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Creativity is King

Lee Ramsay
Lee Ramsay (former) Head of Innovation

Creativity is king: Millennials rank brand creativity as the number 2 most desired attribute in a brand – next to trust. So this was something on my mind as I listened to the Cannes Media Lions winners being announced.

As we are all aware, Cannes is held up as the global bastion of creativity in marketing. Sure, it has its critics, whose main gripes are that the winning ideas are too often one-offs, aren’t scalable or aren’t effective. This is particularly true of the hard-fought Media category. In my opinion, these critics are missing the point. The Media Lions illustrate exactly how far we can take things. They illustrate the possible. And the entries hold tips and clues that we can all shamelessly steal.

Others have already sweated-out the hard work, bravery and experimentation. I like the media category, as the entries are so magnificently varied and with creative agencies now fighting in this category, too, they’re much tougher to win. Although the standard is higher and the possibilities of media are infinite, it is clear that some things don’t change. The entries that shine through are always rooted in a smart observation and sometimes a killer insight.

This year, there are two gold winners that really stand out for me from the UK.

  • “Magic of flying” for British Airways captures the childhood wonder of aviation: that magical moment when you look up at the sky and wonder where that plane is going and what adventures are in store for those on board. Sure, there was some smart tech and “real time” data – to use a hackneyed marketing expression we’re already sick of – and responsive digital outdoor. But the simplicity and beauty of the idea made the technology and innovation behind it invisible, as it should be.
  • “The World’s First All Lego Ad Break” to coincide with the Lego Movie release, excited the Lego geek (I count myself in that category) beyond belief. They build on the narrative that Lego has been inspiring remixes of its brand for the last couple of decades, which has largely been facilitated by digital and social expansion. I can only imagine all the hard work that PHD must have gone through to make this happen. Ideas are the easy bit, making it happen at that kind of scale is a skill in itself. This idea involved not just one brave client but 5!

So, hoorah for bravery and ideas we can build on, re-appropriate and make scalable in 2015! Perhaps we can have a bravery category next year and ditch the some of the stranger hangovers from marketing history – Cyber Lion anyone?