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The Eternal Power of Creativity

The Eternal Power of Creativity


What do you remember from your commute this morning, out of the hundreds of ads you saw? For me, it was the Barbican’s Dorothea Lange Exhibition (see image above). But why? The answer is simple, it hits at the most primal of human emotions: survival, fear, sadness, pity and love. This got me thinking – with the modern media landscape being dominated by the explosion of data, audience fragmentation and the proliferation of touch points, it can be easy to forget the defining factor on which our industry hinges.

Creativity is King

Without creativity we fail to grab the consumers’ attention, we fail to provoke emotions, we fail to build meaningful memories, and ultimately we fail to cause the change in behaviour we need to achieve a successful campaign. As Les Binet and Peter Field (aka the Gurus of Effectiveness) found from their analysis of the IPA Effectiveness Awards, creatively successful campaigns are 10 times more effective than those which aren’t.

The great news for the Entertainment Sector is that creativity and emotional content are the very lifeblood of everything we do. They’re essential to the very conception of what we’re promoting, be it art, music, theatre or opera. For this reason, the Entertainment Sector has it far easier than FMCG brands who are constantly striving for creativity and authenticity to create distinction.

However, this wealth of creative assets can often lead to ‘not being able to see the wood for the trees’. It’s crucial that Ents clients scrutinise each and every asset to ensure they’re evoking the right response. All campaigns need to be born from SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) objectives. This is indeed an area where I feel the Ents Sector can learn a lot from bigger brands, that are generally (but not always) far more direct with their messaging and what they need to achieve. An example is NatWest’s ad which highlighted their lack of Foreign Purchase Fees (see image above). It’s a specific product, but hugely relevant as it’s something that fills most of us with (mild) trepidation. It was also perfectly timed with the summer holidays on the horizon.

I always advise our Ents clients not see themselves, or the sector, as an island – we must learn what we can from the wider industry, and use it to make most effective campaigns. We can’t forget the fact that current and future arts audiences are consumers as well.

Dominic Draper
Planner/Buyer Ents

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