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Creativity in this new, always-on world

What is the modern-day definition of “creativity”? This is one of the most challenging issues facing every creative agency today. Vineet Raheja, Deputy Creative Director at Connect, explores ten themes that explain this decade of change.

1 - It’s not just words and pictures. It’s creativity in a much broader sense. 
For example, Mercedes-Benz cars encouraged younger consumers to visit a mashup site to create their own music video by combining the Tinie Tempah track ‘Pass Out’ with noises made by the new Mercedes E63 AMG saloon. Participants were also able to share their mashup on Twitter using the #soundwithpower hash tag.   

2 - It’s not even just creativity. It’s creativity and technology (Creatology). 
Technology has redefined traditional advertising and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible creatively. To support Land Rover’s sponsorship of SPECTRE we created a damage slider so the user could slide seamlessly between the Land Rover in its pristine state to the same car in its damaged condition. For each dent, scrape and bullet hole, we built hotspots that users could click on to see more (pictures, videos, stories…etc.).  

3 - It’s not just creating ideas. It’s co-creating them. 
Our new brand campaign for MAN Trucks has been co-created with the family of an MAN truck driver - this is a first in Commercial Vehicles. The campaign shows how the benefits of MAN Trucks not only make for a happy trucker but also a happy family.  

4 - It’s not just clever ideas. It’s brand conversations. 
When Sainsbury’s received a letter from Lily Robinson (3.5 years old) suggesting their Tiger bread should be called Giraffe bread as it looked more like a giraffe than a tiger, they didn’t just bin that letter. Instead, they renamed it Giraffe bread and kick-started a brand conversation on social media.  

5. It’s not just about media. It’s also about social media.
Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice on Facebook, BA’s race the plane on Twitter…there are so many examples around us of brands using social media in an engaging and successful manner. We also run topical ads on the Facebook page of MAN Trucks to make the world of trucking more lighthearted. Linking truck benefits to Star Wars, April Fool’s and International Women’s Day.

6 - It’s not just broadcast. It’s narrowcast. And at times even monocast. 
Samsung wanted its consumers to know that anyone could take pictures like a professional photographer with their new NX camera. So what did they do? They called on everyone whose name was David Bailey and gave them a free NX camera for a whole month. Then asked them to upload their pictures on Samsung’s Facebook page where people could also get cashback offers and masterclasses.  

7 - It’s not just 30 seconds. It’s 140 characters.
An agency called ‘World’s fastest agency’ urges clients to send them a 140-character brief via Twitter and within 24 hours they send back a 140-character creative solution. For example: 
Brief: Gain media and buzz for our park-anywhere small car
Idea: Attach replica cars to landmark city buildings

8 - It’s not just one-way. It’s two-way, three-way…an ongoing dialogue. 
Dove’s campaign for real beauty is a great example of how a brand has created an ongoing dialogue with its consumers by creating an ecosystem around ‘campaign for real beauty’.

9 – It’s not ‘intrusion and persuasion’. It’s ‘participation, involvement and action’.
I was lucky enough to work with the great Steve Henry (co-founder of HHCL and winner of the prestigious D&AD President’s Award in 2016) and he always referred to an ad as the “wasp at the picnic”. However, that 20th century model of ‘intrusion’ has become less relevant as technology has allowed consumers to prevent this intrusion – with Ad Blockers and TiVo. So advertising has to be more innovative and work even harder to cut through.   

10 – That’s why they can’t just be ads. They have to be immersive connections. 
Creating immersive connections is all about developing engaging brand storytelling through experiences that consumers will actively seek out and interact with. As opposed to deliberately avoiding like the wasp at the picnic. Immersive connections are participative, engaging and rewarding. Just like our MAN Family campaign made consumers participate and the Land Rover Spectre work involved fans through the damage slider.

So how has the definition of creativity changed? Well, if you look at the textbook definition: creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. 

In principle it’s still the same but the big change is that modern-day creative thinkers are just as likely to be creative technologists as they are to be art directors. Just as likely to be content strategists as they are to be copywriters. And just as likely to be Business Analysts as they are to be designers.

This diversity of thought is something we at Connect embraced ages ago.

To talk to Vineet about how our multi-disciplinary team of Creatologists develop immersive connections in an always-on world call 01902 714 957 or email vineet.raheja@connect-group.com