The advertising world is undergoing a major revolution. Over the last decade, it’s become apparent that the traditional model of advertising is no longer as effective or credible as it once was. This new influx of marketing tools that enable us to attract a more relevant audience, increase our impact and more efficiently measure the effectiveness of our campaigns is having a dizzying effect on the advertising industry as a whole. It’s impacting consumer investment and this year, more and more agencies are beginning to focus on developing disruptive strategies that help them to stave off the ravenous and demanding modern market.
We can see the result of this phenomenon most clearly when we look at the number of consulting firms around the world choosing to rebrand themselves as agencies. This month Accenture acquired independent giant Droga5 as well as their acquisition of Spanish communications agency Shackelton sent seismic tremors through a sector already shaken up by change. For some people, this is yet another sign of the impending advertising apocalypse – but for others, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity to ask ourselves – what’s next?
The consulting firm vs. agency debate is really just the tip of the iceberg. If we were to look beneath the surface we would see that the conversation is brewing around the possibility of an agency/consulting firm hybrid of sorts. A fusion of creativity, instinct, imagination, rationality, Big Data, and measurement. In other words – both sides of the brain working together – technocreativity.
The concept has been around for decades, but it’s only recently that technocreativity has begun to make good advertising sense. Technocreativity allows us to think creatively in a way that is more holistic – it provides us with the opportunity to amplify an idea through technology, and also leave the comfort zone of the exact brief, the client’s ‘needs’, the structured hierarchy of a traditional corporation. With technocreativity, we can move beyond the barriers of 20th century advertising.
The need for technocreativity
A creative approach to problem solving is what helps us reach a solution – it provides us with a fresh perspective. Recent technological advances are helping us to innovate not only against the brief we’ve been set by clients, but also against the client themselves – changing the way their brand works entirely.
Technocreativity is not about using the most hyped technologies to sell more products – that would be a pretty reductionist view of the concept. It’s about bringing value to consumers through invisible technologies, technologies that support and amplify innovative ideas but don’t outshine them.
Strengthening short-sighted, reactive campaigns through technocreativity will, of course, help brands to sell more products – not through repetition or a catchy jingle, but through the development of a deep, personal relationship with the customer.
The work of MullenLowe for MINTIC in Colombia is a perfect example of the power of technocreativity:
T-Mobile’s Sea Hero Quest used gamification techniques to analyse thousands of people diagnosed with dementia in order to learn from their behaviours and find a cure for their condition. The US Post are in the process of developing self-sufficient, self-charging postal boxes that are capable of creating stamps through voice recognition. Snapchat’s A/R Jordan lens is the world’s first social commerce experience in augmented reality.
The engine behind all these innovations is technocreativity – a concept that allows us to drive change through engagement with diverse, digital communities.
The future of technocreativity
When talking about technocreativity, we have to stick to the present tense. Customers demand disruption and award festivals are looking for the kind of innovation that only a combination of creativity and technology can achieve.
The time has come for the creative process to evolve. So, are you going to be a star or a spectator?