We don’t need another how-shit-has-2020-been-type-of-article but don’t worry, this more of a what-the-hell-happens-next sort of article with some dollops of appreciation for creativity.
But first allow me the smallest of moments to reminisce back to when our lives had been stripped back to the bare essentials of sleep, eat, work, repeat, all in our homes. Speaking personally, creativity got me through these times.
During lockdown and when faced with a beige abyss of working from home, exercising from home and socialising at home, creativity sustained us all, perhaps at times unknowingly. TikTok kept us laughing, painting kept us calm, live Instagram performances kept us excited and the weekly Magnum & Co Zoom quiz kept us all connected. All these examples are creative solutions to lockdown, created by creative individuals (believe me some of the quiz topics we weird as!)
So lockdown was a grade A on how to pivot creatively. But now the big question is how do we continue to pivot life into something greater than before and avoid life going back to the old normal.
Truth is, no one really has a bloody clue, but that’s also the beauty of creativity, you choose the path.
So before we commence on creating a different world from before, my first hope is that we have more appreciation for creative individuals. It takes a lot to reconsider how you do something, and in my book deserves praise above anything else. There are hero brand stories of those creative enough to do things differently who completely disrupted how we operate, Uber, Airbnb, Apple, all common examples. Being creative, and thinking differently takes effort and time and the implications are huge. I’m going to consciously give more time, respect and space to those wanting to think creatively and their potential.
My second hope is that brands are bold, if they have the right to be. We work with brands on a mission and there is never a better time for brands to lean into their mission, and be bold when doing so. It is a chance to do things like we’ve never done things before. Budget cuts, limited stock buy, ever changing regulations should be seen as challenges rather than limitations. Now for the first time since starting my career, it feels like individuals are open to anything. The last six months have obliterated expectations so much that brands can take advantage of this and redefine themselves and this makeover should be mission led.
So we’re ready to build a new and shiny world, but are consumers ready for bold and daring ideas?
Unfortunately not quite yet, consumer interests still lie in ‘dependable, safe, transparent and secure’1 the trick will be to echo these sentiments but in a manner we’ve not seen before. Being creative but dependable might seem like an oxymoron, but for me this is exciting. We have an opportunity to adjust to being bold and daring but also delivering on safe, reliable and dependent.
Tooheys latest ad for it’s Extra Dry product positions the brand as ‘the Adelaide of beers’ dependable, no frills and what you see on the can. It’s delightful, playing into the need for saying how it is and being yourself, and celebrating those people that just want a beer.
This brilliant and ballsy move from Transferwise for banks to be more transparent with costs associated with sending money overseas with a full page ad in the AFR and SMH is another example of being bold but transparent. Bold and 100% backing its mission of ‘money without borders - instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free’.
So my wish for this next stage is that we all have a little more consideration for creativity, both in the role it played, but also the role it plays for brands to think innovatively about how to be different. Bring. It. On.
Words by Head of Creative Services, Harrie Jack