Creativity, creativity. What is creativity? Connecting ‘things’, crossing over culture, the reshuffling and reordering of old ideas to produce something new? To me creativity is the magic that everyone’s after and the flurry of thoughts and ideas needed to obtain it.
It’s the spells of brilliance that move projects from merely acceptable to actually remarkable. The majestic balls that fire out of strategic cannons that win new business and awards which than can bring fame to brands, agencies, and individuals alike.
But the magic can’t and shouldn’t feel like it can only come from a select few that have ‘creative’ in their titles. There’s a self-made myth around the C world- that old-school saying “Let the creatives be creative”. This still lingers from the dark ages of agency silo-ism – and it means that others are instantly on the defensive when they ‘dare’ to present a piece of their artistic mind.
Let’s break this down, though. Surely a key part of creativity is about ideas; ideas develop from a string of thoughts, – and we all have abundance of those, right? Therefore we need to dispel this ‘special creative’ myth once and for all if we want to make the ask far less daunting for those who are daunted by it, who may be feeling low on inspiration, may have ideas block or who simply shy away from it. That’s the only way to unlock the best creative outcomes. Creativity should be a catalyst for itself, each idea fizzing into being and sparking others- because when that happens, we remember why we love what we do.
How we go about achieving this will vary from person to person, but the common threads will be around social interaction and making this inclusive. Interacting with colleagues from different teams outside the parameters of office buildings or calls on Teams in workshop environments is an option. On making creativity more inclusive, we could use post-it notes more in brainstorms to invite those who are introverted, or those that tend to struggle to communicate in that environment to share their nuggets of gold.
So why is this important to do now? From a global study by PRovoke Media in 2021 on Creativity in PR, 69% of respondents said that creativity has become a higher priority since the Covid era began. Yet in every meeting room, on every project, somebody always asks the same question: “Should we play it safe or go bold?”.
We need to stop asking that. We need to put signs up banning its utterance. Because it’s never been more important to be bold when making yourself heard, which is completely possible to achieve whilst coinciding with the necessity to be conscious of context and culture. Most importantly this can appear to look simple too as seen in campaigns like Adidas “No More Red” to Aldi’s “#FreeCuthburt” and #WeThe15.
Playing it safe can only get you so far. Because after all, the best campaigns are the ones talked about over a pint at the pub. And thought about come to that.