Creativity – what’s the big deal?

By Mark Wilson, Creative Director

Creativity. The very word fills some with anxiety, while others seek it out and embrace it. The reasons for these opposing views are many; creativity is intangible, ethereal, it means different things to different people, and there’s no formula to follow in order to get it.  Yet, everyone desires it.

For me, creativity is about seeing things in an alternative way, presenting concepts in a distinctive light, and at its core, problem solving. It is displayed all around us through the obvious disciplines like art, music, theatre, and through less obvious avenues like cooking, gardening and even maths.

In the communications world, creative ideas are the building blocks for successful campaigns that reach the desired audiences and achieve specific objectives like boosting awareness or lead generation. Here, it’s not just about using imagery or graphics, but about understanding the core message, the single-minded proposition which will captivate audiences and change behaviour.

Creativity is inherent in everything we do — and it’s more important than ever before considering how many competing messages there are out in the marketplace. For example, if you write a about a well-known topic in a unique way or provide a distinct point of view, that’s creativity at play.

While advertising and marketing are built on this concept of creativity, it is not exclusive to these industries, nor is it exclusively in the realm of B2C. Creativity has a vital role to play in PR, social and digital, as well as in the overall B2B space.

Of course it’s evolving; moving away from the rather stereotypical view of creativity in B2B as the use of stock images of business settings, meetings, people working in offices — you know the ones I mean.

The growth of design services and the use of a more creative mindset in B2B is certainly challenging that stereotype. Why can’t business audiences enjoy creativity? After all, end audiences, regardless of context, are still human.

I would argue you can be even more , through the use of personalised messaging and graphics that will inspire, engage and work towards the ultimate goal of unlocking curiosity. This applies to a host of collateral, from personalised short videos, and direct mailers, to digital banners or interactive online experiences. The possibilities are endless.

While there may not be a magic formula for creativity, it’s worth noting that — just as in all forms of communication — whatever you do, needs to have a strong idea behind it, aimed at the right target audience, saying the right things. It needs to be relevant.

I believe all people are creative. It’s not a skill reserved for graphic designers or copywriters. And we should be nurturing this; people have diverse life experiences and perspectives, and therefore bring different views to the creativity table. The trick is how to capture and transform them into messaging and meaning that audiences can relate to. It’s about making it work for you and your objectives, not jumping on the bandwagon.

When thinking about creative campaigns, ask yourself this all-important question — is this the right thing to do or is it just what everyone else is doing?

At Whiteoaks our newly established Creative Department is working hard to transform the fruits of our creative labour into tangible results for your business that align with your objectives. Whether that’s standalone creative concepts or full campaigns, branding, digital or print assets, we’re here for all your PR and content marketing assets.

Get in touch to find out how we can help.