development defining the path of creative thinking today?
There is no creativity today without some form of tech. From data based insights, to channels, and measurement… tech is everywhere. The two are completely interlinked.
- Does creativity existing in cycles, and is it possible to imagine we get to Bulova-like static TV commercial at some point again?
That particular ad is important from history point of view, but not really relevant for today’s world, or clever by today’s standards. It was very innovative at the time it was created, but it doesn’t have what we call today a big idea – it’s just an image of the product with a simple voice over. So I hope not.
But I do love a minimalist ad with a great idea. And I do think that we’ll see more of those. One of my favourite series of ads is “From Sweden not Hollywood” – Volvo sponsorship for Sky Atlantic. Simply brilliant.
- With the development of possibilities, creativity in communication growing every day. How big challenge today is to be creative and sell the product but to keep attention on a product instead of communication itself?
I really think this is a false problem. After so many years in the business, I’m yet to see a campaign that was great from communications point of view and didn’t bring real benefits for the brand. Not necessarily by pushing the sales of a product (not every campaign is or should be focused on sales and the product), but strengthening the bond between consumers and the brand.
- Is idea possible without execution? What do you think?
An idea is only as good as its execution. It pains me to see how many good ideas pass unnoticed and don’t have the right impact because of poor execution.
But there’s also a thing called ‘too much craft’ – in this era of speed, sometimes it’s better to be early than perfect. Being the first on the market with a prototype, even if not executed in the best way, can have amazing benefits. So I’m advocating for ‘good enough’.
- What can we expect from your presentation at the festival Kaktus 2018?
My aim is to promote better understanding and integration between communications disciplines, particularly Advertising and PR. And to give communicators food for thought. Hope you’ll join me.