Having seen the usual amount of new year’s posts and blogs this January on various social channels, I started to wonder what would change in our industry this coming year, feeling excited by the challenges ahead.
Amongst the ample ‘new year, new me’ and ‘here’s to our best year yet’ posts, I saw one that didn’t fill me with aspiration titled ‘Think #Digital First’.
Now, although I know we live the #digital age where the landscape of technology around us is ever changing and evolving, I couldn’t disagree with this title more.
Having spent many years designing websites, emails, apps and art directing videos, our bright and shiny #digital age has been a joy to work in – and this technology has enabled an incredible expansion of opportunities, opening up many fantastic ways of communicating with audiences.
Although it is important for businesses and their leaders to have a good understanding of #digital (or at least employ a team that do) I firmly believe without creativity you are not adding value.
In a world where marketing must now be ‘anything’ that makes a business or service stand out, create the right perception amongst its customers and be better that its competitors, I believe that only by taking a ‘Think Creativity First’ approach can all of these challenges be fully achieved.
Using a rather fitting example of one of the stand out campaigns of 2016, Waitrose invested heavily in creativity to bring us the epic journey of the Scandinavian robin that made its annual journey back to the little girl who had shared her favourite food.
The stand out part of this piece of work is how the simplicity and beauty of the idea helped to appropriately communicate the values of the brand, tell a meaningful and engaging story to customers whilst also shaping the touch points and activity that the robin was flown across during roll-out.
Unsurprisingly, whilst #digital was appropriately used to support the ad with the development of social media, video on-demand and digital display takeovers, there was also in-store POS, packaging variations and a beautifully crafted children’s storybook that all continued the campaigns story across more traditional printed material.
So instead of starting the new year with only thinking websites, apps, Facebook, Instagram or Snap Chat first, I believe that by taking a ‘Think Creativity First’ approach we can all create our own meaningful and engaging journeys where anything is possible (even printed material). As the robin showed, the reward at the end will be worth the obstacles and hard work endured along the way.