Ben Eady - April 29, 2022 - 2 min read
“There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, let’s just reskin what we did last year, right?” Wrong!
I last saw David Bowie (when he was 57) in Dublin, performing his A Reality Tour, and was astounded by the creativity and surprises on display. Bowie took risks and broke boundaries throughout his career: right up until his last days he was an artist who took chances with form and content who wasn’t afraid to be bold and different. I can sum up his creative vision in one word: “innovation”.
We all deal with budget limitations and time constraints that make us fall back on tried-and-tested formulae – creativity can be hard to rationalise in terms of KPIs and ROI, so what’s the business case for taking a risk on innovation? Correction! What’s the risk of ceasing to be original?
It is the responsibility of creative agencies like ours to lead the way, push the envelope and keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
How do you avoid getting caught in the loop of producing variations of the same old material?
1. Simple solutions aren’t necessarily easy. Boiling complex communication objectives into a simple idea is huge part of the creative process. (As David Ogilvy famously said, "Give me the freedom of a tight brief”, and I don’t think he was talking about underwear!) Develop a singular vision for a project and you gain leverage to push and pull the audience in all sorts of exciting ways.
2. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your audience. Credit them with the ability to recognise that they are being challenged and they will embrace that. Not everything has to be served up on a platter; they are capable of grasping analogies and joining the dots.
3. Challenge your comfort zones and be bold. Play devil’s advocate to drive conversation – stir your audience out of apathy by providing a counterpoint to the current convention. You don’t want to troll your audience but stimulating a little healthy debate can invigorate them.
In this media-saturated world, it’s hard to make your brand stand out and your content heard. If you become a “cookie-cutter” copy of your competitors, you’ll never gain an edge over them – back yourself and your company with something that pushes the boundaries and reap the rewards.
PS – Bowie is sadly no longer with us, but our CEO Phil and his wife recently took some clients to see another musical legend – someone who’s been an innovator, creator and disruptor for over 50 years. Check out their footage of Sir Paul McCartney in action!