Facebook global creative director Andrew Keller on why creative ideas need to build communities

Andrew Keller on why community is key to creativity

Brands and businesses must remember what the internet was made for - connecting people - says Facebook’s global creative director Andrew Keller.

Keller joined Facebook as global creative director in 2016, after having been chief exec and executive creative director at CP&B.

Ahead of his talk at Spikes about creativity and community, Keller spoke to The Drum about his mission to find “work that astounds communities” during the creative event and gave a hint as to what his talk would be about.

Your talk is about community, what does that mean in a creative context?

I will focus on the role of community in building creative ideas that bring people together and change the world. The whole point of the internet, at its birth, was to connect people to each other. But connection alone is not enough if it does not create meaning. Meaningful communities can come together around anything - from being a new parent to sharing a sneaker obsession. These communities cut across gender, across borders and geographies; they are people coming together to share passions, values, have fun and do good. Creative ideas that give people ownership and build community are important to me.

How often do you find yourself in APAC?

Over the past year and a half, I've been in South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and most recently Australia for a client council meeting and to meet with creative agencies and clients in the area. I absolutely love the people. There is a welcoming spirit and kindness across all the places I've visited in APAC. And of course the food. I've sampled the curries, chili crab, fried chicken, BBQ, Soju and enjoyed a window seat at Icebergs in Bondi.

What differences do you see in creativity in APAC versus the US?

There is a great sense of creative optimism in the region given that many people are going online for the first time and seeing the world through the lens of mobile. The number of different languages, the heritage of art and culture and the melding of tradition and modernity also creates a kind of cognitive diversity that is very exciting and leads to rich creative ideas. It's also a place where community is so strong and the work reflects both the beauty and the tensions within that.

What are you hoping to see at Spikes?

One of my favorite things about working at Facebook is the fact that I get to work across the industry with so many different types of businesses and agencies. So going to festivals like Spikes is very much about meeting new people and celebrating work creative agencies are bringing to the table. I'm also hoping to see what I call “work that astounds communities.” By this I mean work that inspires, celebrates, entertains and empowers people.

What topics in the industry are interesting you at the moment and why?

We are in a new era of brand building. In a mobile world, people have almost infinite choice and total control of where they spend their time. Yet, connecting and creating meaningful relationships has never been more important for brands. This has profound implications for businesses and advertising. I'm interested in what comes after the disruption. How can we harness these digital canvases to create experiences and drive actions that are relevant and impactful for our audiences? There is also this idea that the next billion people who come online are going to use social media in ways that are fundamentally different than what we've seen so far. So I'm very interested in working with agencies and brands to tell stories that work across all devices and in any geographic location.

The Drum will be reporting from Spikes this week. To keep up to date with the latest content, check out The Drum’s Spikes Asia page.

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