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Creativity meets collaboration as marketers find new ways to work in a mobile world at Advertising Week


By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

September 26, 2017 | 5 min read

‘Mobile’ has been the buzzword at Advertising Week it seems for over a decade. Now that marketers are getting more savvy with how they address mobile creativity, however, the panels that discuss them are more important than ever.

creativity in mobile

Facebook’s Andrew Keller with R/GA’s Chloe Gottlieb, BBDO's Tara DeVeaux and DDB's Ari Weiss

With Facebook’s global creative director Andrew Keller at the helm Tuesday morning at Advertising Week, with a panel featuring R/GA’s Chloe Gottlieb, BBDO's Tara DeVeaux and DDB's Ari Weiss, mobile creative it seems finally got a fair shake, with the panel talking everything from the rise of collaboration to what mobile content really means in a consumer-controlled world.

Keller started by addressing why mobile white space is so important, especially when addressing how we as an industry are going to create for that space, stating that consumers and marketers alike are part of the production process through our mobile devices.

“Mobile has also changed our brains. Our brains are getting faster,” Keller stated, adding that it takes 300ths of a second to process a thought, and people can now process a thought from an image even quicker. He also pointed out that the average person feeds 300 feet of content every day on their mobile device – using their thumb to essentially climb the Statue of Liberty daily.

With all that, it’s creative that gets attention, so to stand out in a very crowded mobile world, that creative needs to find its voice, and with mobile white space being more important that ever, Keller stated that this was “the next golden age of creativity” since this generation will truly be inventing a new way of advertising.

Gottlieb started by saying there has been a rapid acceleration of needs for content. “No one company or agency can do everything,” she said, adding that R/GA is reinventing their studio model to include pods of four makers in a collaborative effort she dubbed “create-tech,” which she said extends the ability for brands to make more authentic content.

DeVeaux said it all starts with the audience when developing content. Both clients and audiences are demanding. BBDO also had to restructure the way their agency operated, breaking down walls and bringing in new capabilities, and mentioning that the makers and “tinkerers” are helping move content faster and more nimbly than ever.

When it comes to creative mobile content, Weiss asked blatantly: “Will anyone give a shit. We throw a lot of stuff out in the world but a lot disappears. Creativity is no longer a luxury. How do you break through those 300 feet of content? We have to think in braver ways to stand out,” he said, noting that content must be contextually relevant to the user, and that nobody yet has conquered good mobile creative. “There’s so much resizing and rejiggering rather than creating new content for mobile.”

When asked about collaboration with outside providers, all agreed that it was necessary to address the things that couldn’t be done in-house. Weiss said that “collaboration is at the heart of creative genesis” but it must be “built on trust” and embrace great talent. DeVeaux added that collaboration must be handled by someone within the organization to make sure someone has ownership.

Gottlieb said that connection and trust are key to collaborations, and that a “CCO can be related to a chief connection officer. Frameworks and ways of working together need to be designed,” adding that “friction can help make work better.”

Trust and friction go together for these creative officers, but that friction can help benefit the creative process, so long as both sides get a benefit from the relationship. Oftentimes the agencies are working alongside their creative collaborators on mobile campaigns, feeding the creative process, but also making for what Keller called a “messiness.”

With innovation on the mobile creative front comes this collaborative messiness, but it can lead to good work through empathy, a sharing of ideas and a little discomfort, which Weiss said can be good.

“Stay uncomfortable. But not in a bad way…in a way where we’re looking to find different solutions.”

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