Six Thoughts on Creativity and Collaboration

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In a world where brands need to help people understand their purpose, our goal needs to be about getting consumers engaged with brands. This requires a new level of collaboration and creativity – the theme of this year’s 4A’s Transformation conference. Here are six takeaways from the conference for all of us to keep in mind:

1.Collaboration between partners today needs to be focused on business-building ideas and the resulting work – rather than focusing on power struggles. Digital made the world chaotic for clients. Clients now need partners to help them navigate that chaos. Success today means the integration of creative, media, and technology.

2.We’ve all talked incessantly about how people are no longer passive and that we’ve got to engage with consumers to succeed. But today it’s about allowing the experiences we create for people to be the brand’s message – giving up ownership of content and allowing it to be ownable by consumers so they have an active role in the brand. Getting people excited and involved. Hollywood taught us a lesson on this: People don’t want to be sold to, they want to be entertained.

3.To get people excited and involved with your brand, allow them to choose what they want to interact with, and then let them go deep and immerse themselves in your brand. Don’t be scared of having a depth of content for people to experience – binge-watching TV shows shows us that consumers today have no problem immersing themselves in content.

4.There’s a renewed emphasis on storytelling in our industry. A desire to market for the audience – not to the audience – thus identifying how brands can improve the lives of their consumers. It comes down to content that’s valuable to people regardless of platform or delivery medium.

5.Data should be an inspiration, not a safety net. Learn from it. Use it to understand your consumers’ habits and desires. See what people are engaging with and responding to. Let it inform and optimize your work.

6.Lastly, the director and screenwriter Robert Rodriguez opened the conference and suggested that we all change the word “work” to “play,” and that we play all day. Change “problems” to “challenges.” Advertising is a fun business – let’s not forget to have that fun.