December 8th, 2015 By Jack Morton
Creatives—from agencies normally used to facing each other in pitch wars for new projects—come together at eurobest to share learning, talk, and get inspired.
These three days, packed with fascinating talks and workshops, reinforced my realisation that the “attention industry” (as Richard Ascott fittingly described our world of marketing) is a very exciting place. It never stops evolving, moving at a frantic pace to keep up with the changes in technology and culture that create the environment we live in. Both brands and a myriad of organisations compete for their most valuable asset—our attention. If you capture the attention of individuals, you can open the door to the emotions, affect their attitude and eventually even change their behaviour.
eurobest covered a vast diversity of topics, but there were two key points which stood out to me as pertinent to all of us in the attention industry:
1. “Craft beats novelty any day.”
Rob Newlan, the Director of Facebook Creative Shop, said this during his provocative speech about creativity on social media platforms. This assertion hasn’t left my mind throughout the rest of the festival, especially given that the culmination of the festival is a ceremony awarding creativity and innovation. I couldn’t stop asking myself if our obsession with being first, bringing something unheard of, is necessary to win the fight for attention that creative agencies battle every day. We have all been in a situation when ideas have been rejected because “it has already been done.” This doesn’t mean that it should be thrown away—evolve it, make it relevant to the current context, tailor to your audience. If you believe in the concept, make it work.
2. Fear of failure is our enemy.
This second point, relevant to many creative processes, was raised by a number of speakers. We have a tendency in marketing to spend a lot of time on planning, strategizing, theorising, before getting to the final idea. Laying the right basis and insights to build on is, of course, important. However, the process of creating and “making” has the potential to deliver unexpected results. Fear of failure is our enemy. Fear of losing an account, disappointing a client, not being good enough. A way to get over this need for comfort, of testing and proofing an idea until we are sure it will work, is to think like our technology clients. If we make the decision to work in “beta,” releasing something not finally polished, but being open about it, consumers will understand and help push it in the right direction. We just need to trust ourselves, trust the team, trust our instincts and empathy, and have faith in the client and the audience.