I'm hearing lots of people asking if creative agencies will be the same after the coronavirus crisis.
I guess it's important to pay attention to people paying attention, but all I’m seeing from consumers is pure desire for direct value. If it isn't of value to them, they don't care about your ad. Why should they? The general public has never loved advertising, though over the years they have loved the occasional ad.
Will this force agencies and brands to do the stuff they haven't been brave enough to do before?
But the landscape is very different now. The public has more control than ever. More control to skip. To block. To avoid altogether. To use platforms that tailor the advertising to them so that, even if it's bad, at least it's relevant, at least it’s likely communicating the existence of something that's useful.
When this pandemic subsides, I can see a better industry for creators.
Will this force agencies and brands to do the stuff they haven't been brave enough to do before? Stuff like creating new tools, new games, new platforms, movies, apps, documentaries, music videos, productive marketing and new products. To position product as a service, to find new ways to form community around the product, For the brand to act as a publisher... Maybe.
But who will make up these teams and how will they exist? Is now the time we take data, science and art and weave that triple threat into something meaningful so we can make better stuff for people?
Could we start to model our offering like the tech businesses have managed to do so well? Look at Spotify, Headspace, Squarespace… these are big, helpful, purposeful and compassionate brands that make your life sound better, feel better and look sexier.
There will be businesses that live by the mantra of talk less, do more. Less vanity, more family.
In my optimistic mind, when this pandemic subsides, I can see a better industry for creators. There will be purpose. There will be community. There will be agility in the teams in which we exist. There will be trust. And there will be businesses that live by the mantra of talk less, do more. Less vanity, more family. Less meetings upon meetings about meetings. Less top down, idea-squashing leadership. Less old, lumbering, pale and stale businesses circle-jerking their way around an idea, making it easier and easier to say no.
I can feel, imagine and hope for an exciting golden age of creativity.
Could we be about to see environments designed for the age of the creator and collaborator? Could we be about to accept that an advertising creative isn’t just an art director or copywriter?
Or might absolutely nothing change? I don’t know, but I can feel, imagine and hope for an exciting golden age of creativity.