A Q&A with Young Lions 2012 on Creativity, Then and Now

Although we’ve been back from the Cannes Lions Advertising festival for a few weeks now, the conversation
continues. I reached out to the talented winners of the Young Lions competition to learn about their creative inspiration and how they think creativity has changed today.

We’ll be sharing thoughts from this year’s winners throughout the next few weeks. First up – Laura Robinson and Rosie Duncan from the United Kingdom!

1. Have you always been compelled to create? Was the instinct there from a young age or did this happen later in life?

LauraI’ve always had an artistic flair from a young age. Creativity and art is a passion for me and I always find myself having brain waves, normally when I least expect them. I could be on the treadmill at the gym or listening to someone presenting and then all of a sudden an idea will come into my head and I’ll become fixated on it. I get bored really easily so when I was young I would always fill my time making things from designing clothes to decorating cakes – I guess I always like to be busy and even though now I have a career in media I will always be thinking of business opportunities and ideas for starting my own business.

RosieCreation for me is about the satisfaction of the end result. It’s about seeing your idea turn into a tangible object that you can share, be proud of or (often) laugh at. The ideas that come to fruition over the course of your life reflect your growing up and life stages – whether it be from a fashion you were wearing to a song that you wrote which is reminiscent of a particular moment. Creativity is a release, whether it be writing, singing, painting or capturing the moment, and has been an essential reason to the sanity of my life so far.

2. What are your thoughts about how the creative process has changed in the past 50 years? What do you think are the differences between Then (such as the 1960’s, “Mad Men” style) and Now?

Laura & Rosie- Now it feels like there is a lot more background research and proving why we are proposing certain ideas to reach our target audience. There is a lot of data and in-depth reasoning behind an idea. Now we live in a world fuelled by instant gratification and technology which changes faster than we can keep up with. It’s a challenging time to work in advertising but also an extremely vibrant and inspirational time. We have so much choice from what devices we use to what media channels we can reach our audience on. Cross-media and multi-platform brand solutions are a standard now and every agency claims to be a fully integrated communications agency. Yes there are specialist departments but it is far more integral now to work much closely together.

3. What are your thoughts on how creativity and marketing data have to work together? Page views, clicks, and other metrics are a big part of the creative world – not just “why” but “how” ads are created today. Do “Mad Men” need to become more like “Math Men”?

Laura & Rosie – There’s no reason why data can’t be creative. In Cannes we saw an inspirational talk from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo who showed us a visual map of the global tweets which were sent during the England vs France Euro match and it was an extremely visual representation of some standard numerical stats. Data can be used to create ads and ads can be used to collect data but what may be interesting is visualizing that data in an ad format. People like to see that they are a part of something, have their voice heard and their contribution accounted for. It makes them feel part of what’s going on.

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