June 15th, 2014 By Jack Morton
Creative talent – and how to attract, secure and nurture it was today’s forum theme at Cannes. As Michael Lebowitz of Brooklyn agency Big Spaceship said – the idea and innovation economy in which we now operate means creativity is not a vocation, it’s an obligation. So creative thinking is the lifeblood of business and nurturing it is everyone’s concern.
Easy to say – but how do you do that? Theories abound. Deutsch has a highly aggressive ‘Darwinian culture’ where they consider the route to success to be to not just promote their client but to actively strangle the competition – their staff report satisfaction levels of 4.5 stars out of 5, so they must be doing something right. Then there’s Big Spaceship which takes collaborative working to the max – creating a culture where every specialism can be involved in the creative process – in fact, they consider creativity to be so much everyone’s responsibility that nobody has the word ‘creative’ in their job title.
Whatever the culture that works for each agency, the underlying trend that emerged today as critical for creative success (and therefore creative satisfaction) was in understanding the people you are trying to reach. Much can be gleaned from exploring the fascinating psychology of consumer behavior as discussed by Adam Ferrier of Cummins & Partners but in making a comparison between planners and stand-up comedians Holler and Leo Burnett put it beautifully. Great comedians are great observers of human behavior and rapidly capture and respond to these emotions in their acts. Great marketers must have these qualities too and in this way can help brands show their human side and create a bond with the people they want to connect with. It may not be the holy grail for complete creative satisfaction but it’s certainly a great leap towards it.