Disruption Creative Process

The explosion of channels is disrupting the creative process.

As I’ve witnessed over the last three decades, the creativity, the single media-neutral idea, has been the catalyst for a campaign. The media agency, the suits, the creatives, we all understood our role to play. But in the last 10 years there’s been an explosion of media channels that’s changing the creative process.

We’re now questioning what should come first – the creative idea or the media channel?

Is technology disrupting the creative process?

This might sound like a strange question. You’d think that with the influx of social platforms and opportunities presented by technology that creative thinking would be flowing in abundance. And it is. But it’s a different kind of thinking, because technology is playing a huge part in leading it.

Digital didn’t even exist in 1990. Now budgets for social media advertising alone have doubled worldwide over the past two years—from $16 billion in the US in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016.

The explosion of channels available to us has put the emphasis on media. From the boardroom to the creative studio, channels are dominating the marketing conversation.

With all of these new platforms to play with, the creative process and how we think of a longer-term solution for the business issue has become disrupted.

There are so many places to communicate with people, are we thinking about how the ‘idea’ can be presented to the world before we’ve even thought of the idea itself?

As the pace at which channels change and increase looks unlikely to dwindle we have to make a call on whether the concept of one media-neutral idea is dead and if we really should be putting the channel first.

Case for creativity

One lighting-bolt big brand idea has the power to bring together a dispersed media landscape and cut through the clutter.

And by starting with one creative concept there are endless ways a campaign can go. It offers the freedom and flexibility to travel, to run on one or multiple channels and be tailored by audience.

And there’s the emotional element of creativity too that should not be overlooked.

By prioritising creativity we have a way for the audience to really feel and connect emotionally with a brand campaign. The media channel is the deliverer of that idea. Nobody cares where they read, saw or heard that idea. And it’s that idea that the audience takes to its heart, holds on to and recalls.

The media channel’s role

While in my view creativity will always remain king. There’s one thing that I should make clear. Nobody is undermining the significance of the channel you choose.

It’s where the campaign comes to fruition. The point at which we can capture data to understand the true success of a campaign, how well it has resonated with an audience and the return on investment.

But a campaign that starts with a channel is always going to be limited in terms of what and where it can deliver. And without a clear, larger strategy, exposing your audience to lots of little ideas can struggle to amount up to something that reflects the wider brand purpose.

I look to the future with one eye on everything new in the digital world that enables a simplified, more effective and richer creative process, but a media channel will for now remain a means of implementing rather than driving a campaign.

We should celebrate the creative, the raw emotion of an idea and regain the importance of brand.

Dorina D’Ambrosio, Creative Director, The Behaviours Agency

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