“You are the world’s thermostat!’ was a statement made by musician and
philanthropist Bono when he addressed a packed out audience at the Cannes Lions
Festival of Creativity this year. And he was right – people go to Cannes Lions to
gauge what’s cool, what gives people goose-bumps and ultimately, what sells
products. One answer to these questions is becoming more and more accepted as
common business practice by corporations, and that is: creativity drives commerce.
Speaking at a “Learning from the Lions’ event, festival CEO Philip Thomas pointed
out that Cannes Lions’ Advertiser of The Year winners experienced their highest
share price in the build-up to the event, when they were producing their most
creative work. He also made reference to IPA Effectiveness Awards in the UK and
explained how those who had won awards for the most effective pieces of work
were also awarded for having the most creative ones.
“A client’s argument against creativity driving business is now redundant. But you
have to be clear about what creativity is…’ said Thomas, before announcing the
three words used most often across all of the 2014 speeches: Emotional. Data.
Collaboration. Three concepts that, when cleverly woven into a campaign, produce
award-winning work and awesome results.
“Technology and data are tools which allow us to communicate creativity,’ said
Thomas, who referenced a theatre show which had smile detecting software
attached to the back of each seat. The idea was that if you didn’t laugh, you
wouldn’t need to pay for your attendance. But if you did, you’d pay per smile.
Clever – right?
The ability to reach out and tug on people’s heartstrings has always been a useful
tool in the advertising trade and is shown, or rather felt, exceptionally well in P&G’s
Thank You Mom advert for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The commercial
showed how mothers of athletes helped their children in every part of their journey
from wobbly childhood beginnings to Olympic excellence.
Another Olympic campaign which was destined for gold was the MegaFaces Pavilion
campaign for MegaFon, which earned Russia its first Grand Prix. The installation
projected selfies submitted by the public as massive 3D sculptures and was
executed by an architecture firm. To implement the campaign effectively the UK
company collaborated with an agency in Moscow as well as a number of freelancers
and designers in other countries.
It’s brilliant ideas like these and the brave people behind them that have dispelled
any doubt that creativity really matters.