As a designer at Porter Novelli, I create a lot of ads, mostly in digital form. This could explain why I was curious about the talk, “We Made This, and It’s Not an Ad,” here at SXSW Interactive. Robbie Whiting, director of creative technology & production at Draftfcb in San Francisco, emphasized the importance of employees taking time out to do work they’re passionate about. He also spoke about the power of bringing together people from different disciplines. Having the opportunity to work with your hands and interact with co-workers from different areas of the agency allows you to expand your realm of creative possibilities.
DeepLocal is one of many agencies that have been successful with this model. “Through play, we learn how to creatively combine seemingly disparate objects to create compelling interactions. Sometimes we share these experiments online and sometimes we keep them to ourselves for the next exciting client project!” Their process is pictured here.
It is essential today for employees to have interests outside of the workplace. This will lead to greater cross-collaboration within the agency, and stronger creative concepts. Consumers are demanding more from brands and brands are looking for more from their agencies. By practicing a variety of exercises, our minds become our greatest tool. It is less about sharing on the hottest social media platform of the day, and more about the content and choosing the appropriate channel for that. This is where we can offer the most value. As leaders in PR, we should take the progressive ideas and experiments of our colleagues and clients and make them a reality. By creating campaigns that are real, easy, social and local, we can win both culturally and politically and make a true impact.