Creatopy Founder and CEO, Gabriel Ciordas, explains why next-generation creative tools will liberate brands’ creativity and help their outputs match the relentless pace of the market.
If there is one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s how to react. With the situation changing daily and sometimes even hourly, marketers had to keep up with a constantly shifting agenda, all while staying on-brand and on-message.
Some, such as Brewdog and Louis Vuitton shifting to hand sanitiser production, were a great example of creativity and brand purpose working brilliantly together.
Others, notably McDonald’s separated arches and Audi’s similarly disconnected rings, weren’t brilliantly received and could have perhaps done with a little bit more thought at the development stage.
Naturally, if reacting quickly and appropriately to the changing mood of the nation was not hard enough, companies had to manage these always-on communications while their own operations were being radically disrupted.
A distributed workforce, often moving to new and unfamiliar technologies to manage remote collaboration, meant there were many new balls to keep in the air.
However, the disruption has also revealed several opportunities for brands to take a fresh look at how they collaborate, create, and communicate.
Working together, apart
Zoom’s stratospheric rise aside, collaborative technologies really came into their own during the pandemic.
Initially, something of sticking plaster to replicate the in-boardroom brainstorm or watercooler moment, teams quickly discovered that virtual collaborative workspaces improved the creative process.
Intuitive workflows that allow multiple stakeholders to work on a project simultaneously without stepping on each other’s toes or, worse, undoing the previous person’s work sped up project execution.
Previously, the linear approvals process, often still conducted via email, resulting in a long-winded and confusing chain where instructions and assets are easily lost, made workflows slow and inflexible.
Remote working spawned a greater uptake of co-creation that didn’t just speed projects up but allow for greater creative expression as people found it easier to share ideas and augment each other’s work while it was still in train.
Automation to augment human creativity
For many companies, the move towards automation and the use of AI was underway before the pandemic started, but the events of 2020/21 certainly accelerated plans.
However while the use of automation in, for example, customer services or e-commerce is better understood, there is still a degree of confusion over how it applies to the creative industries.
The pessimistic, and I would argue, wrong, view is that AI and automation will somehow take over the creative process; that it will be solely responsible for building ads, adjusting, and delivering them; and that the human creative role as we know it will rapidly become obsolete as businesses realise the cost savings machine-driven creative can provide.
This is not the reality.
Automation and AI augment human creativity by taking over the mundane and the repetitive. Instead of replacing the human element, it augments it by handing people back the time they need to be truly creative.
It can help companies adapt rapidly to new trends and platforms, following the customer’s lead more closely than ever.
As a result, the brand’s marketing organisation becomes agile and responsive, able to iterate at speed and reach customers with the messaging they need to hear when they need to hear it.
The pandemic may have caused a shift in how many marketing teams operate, but it is unlikely that businesses stop here.
The event has been a catalyst for companies to review how they approach their creative process and how their partners support them in delivering it.
In future, marketers will want to work with providers who are as flexible as they are, who can react to the opportunities automation and AI open for them, and can evolve with them to meet new trends.
The pace of change is undeniably relentless, and it will be those marketers and providers alike who embrace what technology has to offer that will thrive in tomorrow’s demanding marketplace.