Creativity and Innovation During a Crisis

The challenges our industry has faced have been unprecedented.

During this crisis, as a company, our attention has been focused on the health and welfare of all of our staff and clients.  We’ve then looked at our functionality in how to remain secure, and how to logistically continue to deliver to a high standard in a newly socially distanced environment.  And after these were met, have we been able to broaden our focus — to look ahead.  How do we continue to push creativity and foster innovation, and are there new opportunities or learnings for us to take forward out of this?  While we are still in the midst of uncharted territory, we share some of the insight we have found thus far.

As an agency, our approach to creative solutions has always been collaborative.  During a time where we can no longer walk into an edit suite, shout across a room, or gather around designers, the creative process has the potential to drift into a more isolated means.  And while there are periods of isolated work that may have a place on many projects, from our experience, there is a magic that can happen when voices come together, and ideas come into contact with each other.

What that has meant for us is that facilitating and replicating those types of communication are not just an afterthought, but a centrality to our workflow.  And something we have learned from this experience, is that idea sharing, inspiration, and creative motivation come not just from formal meetings, but from finding ways to replace what was formerly office banter, social cohesion, and even creative down-time.  For that reason we have found a push towards regularity in our virtual communication essential, across a range all of our teams, and in the widest possible of ways.  Encouraging a sense of gathering, sharing, and even observation are useful moments not to be lost sight of, from where creativity can derive. And counterintuitively, now more than ever our attention is focused on that communication.

With any physical disruption, of course there is also an opportunity to rethink our workflow and how we deliver.  Of course on a base level, our investment in infrastructure allowing us to keep our material housed within our office, with remote direct editorial accessibility set up to the highest degree of security, may allow us ways to offer additional capacity in the future.  We are also keenly aware that the routine of video conferencing has had an impact in our client interaction as well.  While it is not necessarily a substitute for some of the in-person meetings we were formerly able to do, for our clients that are not geographically close video has inspired a new degree of interaction.  In many ways it has been interesting to observe the difference in what we uptake when we can see each other, beyond just our phones.  Our hope is that in the new ways our interaction has increased, it is a trend we can continue long after circumstances dictate.

However beyond just the physicality of disruption, there has been a cultural component.  As a creative agency, our job is to remain attune to cultural shifts in the world around us in order to stay ahead of how audiences emotionally connect with entertainment.  For that reason, we are keeping an eye on sentiment and what we observe in emotional responsiveness of audiences.  Ideas of togetherness, comfort, and connection are taking on new meaning as the world has gone through a period of physical separation.  If we can be a part of that reconnection, and emotional connectivity in our advertising – we believe we can continue to inspire and motivate audiences in the world ahead.

 


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