Being brave is not only a matter of doing, but also a way of thinking, and a way of working that can make a profound impact in a neophilic age..
It’s true that nothing ever stays the same. People, cultures, religions, and the ways in which we interact and communicate with each other are ever-changing – check out the new range of emojis if you don’t believe us. We’re connected in ways that were never thought possible and have access to more information streams than ever before. It’s important, then, that we remain open to new news (and even fake news) if we are to thrive as agencies. We can’t possibly expect to hit the mark with our audiences by operating within the confines of the safety net of what we already know. ‘Tried and tested’ must fall.
If we are ever going to surpass the Drogarian heights of creativity and create meaningful work that adds value to both our clients and audiences, expecting what works for us today to work for us tomorrow is not the way to go about it. How then? You might ask. Well, first, you could jot down a list of words and phrases to guide and keep you honest along the way: Reinvent, Refresh, Embrace the Unknown, Do Different, and so on. Problem is, even those feel like dated mantras used to spark new life into an agency. Another overtraded phrase.
Staying relevant and setting the pace in our industry, you see, is kak* difficult. Not only that, it’s also quite daunting, because now more than ever, our work is open to criticism from anyone and everyone who has 280 characters and is not afraid to use them. Considering these challenges, and that even the next best thing is already old news, one could think that the creative industry is doomed, that the expectation to be relevant and to create meaningful, long-lasting connections between people and brands is unrealistic. We don’t share that view. For us, it is a possibility. One that doesn’t depend on formulae, but a good understanding of how the world works today – and being brave enough to shape the way it looks tomorrow.
So, how can we thrive and create impact in a world that worships the new? We believe that it takes acknowledging where we come from while looking ahead – finding our gods in the past, present and future. If we combine the values of integrity, respect and hard work with the latest technology, platform thinking and philosophy, we might just have a fighting chance.
Our understanding is that true creativity is not a flash of inspiration. Rather, it is the culmination of knowledge, teamwork, experience, risk, exploration and research, into a moment of confidence and insight that allows brave thinking to take shape. Being brave then, is not only a matter of doing, but also a way of thinking.
Brave is also a way of working. Our assembly of specialist companies, for example, is born from a shared idea that organisations need to approach the world differently to create better ideas; ideas that will carve the way for our clients to gain resonance with their consumers beyond the 30-second ad, activation or social-media post. Working independently or as a group, we can guide them towards more interesting, braver solutions to business challenges. This collaborative process enables us to put the consumer and client at the heart of the conversation, uncover the deep opportunities and create new dialogue that leads to better results.
Progressive diversity Diversity is another one of the key drivers of this approach. When a group of people with different backgrounds, cultures, nationalities, experiences, languages and exposure levels get together in a room, incredible things can happen. It’s this kind of Progressive Diversity that will allow us to entrench the magic that happens when we bring different people into our building along with the consumer and client, and be a truly Pan-African Inspired Agency for the new world. To get there, we have to be brave. If we are brave enough to accept that we don’t know it all, we might learn another way. If we are brave enough to let our guard down, we might be pleasantly surprised at how well we can collaborate. If we are brave enough to question everything, we might find all the answers. And if we are brave enough to let everyone in, we might be able to figure out what makes the world tick. Be Brave.
This article was first published on www.campaignlive.co.uk on 18 April 2019