What would make 2018 great? Ask the person next to you and there are responses you can expect. Real equality, if you’ve asked a woman or someone who’s gay. Either of these events is, in fact, possible – the world is heading that way. World peace. Completely unlikely – man’s inhumanity to man seems to know no bounds. The removal of Trump. It may happen, but would it make any real difference? We’re all still going to make stupid mistakes, besides mocking him is giving so many creative people so much fun.
Winning Lotto? No one really believes that you can’t buy their happiness, but who wants to admit to being greedy…or needy. Winning a share of Lotto? Wouldn’t that be disappointing? Greed is one of the world’s favourite sins.
But what if you asked the question to adpeople? Just that question – no brief, no expansion, no leading statements. The Stable did. Here’s what came back.
David Ponce de Leon, executive creative director, Ogilvy Melbourne:
What will it take to make 2018 great?
Last year was a landmark year in Australian creativity because some marketers choose to place faith before fear. They placed their trust and confidence in an idea based on conviction rather than proof.
They believed. And they were rewarded.
Cam Blackley, chief creative officer, M&C Saatchi:
Here’s great. Trump deporting all Aussie creatives this year would nail it. Grab your popcorn as a flood of top creative firepower arrives and instantly engages in hand to hand combat over cut-price salaries for the few jobs on offer. Plus it saves us all from Thanksgiving and Super Bowl social posts, making this year the greatest 2018 in history.
Scott Coldham, managing director, Colenso BBDO
Collaboration and confidence are the key ingredients to great, in my humble opinion. We’ve always known that creativity is the most powerful way to solve business problems. Tackling these problems, rather than briefs, with unusual partners who are experts in their field – that’s when the perfect solution becomes obvious.
John Halpin, senior partner, Unthink
Unlearn how we think
The way we think needs an upgrade. We need to stop operating in our little silos and start to truly embrace the benefits of cross-disciplinary ways of working. In other words, cut the bullshit, get in a room with the best minds and work it out.
It might sound familiar, but it’s not. Not as familiar as it should be. We’ve been brought up in a system that emphasised domains of specialisms, departments and compliance.
Don’t believe me? Check your business card. What does it say under your name? That title defines, or should I say confines, you to thinking about that particular subject. But that’s not how the world will orient itself in the very near future. An ability to reform, relearn, process and share perspective will be the way we create and stay useful.
You need to start embracing it now because it’s what Gen Z do naturally. They’re not digitally native, they’re network native. That is, they look for the best people in their extended network to help them solve the problem and get them involved. That’s how they’ll get shit done faster and better than we ever have in the past.
To make 2018 great we need to start by bringing the benefits of our networks to bear on familiar problems. Seek out people who have never looked at those problems before to ask their point of view.
The most innovative thinking happens when divergent systems, experience and perspectives collide in conversation. It not only creates the chance for new ideas, it also creates the chance to learn a whole new way of networked thinking
Carmela Soares, executive creative director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
The year of the copywriter
Name the buzzword. Whatever 2018 trend you pick, it will have a significant impact on the job description and skillset of copywriters. The change is so evident you will start to notice on LinkedIn roles like ‘conversation designer’ or ‘machine language expert’. They mean writers.
Probably the biggest trend for copywriters to watch is the rise of Conversational Interfaces. It’s a name that encompasses many formats, from Messenger Bots to voice assistant apps, and describes an interface made of language rather than visual elements. This puts the responsibility in the hands of writers that can design a dialogue, predict human responses and lead behaviour through words.
Conversational interfaces are a fascinating arena. They remove any question about human centricity in advertising. Brands are finally having literal conversations with humans, and this will shift 100% of the focus to the way people think, interact and respond.
Another big trend that relies heavily on writers is AI. Only writers can help tech and strategy to shape AI modules through language, as well as softening, clarifying and making it less creepy.
It’s a significant but welcome shift to this role, and to the whole industry. However, not all writers appear ready for the change. It can sound daunting but if you love your craft, you will love this challenge.